Vol 2, No 1 February 2022
The NEXT MAJOR BLACK MOVEMENT SHOULD BE ECONOMICS
Consider this: Significant movements for Black folk have been
· Civil Rights
· Voting Rights
· Education Rights
It is time to address Economics which is more institutionalized in the American system, than the challenges addressed and overcome by the other three movements of Black society.
The basis of this country's capitalistic success is its utilization of an economic standing to determine who has the authority and the ability to maintain that control for White America. Full participation in the marketplace is the last hurdle Black America must overcome! The marketplace has been the sole bastion for White America. Their control of economic resources has been dominant and complete. White America can dictate many different forms of governance through policy and practice in America and the world by controlling the market. Slavery was one tool installed to produce economic benefits and physical control using "free Black labor," which resulted in great wealth and territorial distinction. These financial practices continue in various forms up through and including today.
An unintended byproduct of this attempt to dominate resulted in different economically successful Black enclave communities prevalent during the post-revolutionary war and during segregation. Since Black people could not fully participate in the larger society, they made their communities productive. Black business leaders were the nominal heads of the economic structure. This structure walled itself against the whims of the White society yet provided an economic stronghold that had to be recognized and not ignored. The many stories of these communities' intentional demolition by White hands further illustrate that Whites wanted the community to be dependent on them to control the Black community's financial requirements and power of superiority! The power of community equity is a deeply rooted desire and hierarchy position. Thus White America has and will continue to develop methods and actions to gain and maintain that control.
The most exciting thing about the American marketplace is if one can rise to the degree of recognition, one will achieve a level of acceptance. This fact creates the impression that if one Black person is economically successful and considered an economic equal, there is no need for the entire community to be recognized as comparable to other communities. However, complete acceptance would include the dismissal of the race. That is not usually the outcome. It does not matter the level of your societal height racism penetrates even that level. So, while we have a handful of the prominent Black players in the general marketplace, deemed successful. Our Black communities still suffer from recognition due to race factors, causing a real lack of perceived value of a Black-led economic structure. Therefore, by ignoring the corresponding Black business leadership as essential to the whole of society, Black business leadership cannot be embedded within the concept of value by the larger White community. Such stigmatized beliefs sanction the devaluation of the Black community and Black business by the broader community, and it is inescapable. Any attempts to develop something with Black attributes are deemed racist and of little value to the mainstream when led by the Black person accepted by the dominant society or required by the White community and its leadership as a product of that group.
We must protect our communities and regain that economic structure necessary to those isolated Black communities. Black businesses are valuable assets within the scheme of the entire economic system. When the Black business relates to the Black community, it creates a value index provided by the imprimatur of the Black community as an economic structure. This tacit permission values the Black business to participate in the capitalistic society using the defined definition of success. This recognition does not mean that today's Black business must physically locate alongside another Black business but does say Black businesses need to identify with its group of ethnic importance to provide the value that gives meaning to the economic position attained. Our Black society can no longer stand in support for the development and growth of Black businesses and receive nothing in return!
We must protect our communities from being raped by various economic schemes that, for example, take our tax dollars while providing little in return, strip our infrastructure leaving the communities barren, and chip away at our abilities to develop local businesses. We must advocate for our position within the White American economic benefits system versus its social system. In the end, economic justice will be judged by the return the group provides and relief from the issues facing our community specifically and the entire city in general. We also must reestablish the appropriate VALUE of the economic activities of the Black community. These economic Values make us a competitive people on par with the many other interlopers currently in play. We must define commercial value; we cannot expect others to do this for us!
Given this background, the Black business community and others must be vigilant in looking at ventures and transactions that may reflect poorly on the Black community and the opportunities for Black businesses. This commitment is fundamental with those investments supported by the public common. We must never allow the outflow of tax and other government benefits to be greater than the community's return in the end. We believe, "if it is not owned or received by the community that it is located in, it represents an extraction of resources, taking out, not a bringing in of resources." We seek a qualified Return on Investment & Involvement (ROI2). Additionally, we must oversee other business practices which may retard the ability of Black businesses to perform successfully and to have access to the marketplace. We must be unafraid to promote our people even when others may suggest it is racist.
The NEXT MAJOR BLACK MOVEMENT SHOULD BE about the financial ability of the Black community and Black businesses to deliver a return on investments through our people and companies. A return is expressed in a language easily understood but not confused with civil rights and other equality issues. A return that permits the Black community and its businesses to define its economic structure and importance through the value of its response to the requirements of that community. A return built upon the historical success attributes of Black communities. A return that contributes to Atlanta's value proposition is the model for delivering an economic system where everybody gains.
The NEXT MAJOR BLACK MOVEMENT demands the casting of a new vision for Inner City Economic Development—One of Community Prosperity Economics." This VISION…requires a total transformation of the current economic relations and a vastly different program than the traditional responses by city governments, local government agencies, and local fiscal interests whose approach has resulted in economic development at the expense of the Black community. It represents the Black community regaining its ability to provide for itself and for this support to be undergirded by appropriate public and corporate participation. It also compels the Black community to spend and promote more business with Black business and industry!
As Kermit, the Frog was quoted as saying, “It ain’t easy being Green.”