Black is Beautiful- Money is Power: Picking up Where the Black Power Movement Left Off

Before I begin, let me give a shout out to Lewis H. Michaux whose famous quote sparked a sense of eureka on the topic of economic empowerment and income equality.

Michaux famously said, “Black is beautiful. Black isn’t power. Knowledge is power. You can be black as a crow or white as snow but, if you don’t know and you ain’t got no dough, you can’t go and that’s for sho’.”

Poignant!

The self-awareness of Black people evident during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements was extraordinary. Black people were aware that their experiences with systematic oppression was something that they endured together and would have to overcome together. This unity was central in the success of the Civil Rights Movement and the spirit of the Black Power Movement.

This sense of unity is still burning like the embers of a poorly extinguished fire. It is time to rekindle that energy to a level never seen before.

However, a sense of racial pride is only the beginning. Sure, it’s essential in advancing the culture of the Black community. Sure, it’s a reason young Black men should think twice about senseless acts of violence, but without intensive economic empowerment efforts, racial pride alone won’t fight the hellish circumstances that poverty creates.

Clearly, racism and hiring practices are relevant in terms of earning statistics regarding African-Americans. The incarceration rate is also a factor; however, we can no longer look to excuses to explain away a lack of productivity. African Americans can and must do better.

African Americans, particularly Black men, must make a point to learn marketable skills, start businesses that don’t require large capital investments, and enculturate working hard every day whether it’s in the traditional workforce or in some entrepreneurial endeavor.

First, there must be an increase in work effort/ productivity, particularly among African American men. By any, and all means, work and make money every day.

Secondly, the African American community must do a better job of saving. This may mean a savings account, investing in the stock market, creating a college fund, or saving for retirement.

Thirdly, spending habits must change. We need to become more frugal and build our spending power through saving. We spend too much money on recreational and luxury items- this includes drug addiction.

Fourthly, African American youth must learn the value of their credit score, and parents should work to help them protect it. Often youth from poor families ruin their credit before they are old enough to learn its value in buying a home or getting a business loan.

Lastly, every African American should spend every dime possible in the Black community to help support Black business and businesses that support the Black community.

The African-American community must love one another and appreciate its heritage. That fact cannot be taken lightly. However, this pride necessarily needs to be linked to economic prowess.

Poverty is acting as a cancer in the Black community. Crime, drugs, and poor academic performance are all correlated to poverty. These ills eat away at the essence of the Black community. Without economic power, poor fathers are left powerless to provide for their families.

The future of the African American community starts with self-love, but it hinges upon the community’s ability to empower its people to fight poverty through economic self-sufficiency.

It is through the fight for economic self-sufficiency that the light comes on. It is this light that will elucidate and energize the masses who represent the untapped potential of the African American community. In earning more, men are better able to provide for their children, children perform better in school, individuals become more involved in their communities, and the wealth gap closes.

We can preach Black love all day, but until we stamp out poverty, we’ll only be plugging holes in a sinking boat.

Advertisements

The Meteoric Rise of the Black Community: A Mass Awakening

The Meteoric Rise of the Black Community: A Mass Awakening

Since the crack epidemic of the 1980’s and 90’s the Black community has seen a decline like none other in history.

A culture of criminality dominates most urban Black communities. Blacks make up 40% of the prison population, though only comprise 13% of the total U.S. population. One out of every three Black men are likely to spend time in jail. Fifty-two percent of all homicides committed in the United States are committed by Blacks.

The wealth accumulation disparity of Whites to Blacks is equally alarming.  The median wealth accumulation of white households is $111,146 compared to $7,113 of black households.

And since wealth is an indicator for academic performance, educational attainment, political participation and criminality, there is no need to highlight the problems any further- the Black community is inarguably in a state of emergency.

However, unlike the days of the Civil Rights Movement, when communities united and leaders stepped up to fight for civil rights, no movement or leader has surfaced to effectively save the Black community from drugs and crime.

Though many people and organizations make valiant efforts to fight for the Black community and save lives, these efforts are often reactionary with minimal effect.

To actually reverse the direction the Black community is headed, I believe we have to change the Black community from within.  This will require a work of unfathomable proportions, but it has been done before.

It’s time for a new order within the Black community. It’s been 36 years since the advent of the crack epidemic and we are still allowing our Black men to poison our communities and themselves with this despicable drug. We have sat idly by while community after community faded into absolute disrepair until it is now socially acceptable for Black men to deal crack, murder, rob, and spend substantial parts of their lives behind bars.

This is the new slavery and the longer we allow it to go on, the closer we get to a fate that I don’t believe any of us imagine coming.

So how do we change our culture? First of all, it won’t be easy. It will take some time, however, 5 basic points of action will set this transformation into motion:

  1. Establish policy, principles, goals and objectives that every individual living and working in the Black community will have access to and understand. This includes street gangs, churches, businesses, nonprofits, educational organizations, Greek and fraternal organizations.
  2. Hold our brothers and sisters accountable. We have to communicate with our brothers and sisters who are tearing down our communities that it will no longer be tolerated. We have to be patient and supportive with them to help guide them to a better way because the criminal culture has become engrained in their surroundings. For many people crime is all they know, and therefore changing them will require knowledge, support, skills, and the opportunity for change.  It will be of the utmost priority to make sure that the street organizations that establish the culture in many communities are involved. These organizations have such a hold on the hearts and minds of our youth that they will need to play an integral part in the transformation, and thus be transformed as well. They must understand that without conformity, the Black community will soon perish.
  3. We must promote competitive academic performance, political participation, professional skill development, and the building of wealth. Our children should be pushed to perform at the academic levels that there are naturally endowed. We must be aware and active politically to shape the policies that shape our lives. We must encourage people to set career and entrepreneurial goals, and acquire the skills that will be necessary for them to be successful. We must also promote the acquisition of wealth which is closely tied to every indicator of a quality and successful life.
  4. We must be united across the nation to accomplish the transformation that we seek. Though it is not a march, it is a step by step walk that will require participation from the ground floor to the upper echelons of leadership.
  5. Lastly, this movement will require your undying commitment. It’s time we stop accepting less, and take the destiny of the Black community in our own hands.

The Meteoric Rise of the Black Community is a movement of mass awakening. It is spoken of in the positive, and so named because we will accept nothing less. It has already happened.

It will not be easy and will not happen overnight, but by your reading this article and sharing it with others, the movement has already begun.

The movement has already begun.