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Group Calls on Black Community to Reclaim Black Economic Power

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Group Calls on Black Community to Reclaim Black Economic Power
by Bob Law

 

From http://www.buyblackallyearlong.com


New York, NY – A coalition of Black media owners, professional and political organizations are calling on African American consumers across the nation to begin immediately to redirect a minimum of $20.00 per week in spending to Black-owned businesses. The initiative being called “The Million Dollar Black Spending Power Campaign” is being organized by local groups in a number of key cities. It is projected that even with minimal support this effort may turn one million dollars per week back into predominantly Black communities throughout the country.

The initiative is the brainchild of Bob Law, longtime radio personality, entrepreneur and community activist, who recently sent an open letter to the Congressional Black Caucus, highlighting the assault on Black-owned radio and requesting the CBC to bring the matter to the attention of the FCC and the full Congress.

Karenga Bond According to the African-American Consumers: Still Vital, Still Growing 2012 Report  released by Nielsen and the NNPA, Black consumers have a projected buying power of $1.1 trillion. The Million Dollar Black Spending Power Campaign raises the question “where is the money?”  It is not reaching the Black community argue the organizers. Additionally, scholars who convened an African American Economic Summit at Howard University in early February sketched a very bleak economic future for Black Americans, noting that the wealth gap between Blacks and Whites has grown since “The Great Recession”. For every $1.00 in Black wealth, Whites now have $20.00. Further, Black communities suffer the highest unemployment rates, the lowest median family income, and the highest levels of consumer debt.


“From the corporate community to other ethnic groups, every community seems to benefit from Black spending except the Black community. We fully intend to renegotiate the Black community’s financial relationship with corporate America and others doing business in the African American marketplace. We believe however that a significant starting point is for Black Americans to first take control of our own spending” said Law.


Norm Bond added, “There was a time when African Americans controlled their own economy. If you look at the 1910 Census, there were more African American entrepreneurs than Whites. Today with all of the communication tools at our disposal, the tremendous consumer spending, and the urgent need to create jobs within the Black community, we must raise our collective consciousness and bring that entrepreneurial spirit forward again through massive action.”

SaraLomaxReese_JimClingmanThrough ongoing nationwide activities we will begin to mobilize Black consumer dollars. These include Recycle Black Dollars Shopping Tours, e-commerce utilizing online business directories, websites, social media, Buy Black Meetup Groups, referral networks and educational events including community forums and local community based expos. In addition coalition media partners are going to call on their audiences to support the effort. Philadelphia, the 5th largest city in the nation is also a key market for the coalition members. Local radio station 900AM WURD, the only Black-owned radio station in Pennsylvania, has agreed to support “conscious consumerism” through their programming and additional activities.

The cooperative effort also includes Dr. Maulana Karenga, Creator of Kwanzaa and Professor and Chair Department of Africana Studies California State University, Long Beach; Norm Bond, activist and Chairman of the National Alliance of Market Developers; Professor Jim Clingman of the University of Cincinnati, author and syndicated columnist; and Sara Lomax-Reese, President and General Manager of 900AM WURD in Philadelphia.

 

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That was a great read.

I find this part expecially interesting:

"If you look at the 1910 Census, there were more African American entrepreneurs than Whites. Today with all of the communication tools at our disposal, the tremendous consumer spending, and the urgent need to create jobs within the Black community, we must raise our collective consciousness and bring that entrepreneurial spirit forward again through massive action.”



Durng the late 70's and early 80's after "legal" integration there was a big shift in Black economics that took the focus from independance and business ownership as a form of economic security to abandoning the small businesses and joining corporate America and then trying to work one's way up the corporate ladder.

In Detroit as in many Black cities, most of the gas stations and liquor stores and resturants and funeral parlors and even many grocery stores were owned and operated (and quite well) by Black men and women.
Black men who often had bald heads and glasses from the stress of operating a business and reading the necessary figures to keep a business successfully humming.

Many of thier sons and daughters saw thier parents getting up at 5 in the morning to go to the store or resturant and make a living, decided they didn't want to do that, and chose to get a degree and apply for a position in corporate America with a salary and benefits.


And we all know how THAT turned out.

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Yep Pioneer, we are back on the plantation.

 

Our "success" in corporate America, as a people was really a myth.  Prior to affirmative action we were missing, after affirmative action, our presence increased but was always cast with a shadow of doubt -- even though we had to really be twice was good to be considered half as good.

 

The few that made it did not have sufficient power or a willingness to bring other Black people along.

 

Post Affirmative Action not only are Black people missing in corporate America, we (Black men in particular) are now missing on college campuses as well. 

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In my opinion I think too many of our people are placing too much weight on the wrong things and it has made many of them lazy and lacking in ambition.

((jumps back behind a corner and shouts out: ))

Now wait...let me explain!

A nation or community works best when the majority of the people are working class.

Not broke and unemployed.....

And not rich....

But working daily and keeping the system going.

In the case of America, that means we need a strong service sector that pays people decent wages and benefits for decent service.

But because during the past 40 years the service sector wages haven't been keeping up with the cost of living, most people (including AfroAmericans) have tended to avoid and despise service related jobs taking them only as an absolute last resort while focusing ultimately landing a corporate job or their own business.  When they don't get it, they tend to give up, lose ambition, and either stop working (turning illegal or becoming a parasite to friends/family/community) or grudgingly take a low wage service job and do it only half-ass while grumbling.

The fact is most people WILL NOT get corporate jobs or own thier own business because of the simple fact that most aren't qualified for them and thier aren't enough to go around.

It's like everybody in the hood trying to slang.

EVERYBODY can't slang and drive around in fancy cars in nice clothes.....lol.

Hell, there's gotta be somebody left to slang TO.

If everybody is selling and no body is buying then you're stuck holding a useless product with no money.

That's why I think the real American dream should be that of making a decent and "relatively" easy living for one's self and one's family, not necessarily getting rich.

As unglamorous as it may sound, as long as it pays enough to pay the bills and keep them and their families eating some people should be content driving buses, flipping burgers, and mopping floors.

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OK Pioneer if you believe that then who makes the decision who get stuck the low paying, low skill jobs.

 

The problem with your world is that Black folks are kept on the proverbial plantation, working for someone else or working a low wage dead end job, regardless of their ability. 

 

You do realize there were geniuses picking cotton and that there are brilliant women today working mundane jobs or failing to advance because of sexism and racism -- especially Black ones.

 

If that is the case why bother to education people if they are just going to flip burgers or shine shoes?

 

As far as Black boys are concerned this is already happening...  But they are being queued up for prison not McDonalds. 

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People have to eat so the decisions are usually made FOR them by their limited opportunities.

Whether you have a degree or not, it's the man in the suit behind the desk in the HR office who ultimately decides whether you get (and keep) that $100,000 a year corporate job.
And if he/she decides to give it to their buddy or son-in-law instead then you're S-O-L.

So now you're stuck with a degree, a lot of debt, and no other options but to......take the job mopping floors, try to sponge off friends/family, or try your hand in the illegal trades.

Mopping floors wouldn't be so bad if it paid a LIVING WAGE.
But most mainenance jobs don't, so most Americans take them only grudgingly as a last resort.
That is....if those jobs are still available, because illegal immigrants take them happily!
 You can easily survive making only $7 an hour if there are 15 of you in one house and all are working 60 hours a week and sharing meals and rides.


But what you're really asking is.....what is YOUR solution Pioneer???

I personally think......

And this is one of M-PACT's solutions by the way........

That the government (Federal or State) should create "guaranteed" community service type jobs where able bodied citizen who can't find adequate employment in the private sector can just sign up for a term with one of several government job programs and immediately get a wage performing low skilled work around the area.


Roosevelt basically did this during the Great Depression with the WPA, NRA, and CCC
These were government created jobs that didn't wait on the private sector to employ the masses of unemployed but put them to work (quite creatively) rebuilding the infrastructure of America.
 

Hell, they're already spending billions to provide people with unemployment for 5 and 6 years a stretch.
Why not take that same money and use it to put people to work giving them skills at the same time?

 

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