Blog

Jun
07
Creating economic equality for the Black community

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What I Learned about Black History

In High School, the only civil rights leader taught to me was Martin Luther King Jr. I remember the lessons on his peaceful marches and protests to gain equality for Black Americans. This ideology impressed on me that this was the only way to achieve equality. Even if it takes 100 years, Blacks must march and protest to see a change in America. It was not until college that I learned of the other civil rights leaders and I mean learned. In college, I started to study Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Booker T Washington, Fredrick Douglas and others. I began to study African history, Indigenous History, European History, Caribbean History and American History. The educational system taught me what it wanted me to know; I, however, learned what interested me. Studying history helped me get the full picture of America and the other world powers.

Capitalism

At some point in history, the world began to emphasize the importance of gold and other natural resources. As a result, they attacked and massacred other nations, countries, and people for those resources. Money hungry Europeans jumped on ships and sailed to foreign lands in the pursuit of wealth. Enslaving, exterminating, oppressing and torturing many different cultures around the world. The remanences of these acts affect everyday life today. Cultural wars, disenfranchisement, segregation, poverty and diseases are all part of the legacy of the colonialism by the Europeans.

False Narratives

In today’s world, we are praying that some divine change will happen around the world. Blacks are hoping that Europeans and Americans will wake up and apologize for destroying our world, culture, and heritage. They will pledge their resources to the rebuilding of pillaged countries. Stopping companies from entering sovereign lands and stealing resources. They will acknowledge the generational issues that arose from slavery. Furthermore, they will recognize the brutality and racism that followed slavery. The unfortunate truth is that this will not happen.
America and the other world powers are capitalists. Hence they only respect groups with wealth and economic status. The achievements and successes of the Black community have been outstanding. America however, will not recognize our community as equals until we join the capitalist movement.

The Black community has many talented, educated and successful people. America, however, only speaks about the lost ones that have not found their way YET. We constantly here about the number of Blacks in jail, while the number a Blacks not in prison is much higher. Or about the number of Blacks that drop out of school, rather than the number of Blacks with great jobs, Bachelor Degrees, Master Degrees or PhDs. Also, we hear about the number of Black men not in their children’s life, less than the higher percentage that are in their children’s lives. Capitalism means that someone has to be on top. For that to happen, someone has to be on the bottom. The Black community has suffered at the hands of these false narratives for years.

Creating economic equality

Blacks built America. They toiled the fields, worked the factories ensuring the success of the cotton industry for centuries making America an economic powerhouse. It is time for us to do the same for our communities. The world is a much smaller place so Black-owned companies can do great things. The impediment to our success is financial. Therefore, we do not have access to the capital that would allow us to create businesses that can hire large amounts of people. There are, however, those in the community that possess the access to resources.
What if Micheal Jordan decided to manufacture his shoes in a Black community. Yes, his profits would not be as high, but they will still be high. The other benefit is that he would be building a job-creating business in a community that needs it. What if Oprah, Jay-Z, Tyler Perry and others opened companies in communities of color? What if athletes like LeBron James and Serena Williams added to any endorsement deals that any item bearing their names get produced in communities of color? We have to think outside the box if we want to make a real change in our community.

The Potential Impact

There are many social and economic benefits of job creation in local communities. In a presentation by Mathew Forstater of the Center for Full Employment and Price Stability at the University of Missouri- Kansas City, he showed that the creation of local jobs creates an economic and social multiplier. The economic multiplier is that the job and income growth associated with the employment translated into further increased spending and rising incomes throughout the community. The social multipliers affect the individuals, families, neighborhoods, and communities with decreased crime, drugs, and family disruption, and increased strengthened security, education, healthcare for the sick and elderly and environmental protection.

We must as a community stop looking to the government or nonprofit organizations to help the community because apparently, it is not coming. Those among us with the resources must begin to use those resources wisely and allow it to have a greater reach.