I know I said that we’d cover a few more points from the Cameron Herold Ted Talk in this article, but I wanted to make sure I shared something that is rather important before this last week before Christmas, is over. I was on a conference call and webinar session where Brother Bedford interviewed Dr. George C. Fraser. I’ll check with Brother Bedford to see if we can share the link to that interview for your infotainment. You can check out Brother Bedford at http://brobedford.com/ and Dr. Fraser at http://www.frasernet.com/. If you’re an entrepreneur or looking into becoming an entrepreneur, you should attend the 2016 Power Networking Conference where you can meet both of these giants (http://powernetworkingconference.com/ )! In any event, one of the points that Dr. Fraser emphasized is that it is essential to our existence and survival _as a people_ that we buy Black but sell to everyone. Let’s “say” that again. Buy Black, but sell to everyone! In theory, this shouldn’t be hard to do; especially, because we have countless examples of other people doing the same thing all around us. We’re always a part of the “everyone” every other group of people is selling to. By Dr. Fraser’s estimate, we’re off to a great start, but we are likely another decade away from the masses of our people exemplifying this mantra.
When Dr. Fraser gave that estimation, it surprised me a bit. I was thinking, “Ten years? With all of the momentum of the economic boycott and daily reminders of why such a boycott is necessary, still ten more years?” But today, something happened that lead me to think, “Dr. Fraser, you may be right.”
The founder of one of the Facebook business groups I participate in posted a question about whether or not he’s the only one who waits until Christmas Eve to buy gifts. This shocked me, because he’d just initiated a discussion thread about the economic boycott a few weeks ago, and it sounded like he was in support of it. I’m impressed with this brother’s work ethic and projects he’s producing. So, it hurt to read his response when I posed the question of whether or not anyone in the group was participating in the economic boycott and buying exclusively from Black businesses. While his response seemed very honest and humble (a modest “Unfortunately I’m not”), that answer, along with the other responses that seemed to overlook the entire concept, painted a pretty bleak picture.
I applaud everyone who does anything, no matter how big or small, in the way of our overall economic improvement. A considerable amount of my platform is based on the sharing of resources from those who contribute to the economic and financial intelligence of Black people and our children. The concern comes into play if those who are in our community propelling Black entrepreneurship to awesome heights and being great examples for our children are also demonstrating the throwing away of the countless dollars made from entrepreneur efforts into the hands of people who don’t look like us and without benefit to Black people. How does this act teach our children to create and maintain wealth?
The answer is: It doesn’t. It makes us out to be contradictory in our overall efforts of economic improvement for Black people. And guess what, we’re the only ones who do this. All other cultures in The States abide by the buy (from within their own culture or ethnicity) and sell to everyone; and they teach their children to do the same, building upon generation after generation of legacy and economic autonomy among their own. I’ll give you an example of this.
In my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, there was this brother who had decided to partner up with a guy from India to open an Indian Cuisine restaurant that was literally 500 feet from a Hindu house of worship, which kept that area heavily populated with the people from India. I mean they actually shared a lot! Makes sense, right?
For anyone who has ever had Indian food, you either love it or hate it. I happen to be of those who love it, and I’ve visited several different Indian restaurants. I’ve had some great Indian food, and I’ve had some disappointing Indian food. Let me tell you that the food at this restaurant was the ABSOLUTE best I’ve ever had! It was authentic Indian cuisine prepared by Indian cooks, and it was amazing!
It’s important to note that during the planning phases when the restaurant was under renovation, it appeared they had the support of the Indian community. As a matter of fact, there was a nearby Indian restaurant that had decided to close their location in that area because of lease changes; so many of the cooks from that restaurant went to this new restaurant. Unfortunately, the Indian who the brother was partnering with decided to pull out of the partnership, making the Indian restaurant the only one I’ve ever heard of owned and operated by a Black man.
The remarkable and oh-so-eye-opening thing is that apparently with the Indian brother’s departure, so went the overall Indian community’s willingness to support the restaurant. The staff at the restaurant tried to hand out flyers to those from the Indian community in that area, and they often asked, “who owns that restaurant? Is it a Black guy who owns it? We’re not interested.” Let that sink in for a minute.
When I was planning a visit to St. Louis several months ago and made the statement that I can’t wait to stop by that restaurant to a friend, she said “Aw girl, they had to close that down. They weren’t getting enough support.” Me: “Wow. What about that other restaurant that was closing down?” Her: “They’re still open. All of the cooks went back there.”
My point in sharing those details is that we must teach AND practice the habits that demonstrate love for ourselves and perpetuates legacy and wealth building within our own community. Allow the dollar to circulate as many times within our own community as the dollar circulates in Chinatown among the Chinese; in Germantown among the Germans; Jewish-towns among the Jews; …etc. This will afford us the ability to leave our children with a real concrete, materialized nation in which they can practice free enterprise and excel among their own and embark upon trading, exporting and importing with other nations and cultures. The businesses that we all work so feverishly to build and maintain will actually flourish, because we’ll have developed a culture that encourages, supports, and depends upon the success of those businesses.
If we make up our collective mind to do this, every Black owned business will be able to hire at least one Black employee and literally wipe out the Black unemployment rate. We’ll have our own micro-economy that doesn’t have to reflect whatever is going on in the macro economy. Remember Black Wall Street?
The alternative is a continued decline that will ultimately result in our economic demise. So, teach your children to demonstrate love for self by teaching them to buy Black and sell to everyone! Until next time, be fruitful!