Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pathways To A New Black Economy: The New Way (1)

Black Motto: To Give and To ReceiveLet's continue using the hand analogy from the previous blog entry. In many ways it's an excellent visual representation of what I'm trying to accomplish here--create a model for black economic development and autonomy, which draws upon the collective resources of the entire black community.

The cupped hand visual, in the upper left hand corner of this page, is the perfect image for my purpose: It represents the position the hands must be in to give something away, or to receive something that's given. Splayed fingers--fingers spread out and apart--pretty much represents the challenge facing us, as we attempt to bring blacks together in a cohesive manner to work on behalf of the black community in a collaborative way.

To form a cup, the fingers of the hand must be pressed tightly together, with little or no space between them. To form a black collective something similar must occur. But first we need a cup. We need to build a structure that will encourage, and promote, a coming together of members from the black community who have common interests, and aspirations--all working to achieve prescribed goals and objectives.

The cupped hand, then, represents the Black Collective Motto: To Give and To Receive. The fingers pressed tightly together to form the cup suggest the level of black cooperation that's needed to further our economic interests. If we're to progress at a pace commensurate with our need, we'll have to find ways to contract the distance between us--spatially, as well as educationally, socially, and economically.

Here's another visual to give us all an appreciation of the problem, the blue representing black population density. Click or double click on the map to enlarge it.


This next visual will make the above density map a bit clearer, and show those states with the largest black population.


That blacks are densely populated works to our advantage. It makes collaborative efforts that much easier. To the degree that we're splayed, so to speak, primarily East Coast, West Coast, works against us, but even that impediment to black cooperation can be overcome.

Any model constructed for the purpose of black economic development and autonomy, must take into account the construction of a New black Synergy, one that will rebuild black interactivity; a New Black Ecosystem to restore the brain drain that has devastated inner city population centers when blacks abandoned their communities once their economic situation made it possible; and a New Black Cooperation, one built on the Main Ingredient of Trust [1], which undergirds, and gives impetus to, The Indispensable Factor. [2]

During my research, I came across an article by one Hayward Derrick Horton, professor, titled: A SOCIOLOGICAL APPROACH TO BLACK COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: PRESENTATION OF THE BLACK ORGANIZATIONAL AUTONOMY MODEL. [3]

Under the following heading, Implications For Community Development Practitioners, Horton discusses his model for black economic autonomy:

The BOA [Black Organizational Autonomy] model has three implications for community development practitioners. First, efforts to address problems of the black community are more likely to be successful when indigenous groups are empowered to plan and act independently of external factors. This empowerment is derived from economic autonomy. To reiterate, economic autonomy is not separatism. Nor does it imply that the black community should either reject or ignore external supporters and allies. In fact, the evidence suggests that being economically autonomous is the best basis for gaining external support and building lasting alliances. Otherwise, the black community has a subordinate, dependent status. One might argue that such is the current status of the black community. Recent studies documenting the attitudes and opinions of white America toward black America certainly demonstrate that dependency makes the black community vulnerable to scapegoating (Gans, 1988; Kluegel, 1990).

I agree largely with the professor's description of what an Autonomy model should look like--first, that it's not "separatism," and, second, the black community can be economically autonomous, and still have "external supporters and allies."

In the following abstract of his article, the professor offers this overview:

This paper presents a sociological model of black community development: the Black Organizational Autonomy (BOA) model. The BOA model argues essentially that viable black communities are those with organizations that have the following characteristics: 1) economic autonomy; 2) internally developed and controlled data sources; 3) a focus on black history and culture; 4) the development and incorporation of females in leadership roles; and 5) socially inclusive leadership. A case study is presented that supports the model. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of the BOA model for community development practitioners. [4 ibid]

In the comment section of an earlier blog entry, I left these words. Now seems the perfect time to resurrect them, and give them new life:

Here's part of the problem [to black economic development]: Blacks have never enjoyed complete [economic] autonomy. Not even Marcus Garvey could achieve such a feat, although he did make the attempt with the formation of the "Universal Negro Improvement Association and began speaking out publicly in favor of worldwide black unity and an end to colonialism." [...]

Worldwide black unity is still a great idea, and should be the goal of blacks in this country, as difficult as that task might be--with black unity here being so elusive.

Our dependence on whites in this country in order to advance materially is too all-inclusive. Think of the power blacks would possess, if the black nations of the world could come together and forge alliances with black people scattered around the world--as a result of what has been called the black or African diaspora--for the advancement of blacks throughout the world, regardless of their nation of origin.

There's a United Nations. Why can't blacks create something similar: A Union of Black African Nations (UBAN), with black delegates from black nations, and non-black nations, setting health, social, economic, and political goals, and developing the organizational structure, and mechanisms to achieve those goals.

Now, if we could pull something like that off, using the vast black resources (the intelligentsia, and natural resources) available to blacks worldwide, we'd be a powerful force to be reckoned with.


The New Way
The New Way will forge new relationships, and a new cooperation among blacks using the technology at our disposal, primarily the Internet. Because distance will no longer be an impediment to black cooperation, black synergy can now exist across miles of separation, allowing blacks to interact in ways never before thought possible. Had the Internet been available during Garvey's time, he and his contemporaries would have found it considerably easier to achieve their rather ambitious goal of uniting blacks for the purpose of building a sustainable black economy.

The New Way will bring black resources--social, political, cultural, economic--under one tent, recognizing that, although the tent will be pitched in the midst of the larger economy, it doesn't have to take on the amoral and immoral character of the whole, but strive to create an economy that's humane and life-supporting.

With The New Way leading the way, I propose the following concept, The Black Town Square, a concept that I'll explore in greater, but not exhaustive, detail in subsequent articles. The proposed town square will be a virtual town square--not one built from bricks and mortar. And that's a good thing: It will make the Town Square accessible to blacks across the nation, and from any part of the world that offers access to the vast networks of the Information Highway. In the United States, the town square will be called The Black Town Square of America--America, because it's here that the concept will first be tested, Black, because blacks will be the racial group targeted, and Town Square, because the name projects friendliness, welcomeness, and warmth.

I propose further that, with the success of the American model, we expand it to other areas of the world that have high black concentrations. For example, in South Africa, the town square there might be known as The Black Town Square of South Africa. Taken together, the various town squares will be known as The Black Town Squares of the World.

How is that for thinking big!

Just as I did in previous articles, I will now leave you with something to chew on. It constitutes a rather large mouthful, but it will give us something to sink our teeth into as we explore ways to address those issues that are unique to blacks, and the black community--all with an eye toward constructing a model to foster black community development, empowerment, and economic autonomy. No date is given for the article below, but it seems to have been written sometime during the first half of the current decade. Although many blacks may have seen their fortunes reversed as a result of the recession that now grips this country, I wanted to present the information below, despite its sanguinity. I wanted to show what we can do collectively, if the economy is healthy, and we invest appropriately.

African American Wealth: Powerful Trends and New Opportunities

African Americans are steadily increasing their wealth, boosting their holdings in real estate, stocks, and savings vehicles, as they seek to fund college educations for their children and create a secure retirement for themselves. It's a process of becoming ever more keenly aware of the need to save, invest, and plan for the future. "The level of interest in financial independence, economic empowerment, and investing has just exploded," said Duane Davis, founder of the Coalition of Black Investors quoted in a 2003 article that appeared on www.IMDiversity.com. Davis characterized this growth as "a real groundswell."

Investment

Davis' view was reinforced by results of the 2002 Ariel Schwab Black Investor Survey cosponsored by Ariel Mutual Funds and Charles Schwab. The Survey, published annually every year since 1998, publishes data on African American households earning $50,000 or more a year. According to findings from 2002, the percentage of African Americans investing in the stock market increased 30 percent between 1998 and 2002, from 57 to 74 percent.

Unfortunately, that number dipped to 61 percent according to the 2003 Survey, as many African Americans left the market, no doubt bruised by the poor returns that characterized the stock market for the second consecutive year. Equally unfortunate, many stayed on the sidelines this past year and missed the recent market rally. "The recent market upswing shows that you may have to go through the valleys to reach the peaks," said Charles Schwab vice president Carla A. Foster, in the Survey's analysis section.

Home–ownership

Homeownership among African Americans, however, has shown a steady increase. The percent of African Americans who own their own homes increased from 42 percent in 1990 to 48 percent in 2003, according to data compiled by the Consumer Federation of America and BET.com, and cited in an October 2003 press release.

Savings

African Americans spent $645.9 billion in 2002, an increase of 104 percent from 1990, according to Target Market News, a black consumer market research and information company (www.targetmarketnews.com) However, as noted African American author, speaker, and financial advisor Brooke Stephens points out in her book Talking Dollars and Making Sense, making money is important, but saving it is more important. Stephens cautions that while the African American community can be proud of contributing hundreds of billions to the nation's economy, it's essential not to lose sight of the importance of savings in creating economic empowerment and building personal wealth. "You're not building wealth if you use all your money for consumption," she writes. "Real wealth is being able to say, 'I have the freedom to do what I want with my life, and I don't have to stay in this job if I don't want to.'"

The 2002 Ariel Schwab Survey noted steady progress in the area of personal savings among African Americans, with the average monthly savings increasing from $200 per month in 2001 to $237 per month in 2002. (2003 figures aren't available yet.) Building a secure retirement ranked highest among the respondents (46 percent) as their primary reason for saving, with sending a child to college ranking second at 19 percent. [...]

Black Enterprise magazine has created the Circle of Wealth, a black wealth initiative that seeks economic empowerment for African Americans by changing attitudes toward money management. The Circle is an ongoing cycle comprised of 1.) Knowledge, 2.) Commitment, 3.) Investment, 4.) Portfolio Management, and 5.) Wealth, all enabling Reinvestment in Children, Businesses, and Community.

As part of this powerful initiative, the magazine developed the Declaration a Financial Empowerment, the following 10–point wealth–building pledge:

"I, from this day forward, declare my vigilant and life–long commitment to financial empowerment. I pledge the following:

To save and invest 10 to 15 percent of my after–tax income.
To be a proactive and informed investor.
To be a disciplined and knowledgeable consumer.
To measure my personal wealth by net worth not income.
To engage in sound budget, credit, and tax management practices.
To teach business and financial principles to my children.
To use a portion of my personal wealth to strengthen my community.
To support the creation and growth of profitable, black–owned enterprises.
To ensure my wealth is passed onto others.
To maximize my earning power through a commitment to career development, technological literacy and professional excellence."

(Source: www.blackenterprise.com) [5]

[1] The Main Ingredient: Trust is the element, the ingredient upon which a New Black Economy may be built--as well as nation states--and form the basis upon which all enterprises may flourish, provided people of goodwill have developed the will to put the good first.

[2] The Indispensable Factor: It's a black collective willingness to collaborate in large enough numbers, on a broad enough scale, to push our economic agenda forward with great deliberation, and great haste, taking advantage of those means at our disposal to expedite this push.

[3] A Sociological Approach To Black Community Development: Presentation Of The Black Organizational Autonomy Model.

[4 ibid]

[5] African American Wealth: Powerful Trends and New Opportunities

16 comments:

Black Diaspora said...

As an aside: I was only minutes away from posting the current blog entry when it was accidently deleted.

I didn't have a backup copy--an oversight which I will correct in the future: The Internet is too mercurial to leave anything to chance.

This article represents my second composition from scratch, and, no doubt, it leaves out much of what was in the first.

I believe the first article to be better than the second, but, then, I'm biased.

Greg L said...

BD,

Losing stuff is definitely an issue with the blogger platform. I've lost a few posts in this way and I now do all of my posts in windows live which I believe works with blogger as well as most other platforms. I've also lost comments which I now do in word if they are more extensive than a line or two.

Greg L said...

The BOA [Black Organizational Autonomy] model has three implications for community development practitioners. First, efforts to address problems of the black community are more likely to be successful when indigenous groups are empowered to plan and act independently of external factors. This empowerment is derived from economic autonomy. To reiterate, economic autonomy is not separatism. Nor does it imply that the black community should either reject or ignore external supporters and allies. In fact, the evidence suggests that being economically autonomous is the best basis for gaining external support and building lasting alliances. Otherwise, the black community has a subordinate, dependent status. One might argue that such is the current status of the black community. Recent studies documenting the attitudes and opinions of white America toward black America certainly demonstrate that dependency makes the black community vulnerable to scapegoating (Gans, 1988; Kluegel, 1990).

I'm in agreement with this totally, but you'd be surprised about the number of black folks (as well as whites) who believe economic development is separatism while not recognizing that we're already separate in every measure that matters (demographic studies, politics and etc.). The issue is that we've not figured out a way to profit or gain from being separate. This doesn't mean non interaction with others, but it does mean a level of trade on terms that are far more equal than what we have now. Out of necessity, it also means that the "imports" that we get now (i.e. drugs, prisons and etc.) get reduced.

Every initiative we undertake should be towards the end of economic development as that's really the springboard towards social and political development. It's clear that economic development is on this critical path toward that end. This is why my personal litmus test for supporting any proposed initiatives revolves around this. If it's an initiative that simply involves or reinforces more dependency, it's a non starter for me as I know what the end of it will be--more dependency with the problems continuing or getting worse.

Great stuff BD. I'll be back.

Greg L said...

BD,

Another lengthy response here. This topic is not one that lends itself to brevity, at least on my part.

The internet could definitely create some virtual town squares that could be a source of information exchange sort of like a more extensive form of blogging. I’m definitely better informed than I would otherwise be by simply engaging folks over the web, so certainly a virtual town square would be of immense usefulness, but I think that this needs to go on top of some sort of physical structure. Here’s an idea that I had as I was reading your statistics on investment. Actually, this is an idea that I’ve tried to implement myself on a small scale.

First, let me preface this by saying that the investment outlook if one is going to work with mutual funds, stocks and etc is fraught with risk right now. Many people have taken a hit on their 401K’s and a comfortable retirement is looking remote for many people. Even if one is fortunate enough to have an actual pension plan via employment with a state or local government, they’re at risk as most of these plans are underfunded and under the threat of budget cuts. Even if you want to go the safe route and put some money in a basic savings account, the return is pretty paltry right now (less that 1%) and you’re going to be hard pressed to accumulate savings via a bank savings account.

What if people were able to take the money they’re trying to invest for retirement and divert some of it to investment opportunities within the African-American community? This is what Garvey was doing with his Black Star Line, but the effort failed due to mismanagement and poor accounting controls. But what if we were able to assure everyone of competent management and identify real investment opportunities in the African-American community that could put people to work and provide a reasonable return on the investor’s money? As I said, there aren’t a lot of opportunities to make money anywhere else now, so why not do so by investing in your own community? So a mutual fund or investment club type vehicle could be set up to gather the money and identify the opportunities. Investing in promising start-up’s is done all of the time in the majority community by people known as venture capitalists.

Greg L said...

Here’s what I’m thinking. (In the back of my mind is your map of the top ten most populous states with black folks). Most black people live in an urban setting or close in rather than the far flung suburbs. We’re going to have an energy crisis at some point that will make suburban living and long drive commuting very unattractive. This means that many people are going to want to live in places where there are central services like grocery stores and etc in close proximity. This means that urban housing is going to be in high demand along with services and we’re (black folks) already there. The investment opportunity is picking up real estate on the cheap and creating decent housing and the central services that have bypassed the urban areas and have been placed in the suburbs. We could survey an area, assess what’s needed and marry the investment money with the know-how and create a number of opportunities that would return money to investors while providing employment opportunities within the community. In many African-American communities, there’s been little or no investment in anything, so if anyone is going to do it, it will have to be us.

Anyone with a business idea that required funding could come to the investment group to have the idea vetted and if approved they would get the funds under the supervision of a panel of experts in finance, marketing and operations. The purpose of the panel would be twofold: 1) ensure that the business gets what it needs in terms of expert advice and direction to increase its chances of success and 2) increase the probability that the investors get a good return on their money. The idea here is that most small businesses fail due to poor management or lack of access to capital. This set up would address both. What we’re talking about here is setting up a management and planning process.

Of course, the thing would need to be tightly planned and controlled. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) governs the sales of securities and we’d have to make sure that whatever is offered lines up with the law and their requirements. And you’d need some knowledgeable people to vet the proposed opportunities and analyze them for viability, but this is not impossible.
It doesn’t have to get so big as to involve the SEC either. Something could also be done on a smaller scale. The basic idea is to marry people with needs—those who need to invest with those who need capital and expert advice.

I like this as it does not have to involve anyone but us and we’re talking business not charity, so the incentives would be there to have everyone committed to the success of the effort.

Blinders Off said...

With proper planning to develop the concept of this blog post and the comments by Greg this can happen. Many people did not think Peer to Peer Lending-Prosper would be a success http://www.prosper.com

IMO, to continue with the idea proposed here a private blog should be set up with interested parties.

Black Diaspora said...

Greg said..."What if people were able to take the money they’re trying to invest for retirement and divert some of it to investment opportunities within the African-American community?"

Good for you: You're anticipating me--my last segment/article. Yet, there's no reason to wait until then to discuss it. Your expertise will prove invaluable as we test this project's feasibility in the real world, and expose its built-in assumptions.

When I envisioned this plan, I envisioned it as a whole, as a masterplan, a comprehensive solution to a very complex problem--not quite sure, at the time, if any of it would work, or would garner the support necessary to be anything more than a pipe dream.

One thing I know for sure: To execute it successfully will require the combined expertise of many. No doubt, some parts of it anyone with the requisite resources might be able to achieve alone.

As impatient as I am, I wish I could unfold this in one large piece, but, alas, it will take several more articles to put flesh on bones, and, even then, it will still require several more layers of details to fill in the matrix, and give it form.

Black Diaspora said...

Blinders Off said...

"IMO, to continue with the idea proposed here a private blog should be set up with interested parties."

I'm glad you brought this up: I, too, have been thinking along those lines, for reasons you have suggested.

Perhaps, we'll continue this conversation in private. How do you (meaning all who follow here) feel about that?

Soul Woman said...

2)Again, when these discussions transpire marriage is consistently ignored in the success factor. This idea that you get something for nothing is DEAD dear brother. If marriage, safety, and ethnic-self respect are not being offered to black women, would black women not be better off remaining in the current establishment and upholding it there is no better than or equal to offer on the table? I refuse to give a dime of our hard earned money to help black men who mate with white women who NEVER patronize our businesses, schools, and churches. That is insane to me. I refuse to give a dime of our hard earned money to any black man or organization that persists in debasing, disparaging, and humiliating black women in public or private. Case in point: rap and hip-hop. At the very least the black men in that industry could have used their position, and money to build an underground economy from black men so they could provide and protect black women and children. They failed miserably in that regard and managed to socialize many young people into sociopathic behavior.

3)How do you suppose modern African Americans acquire unity? I must be frank, I’m not yet 35 but I’m seeing a HUGE rift between our people. I hate to be negative but our consciousness appears to have completely shut down. Truth be told, I’ve experienced more help and compassion from whites than blacks.

I’m eagerly awaiting your response. I’m seriously wondering how on earth a re-emerging black economy will come into fruition without the pressures of segregation.

BTW, my reading list on the subject:

In the Black: A History of African Americans on Wall Street Gregory S. Bell

Black Labor, White Wealth : The Search for Power and Economic Justice Claud Anderson

PowerNomics : The National Plan to Empower Black America Dr. Claud Anderson

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness Michelle Alexander

The Hidden Cost of Being African American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality Thomas M. Shapiro

Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage Kathryn Edin

Greg L said...

"Perhaps, we'll continue this conversation in private. How do you (meaning all who follow here) feel about that?"

I understand both yours and Blinder's concerns, but I vote for continuing in public and save the private for when specific steps and stratagems are developed. This is a topic that is pretty much absent from the Black blogosphere and anyone wanting to engage it in would be hard pressed to find a forum in which to do so. Secondly, we never know when someone comes along with a perspective or a comment that could really build on what's been presented already. So, I vote that we continue in public--at least for now.

Greg L said...

As impatient as I am, I wish I could unfold this in one large piece, but, alas, it will take several more articles to put flesh on bones, and, even then, it will still require several more layers of details to fill in the matrix, and give it form.

Yes, this is a big undertaking BD and I salute you for taking on the effort. This is a very complex undertaking just to write about it, let alone implement and it's real important to lay this out in a philosophical framework as you're doing. One can quickly say something like "buy black", but unless we know why, saying this is really nothing more than sloganeering

Greg L said...

"Many people did not think Peer to Peer Lending-Prosper would be a success"

A quick comment here Blinders. We all know that the big banks were the one's who got the huge government bailout which they promptly used to pay bonuses while hording and not lending the rest of it. They're not lending money, however they've slopped and eaten at the government trough with our tax money. In effect, banking power has been consolidated to such an extent that the big banks hold the power of economic life or death over people--that is if you let them.

Peer to peer lending or any other system that provides capital that cuts them out is a threat, however it's really the thing for the rest of us to do. This is precisely the sort of thing the government would be in a hurry to "regulate" even though they couldn't or wouldn't use the regulatory apparatus to hem in the fools running amok on Wall Street. Any planning has to factor that in along with a host of other stuff.

Black Diaspora said...

Glad you could join us Soul Woman.

"I’m eagerly awaiting your response. I’m seriously wondering how on earth a re-emerging black economy will come into fruition without the pressures of segregation."

You're right, of course: We blacks have had to fight in the trenches for every inch of ground we've won in our battle for political, social and economic gains.

As you know: No one has ever given us anything that we didn't have to first fight for.

The "pressures of segregation" was with us then, and they're with us now. Nothing has changed, and, most likely, nothing will change anytime soon. It's just another hurdle, another obstacle, over which we'll have to jump or sweep away.

Yet, despite the pressures, we overcame, we stood our ground, and used our natural instincts for survival to take advantage of our strengths on the battlefield, and the enemies weakness.

I'm using military analogies for good reason: It's a perspective that will keep us alert, and allow us to foresee, and to take into account the opposition's counteractions, counter-strategies, and overall mission.

For now, we're a ragtag bunch (which won't last), but we're a force to be reckoned with for that reason. We're impassioned, and have a passion for our cause.

"If marriage, safety, and ethnic-self respect are not being offered to black women, would black women not be better off remaining in the current establishment and upholding it there is no better than or equal to offer on the table?"

I understand your perspective and I agree: black women should remain wherever they receive the greatest benefit for their effort, regardless of the color-line.

Black men should do the same.

Yet, I know this: in this war for black economic autonomy, it won't be easy to pick and choose those with whom we serve. The battlefield is too large, the enemy is too strong, and the ground to cover to achieve victory too vast.

Surely we won't willingly fraternize with, or form alliances with, those who are actively, or indirectly, working against our best interests as a black people.

It's just that we won't be able to ferret out all those with whom we may have serious disagreements, or whose values are in contradistinction to our own.

Will we try? For sure. Will we always succeed? Not a chance. No more than our U.S. military succeeds in weeding out all their undesirables.

Your reading in this area, based on your reading list, has been extensive. It makes you an expert of a sort, especially on theoretical and philosophical grounds--and I would welcome more of that perspective, and others, if you choose to participate in these discussions.

Blinders Off said...

Soul Woman you are not alone in your feelings when it comes to some of our black men. Gangster rap and hip-hop destroyed a generation with its violent and misogynist lyrics. Yes, it is disgusting witnessing black men in that industry mishandle their position when they could have used their position to rebuild the concrete jungles in which they came.

BD is providing a forum for ideas in rebuilding black economically, socially, and politically and I have to agree with Greg we should keep this open. I refused to allow the anger and disappointment I have with our system keep me from being an integral part in sharing ideas in the hopes of creating a Black Town Square. I suggested we make this forum private because of prying eyes that would not like what they are witnessing forming here.

BD...could not have said it better Surely we won't willingly fraternize with, or form alliances with, those who are actively, or indirectly, working against our best interests as a black people. I would welcome more of that perspective, and others, if you choose to participate in these discussions.

Peer to peer lending or any other system that provides capital that cuts them out is a threat; however, it's really the thing for the rest of us to do.

Greg, that is precisely why I mentioned Peer to peer lending because it is an option for US to consider. There are other options that I believe families can start with, for example, investment club with family members. That is something my daughters, husband, and myself are doing. Secondly, educational scholarship for family members that is something my extended family has started. I believe a vital component to achieve the Black Town Square starts at home and once more and more homes are actively working towards the above two suggestions a Black Town Square will slowly emerge.

Black Diaspora said...

@Soul Woman: "I’m eagerly awaiting your response. I’m seriously wondering how on earth a re-emerging black economy will come into fruition without the pressures of segregation."

My computer is more glitchy today than ever before, making my work here twice as hard.

Soul Woman, I think I understand your question better now, and will venture another response.

The "pressure of segregation" was indeed the catalyst behind the development of black businesses and the emergence of black professionals in the black community.

Whites wouldn't serve us, and, even when they did, we didn't trust them for obvious reasons.

With black unemployment being in the high double digits, either we rebuild our black economy to remedy this decline in black employment, or we continue to fall behind other ethnic groups.

Blacks make up 40% of the prison population. Part of the solution, I feel, is the reemergence of a sustainable black economy.

The Palladiums Promise Effort said...

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I hope to hear from you soon. The need to come together is now. I hope also to get your insight and if there is anything you can add feel free...it on all of us. Peace Also Greg L & Soul Woman...lend a hand...I like what your bringing. Thank you all.