Black Empowerment through Black Group Economics ~ Phase One
It order to understand the importance of black group economics as it pertains to the elevation and empowerment of blacks as a collective, it is important to develop a lucid perspicacity of the origin of the black problem. There is a common misconception that the black dilemma is social in nature; however, the true issue has always been associated with economic competitiveness.
It begins with the beginning of the black struggle in America. In 1666, this nation adopted what is known as the exclusion doctrines or enslavement laws. This was a set of laws that were established based on the concept that blacks were to be an excluded, subordinate, non-compensated, non-competitive, workforce for the purpose of ensuring the personal comfort and wealth building of white society. Even after the slaves were freed, the general concept of not allowing blacks to have the opportunity to compete in the economy continued for 300 years.
Although civil rights laws were passed, the issue of economic competitiveness has never been addressed at any meaningful level.
The Economic State of the Black Community
While blacks have been focusing on social acceptance, we have neglected economic empowerment. This is primarily because we don’t understand the true nature of racism. The root word of racism is “race,” which carries the connotation of being a competition. The “Race War” has always been about competition between specific groups for power, control and wealth. Blacks have in this country have been systematically excluded from participating in this race from a competitive position.
We have done nothing to help ourselves by focusing on social acceptance rather that engaging the need for economic empowerment.
All other racial groups in America practice group economics on some level
The general white population bounces the dollar in their community a minimum of eight to 12 times before it leaves their economic structure. The Jews, which operate as a specific sub-category of white society, bounce the Jewish dollar 17 to 18 times before it leaves their community. The Asians bounce their dollar at least 12 times. However, the black dollar does not bounce once. On average, the black dollar remains in the black community for six hours.
Black Group Economics Practiced Vertically
Because 87 percent of the wealth in this country has been frozen into the white power structure due to the fact that it is passed down through the generations as a family inheritance, blacks have to aggregate their existing wealth in order to invest in ourselves for the purpose of building more wealth. Currently, blacks have an annual spending power of $1.1 trillion. If we were a nation, it would make us the ninth richest nation in the world. This is why we are considered such a threat by white supremacists. The problem is that our spending his highly individualized and consumerized, meaning that we don’t spend as a group and we don’t produce, we are predominantly consumers. Being a consumer group, means that our actions serve to enrich other groups and their economies, while ensuring that we remain economically castrated.
In order to overcome this predicament, we must begin practicing black group economics vertically. What this means is that we must invest in business ownership at all levels. It will not only be necessary to own customer direct businesses such as retail stores and restaurants, but we must also own the distributorships and the manufacturing businesses in each industry. We would start in those industries in which we dominate the spending, meaning that we control the cash flow of the industry. For example, the beauty supply industry is a $15 billion a year industry, and blacks account for 96 percent of the revenue generated in this industry. This means that over $14 billion of this industry is controlled by blacks, yet we currently represent less than three percent of the ownership in the industry. That is a significant amount of money that could be directed back into building vertical ownership in this industry. The reason that vertical ownership is so important is the fact that black retailers could be priced out of business if the distributorships and manufacturing plants are owned by outsiders.
A Black First Mindset
There is a definite need for blacks to take on a mindset of supporting black owned businesses first. We must learn how to circulate the black dollar within the black community, allowing it to bounce a minimum of 12 to 15 times before it leaves our economic system. There is a great deal of talk about Black Wall Street, but very few people understand the process of building communities like Black Wall Street. First of all, the black dollar bounced an amazing 35 times in Black Wall Street. When a black bought groceries from the black grocery store owner, the grocery store owner would then buy products from the black-owned pharmacy, and the black pharmacy store owner would then buy clothes from a black clothing store owner, etc. Amazingly, the black dollar remained in this economic structure for almost a complete year before it went into another economy.
This was not only the practice in the Greenwood area of Tulsa, but it was the same in Rosewood, Wilmington, Slocum and a number of other thriving black communities. This is actually the power of black collectivism.
While encouraging blacks to support black-owned businesses, it is also important to teach them that not every business that is owned by a black person is a black-owned business as we define it. As we define it, a black-owned business is a business that, as they reap the profits of business, will reinvest in the black community.
We cannot and will not support businesses owned by blacks who will not be a part of the economic system. In other words, blacks who will not reinvest in the black community will not benefit from the black dollar.
We must hold all black-owned businesses accountable to the community. Meaning that there must be an association through which black businesses are registered, so that there is a clear understanding of what is expected from them. In return for being promoted and supported in the black community, these black businesses must commit to reinvesting a certain portion of their profits back into the black community. This can be done through investing in building our own educational system, strengthening the financial infrastructure by investing in new businesses, black leadership development, residential development, etc. These businesses must agree to make their financials available to the board of the association. The association will keep a national database of businesses that are approved as official black-owned businesses. This will help weed out businesses that are owned by blacks who only want to exploit the black dollar without pouring back into the black community.
Creating a National Network
Although this process will most likely begin in one area, there is a need to build a strong black center in every city of substantial size in America. There has been a significant amount of concern from some blacks that anything that is built will be destroyed like Tulsa, Rosewood, Wilmington and Slocum. What we have to do is look at the reasons that this took place.
Although the blacks in these affluent communities understood the power of group economics, they did not understand political science, nor did that have a lucid understanding of military science. From a strategic perspective, each of these communities were vulnerable to physical assault because they were isolated, and they had no external support — no allies outside of their community. Secondly, they did not have a substantial investment in the political process, in other words, they did not have politicians they had invested in drafting laws that would provide consequences for anyone attacking their safety and security.
By expanding this association, though national chapters, we link each of these cities with a support system that includes financial, political and even military support that is powered by the aggregate strength of the 40 million blacks that reside in this country — creating a $1.1 trillion united front.
Flight of wealth has been an issue in the black community for decades, being exacerbated by through the process of integration. This means that we must stop the hemorrhaging of the black dollar from the black community.
This is only the first phase of this process, but we must start somewhere. This means that we have to come together to start the process. I am currently working with several individuals to map out the blueprint for the development of the black economic infrastructure that will be able to support the growth and positioning that we are fighting for. There must be efforts to educate, support business development, and residential development. This calls for people with expertise in these areas.
Simultaneously, we will be focusing on what I consider to be our greatest asset — our youth. It is vital that we reach our children before their thinking becomes contaminated with erroneous thoughts that work to develop a poor self-image. In addition to existing programs we are working to expand the reach of the current educational process in the black community — challenging black parents to take a more active role in educating and empowering our children. It is also vital that we understand that the educational process includes much more than the attainment of academic skills. It is the totality of all that is learned for the empowerment and equipping of our youth to take a competitive position in our society, something that we have never done to this point. We were never meant to compete, but compete we must.
Dr. Claud Anderson has gone to great lengths to provide a comprehensive plan for the economic empowerment of blacks. It is now up to us to come together to incorporate these concepts into practical action. This requires that we lay down the individualized mindsets that have been so detrimental over the years, and that we take up the mantle of collective action. ~ Dr. Rick Wallace, Ph.D.
 Anderson, Claud, Black Labor, White Wealth: The Search for Power and Economic Justice, Powernomics Corporation of America, 1994
 Demby, Gene, The Ugly, Fascinating History of the Word ‘Racism,’ Code Switch, 2014