He who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker, But he who is gracious to the needy honors Him. Proverbs 14:31 (NASB)
By Bobby R. Henry, Sr.
For the past two weeks I have been bombarded by the need to support Black owned businesses by Black people. This bombardment has come in the form of news stories, public forms, from the pulpits of churches, ect.
Not that I am frustrated, overwhelmed or angry at the needed and noted attention, it’s just that we have been vehemently voicing this message for over 45 years along with some churches, other Black owned media and businesses who have been engaged in this even longer.
Everything is certain in due time, and yes winter does turn into spring, which leads into summer followed by fall and before you know its winter once again.
The Book of Ecclesiastes says that there is nothing new under the sun. However, it is how we respond through our actions which makes it new.
Just think of all the great things that will happen even if we were to spend just 20% of our joined forces in revenue of over $1.3 trillion in Black owned businesses.
We could actually create enough wealth generating properties to sustain thousands of communities of greatness from preschools to universities of power and social services that understand the proper programs needed that will open revolving doors to success.
When I use the term Black owned businesses, I’m referring specifically to what terminology is used on the SupportBlackOwn website: Moorish or “So-Called” Black and African-American businesses.
At this juncture in the “State of Black America” we do not and cannot stand any other further separation. We are not, separately, financially able to be disconnected, i.e. Women, Jamaican, Haitian or anything other than Black owned.
With all of the excitement being generated it will take most of us to create this network of success to be utilized by all. This means “not doing business as usual.
We cannot take business from a Black business and give it to an “other” business because of kickbacks. I was appalled to here that concerning what is considered to be one of the most prominent Black owned service businesses (funeral homes) was engaging in this kind of demoralizing practices. We need to stop this before our respected business is ruin.
We all have heard how the game of politics can turn dirty as soon as money and a false sense of power enters.
There is much talk about such an act. What was supposed to be an opportunity to bring an economic base for Black construction businesses on the Historic Sistrunk corridor might be given away to a non-Black social service agency.
How is it that when we are in position to create what is needed by us, it has somehow taken another direction.
There is a lot of planning about the revitalization of our last pieces of Black owned properties in the Sistrunk area and yet they cannot get the people in the community to come out –I wonder why?
The only Black on the North Broward Hospital District Board was fired, and her support came from those who are in fraternities and sororities. When the North Broward Hospital District was created to serve “POOR” people, where were the people who the District was designed to serve? Not there- I wonder why? ,
Our Broward County School Board Superintendent as well as our only other Black board member, has been under fire for trying to do the right thing and their support is wavering. I wonder why?
Even though there are a myriad of possible answers to these question, the one underlining factor is “no communication with the common Black people of interest,” by the Black people in position.
The central focus of communication in these scenarios is land and money, to which, believe it or not, Black folks don’t have, granted neither in large amounts separately, but collectively it means something of value.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “If you want to see what’s going on and who’s behind it follow the money.” It will tell the story every time.
In getting to where we need to be, it’s going to take a shift in thinking, who we communicate with and a needed sacrifice in how we act toward one another.
We can begin to walk in a new way starting by speaking daily with our dollars with those who look, act and think like us in togetherness.
When the question is asked, “Do you really want to help Black businesses grow?” let your actions with your dollars speak louder than the words that fly out of your mouth.
Dear God, help us to do more with those businesses and people who have been taken advantage of because people felt that they could. Amen.