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Dear Black America, Stop Begging For a Seat at the Table and Build Your Own.

Businesswoman.

Dear Black America,

It is time to focus on building our wealth. Rioting doesn’t scare America. Marching doesn’t scare America. If it did, things would have changed years ago. What does scare America? Black collective wealth does. Money is the only thing the U.S.A. respects. It is the only language this country speaks. Learn from the Montgomery Bus Boycotts. Heck, learn from other racial communities. Buy Black and keep wealth in our communities.

Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you’re a man, you take it.” Malcolm X

Why do I focus on Black wealth? The reality is that we still live in a segregated society, whether we want to believe it or not (see here, here and here). I asked myself, since this is the reality, why should Black communities resemble war zones when we can make them proud neighborhoods? Why should Black schools fail when we could fund them ourselves? Why should we have to deal with racism and discrimination when we look for a job when we can do like nonBlacks do and hire ourselves? Why do we have to beg racists and be hat in hand for opportunities when we can create our own? Why do we have to wait on a political party to win or on a savior when we can save ourselves? Why can’t we be independent? I am tired of asking for a seat at the table when we are capable of building our own, and I am tired of begging for crumbs when we can make and eat our own damn pie.

When we say buy Black, nonBlacks call us racist. But those same nonBlacks have no problem with these statistics:

  • A dollar circulates in the
  • Asian community 20 days
  • Black community for 6 hours
  • Jewish community 20 days
  • White community 17 days
  • “Only 2 cents of every dollar an African-American spends in this country goes to black owned businesses.”

Source: Know Your Worth: If We Don’t Know, We Can’t Grow Our Community, NAACP, 2012

“Many white Americans of good will have never connected bigotry with economic exploitation. They have deplored prejudice but tolerated or ignored economic injustice.” Martin Luther King Jr.

I have a question for those who have a problem with keeping Black wealth in the Black community. When was the last time you purchased something from a Black business? Black folks buy from nonBlacks all the time. So who are the real racists?

If a nonblack person has a problem with you doing what they do all the time, they do not want to see Black people succeed. They are not your friend. They want to you to stay dependent, economically stagnant and be powerless.

This is a call to action. I don’t care who you marry or who you love, Black or nonblack. I don’t care if you are a conservative or liberal. I don’t care if you are rich or poor. You are Black. Therefore, you are just as invested in Black success as anyone else.

Stop begging for acceptance and accept yourself. Stop begging for equality from someone who is financially and socially invested in Black powerlessness and subjugation. Empower yourselves. It is time we focus on Black wealth. BUY BLACK! Buy from Black owned businesses. Black owners hire Black workers. Build Black wealth. Black wealth leads to Black jobs. Black jobs lead to our tax dollars funding Black schools. Better Black schools lead to greater wealth, opportunity, and less crime. Black wealth means economic and political power. That is our collective goal and pathway to success.

A true revolution always begins between two ears. Start yours today. Be a revolutionary.

Let’s talk about it at the forum exclusively for Black women. Join the conversation here.

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13 comments

  1. yr 25 November, 2014 at 14:53 Reply

    Hello BBGirl,

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for this piece. My husband & I were just talking about this subject last night and what the answer is (as we often do). It is SO clear that marches and riots accomplish nothing for us. At one time marches did, but now whites/America just tunes us out and ignores us.

    Economic empowerment is truly the only real answer, because it puts the control back in our hands. The main reason that whites (and other ethnic groups) can ‘control’ is that in most cases they pay our salaries, etc. I myself do not even wish to sit at their tables anymore and be controlled by them, but want to head up my own table with my people and community (whom I love). Black Wall Street and other examples show what we can do once we focus on controlling our own destinies and future.

    My husband & I were talking about how can we get black people to see our need for oneness and to unite in one thing. On social media sites black people constantly clash about about philosophies & approaches, so we realized there would never be agreement on one particular philosophy. But I think that you have cut right through this and gotten to the heart of the matter. I wholeheartedly agree with you and am working to begin my own educational curriculum to empower our people, and have taken small steps in buying black, but will make that my complete aim.

    Thank you once again for an invaluable perspective and article.

    Peace, my sister.

  2. L. Higgins 25 November, 2014 at 21:28 Reply

    Thank you for writing this article. The people of that town do not understand their actions has lead to their downfall. With the population of that town being 70% Black American, and poor. They will remain the permanent underclass because they focus on reacting to the situation instead of seeking opportunities. The time frame for them to achieved education,entrepreneur skills, and wealth has close. Once again I like to thank you for the excellent information that you share freely. I have learn a great deal from your insight.

  3. Natasha 25 November, 2014 at 21:36 Reply

    I keep wondering about the effectiveness of our Black civic organizations. For example, we need to take back control of the NAACP and the Urban League. These organizations need to go back to their original mission statements, which is the betterment of Black America.

    The Urban League was established over 80 years ago. I never understood its purpose until about 5 years ago and I am 32 years old. We don’t need to create anything new. We already have the foundations set up from generations past. We need to take advantage of what is already there.

  4. Von 25 November, 2014 at 21:58 Reply

    This is what the so-called self-appointed black leadership should be telling their followers, but they won’t because they will not be able to exploit them for profit. How anyone follows any of these individuals is beyond me. I’ve seen enough adversity to know what works and doesn’t work to empower black people in this world and wealth is number one.

    We have to move beyond consumerism and into production because being able to produce will sustain us. I also believe that our wealth creation for us and of our family in the African Diaspora should also be linked. Everyone else is capitalizing off of us as a people world wide, except us.

    This young lady gets it: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WZx7hEihMk&w=560&h=315%5D

  5. MixedUpInVegas 26 November, 2014 at 19:58 Reply

    Ms.Bougie, while I am with you in spirit, I am also watching businesses being burned down in Ferguson. My husband and I are already small business owners. Do you think this stuff makes us want to locate in a predominately Black area?

    Not hardly.

  6. Spinster 29 November, 2014 at 10:55 Reply

    I’ve been saying for a while that I’ll fund a revolution. Financial empowerment is one of the most (if not THE most) powerful tools to have.

  7. JamaicanWomanAMK 1 December, 2014 at 11:04 Reply

    Great post and video of Marcus Garvey preaching the truth. I have said that economics is the way for Black America to grow and prosper. When we support our businesses, the money goes back to our communities and that way we can fund schools, stores and even our own movie cinema. We, as a race, need to do better than this. Heck. even my home country of Jamaica can do better too

  8. Orlando coombs 9 January, 2015 at 07:23 Reply

    We’ve been hearing about “buy black ” for well over 100 years now, lets just do it. Black folks will riot, scream, march, demonstrate, and make noise. So the fuck what. Who cares? You may boycott in Kansas City but for how long? Our people are into spur of the moment. We may boycott for now and support black owned businesses for now but it won’t be on going. Cause once this subsides black folks will go back to the big corporations with cash in hand to spend and nothing will have changed. But on s good note, these things are slowly but surely turning around but there is still a long way to go. But the solution is group economics. The only problem blacks have is a lack of group economics, that’s it. Once we do that its a wrap.

  9. Orlando coombs 9 January, 2015 at 07:50 Reply

    What Marcus Garvey is saying is real today as was back then. But the approach must be different. It must be through group economics but we must use STEM education to do it. Whatever our youth wanna be must be curtailed to STEM. Cause if a kid likes cars, get him into mechanical engineering and have him start building model cars as a kid. If a young girl likes forensics and study of dead bodies have her in an academic setting that teaches science and place her with like minded students to form study groups. And if a young boy likes computers and is into fixing things get him into some IT programs and connect him with mentors in that field. Any parent that does not make education top priority for their children isn’t worth the salt in their food. Straight up. Cause that’s where it all starts: The Home.

  10. BlackSpeaks 25 May, 2015 at 07:17 Reply

    We’ve been saying to “buy black” for a long time now. We are glad that people are actually listening. The only thing that the “powers that be” in America care about is money. If it’s not affecting their $$$, they don’t care about it. That’s why they don’t care about YOU! If you march and riot, but then go to McDonald’s and spend $1 on the Dollar Menu the next day, you just destroyed the message. Thank’s Bougie Girl for sending this message. For those serious about Buying and Selling Black, we created a 100% free directory where you can list: blackspeaks.com

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