I am going to say something that I think some Black folks need to hear. STOP LOOKING FOR A HOOK UP! If Black folks create something, some Black folks expect a deep discount or free. This is wrong.
Here is my story.
As some of you know I created a forum, and I am selling a book. Join here and buy here! Well someone had emailed me and asked me why I was charging for both of the items. I explained that it was for maintenance of the forum, to keep Black woman haters out and of course for a profit. The forum is only $9.99 a year. Then I told her I charge for my book because of the time and effort it took to write my book. The book is only $2.99. I went on to explain that I kept the book’s price low because I wanted ALL Black women to be able to buy it. Well, I must have called her ugly because in the next email she called me all kinds of greedy b’s. The funny thing is on her Facebook profile picture she was wearing a pair of $500 shoes from a White-owned company. I know my expensive shoes and I also know double standards.
You know I understand why some of us do this. We don’t make a lot of money and aren’t given many breaks. We just have to understand that just like Black people face obstacles to reach our goals, so do Black businesses. According to Black Enterprise Magazine:
“The Washington Post reports, “New academic research reveals that minority entrepreneurs are treated significantly differently (see: worse) than their white counterparts when seeking financing for a small business, even when all other variables — their credentials, their companies, even their clothes — are identical.”
Another report, “Access to Capital among Young Firms, Minority Owned Firms, Women Owned Firms and High-Tech firms,” released last year by the Small Business Administration also found that Hispanic and black entrepreneurs typically fund their startups with less financial help than white business owners. Blacks and Hispanics tend to rely more on personal wealth than lenders or investors. Read the entire article here.
So why do we expect the melaninated rich hook up?
Like I said earlier, it is because we haven’t had many breaks. So we expect one another to look out for each other. But who is looking out for Black businesses if your hook ups cut into their profits when employees and bills need to be paid?
Another reason is internalized racism. We don’t value Black time, effort and work. If a White person offered the same service and/or product, lines would be wrapped around the building, folks would be standing outside for hours and paying twice as much for the same service. Why? Because the product or service came from a White person. In some of our minds, White is superior. Robin Thicke anyone! Let’s be honest. We’ve all seen how some Black buyers are eager to support nonBlack owned stores because Whites shop there. In the next breath these same people would say a Black owned store or product should and must be cheap or free. I’ve also heard people say that a Black business shouldn’t be about the money. Tell that to Aunt Sallie Mae.
There is one more reason, and it is not a pretty one. It comes from the fact that Black entrepreneurs were wise enough to monetize what many of us do for free. If Sister Naturalista created her own product-line using the same method many of us have used, some of us are resentful of it. Instead of getting mad and asking why they are making money, ask yourself how can you do it better. Then start your own business.
What can we do?
We must stop believing a Black business must offer free services to other Black people. People are in business to provide a service in exchange for money. Black businesses are no different. To exist Black businesses must make money. We have bills, families and more bills. We must also keep in mind that Black businesses usually start with less investment because of racial biases from lenders.
Stop believing Black owned equals inferior because it is a lie. There is nothing inferior about Blackness. An inferior business or product is one that treats you, the customer, with disrespect. It profiles you, follows you around stores, it doesn’t work for you and/or accuses you of stealing because you are Black.
Finally, why not give Black businesses the hook up by using their services and referring them to others at full price. This shows you value the black dollar and time. Black businesses keep wealth in our community, they lower Black unemployment and increase Black empowerment see here and here. You can’t get any better than that.
What do you think about the hook up thing?
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