Welcome to THEJNSREPORT’S: The Time Is Now (The Rise of Black Owned, Operated & Supported Business)
The other day while riding the train like so many of us New Yorkers do on the daily, a thought popped into my head. Actually it flashed in front of my face literally. I’d been watching numerous videos of the constant struggles, harassment and abuses we suffer as a people living not just here in America but around the world as a whole. I needed to refresh my mindset from being consumed with so much negativity.
A brother happened to come into the sort of half empty train car I was riding in. I’ll admit that like most people when riding the subway I was tempted to just tune out the unwanted distraction of another person begging for my hard earned money. I didn’t have any headphones to drown out the noise of the world going on around me and so even though I didn’t make eye contact I listened to the words of this brother passing by with several boxes of candies taped together.
He gave us the usual spiel about “All candies are $1, anyone care to buy?” I looked around at the train car as this about his business brother walked through the car up and down twice asking if anyone cared to buy. Not a single person was willing to buy anything and I thought to myself in that moment even though I don’t necessarily eat a lot of candy I had some change in my pocket why wouldn’t I help my fellow brother out and buy a candy?
I settled on a bag of M&M’s Peanut and gave the man the dollar he sought for his merchandise and then decided to give him all the change I had as a tip. While it wasn’t much the point in my mind was we all have to start some where. The fact that I work in the service industry and am accustomed to not only receiving tips but paying it forward simply because that is my nature made me feel good to do for this fellow brother. What I do on the regular when buying food to go, or eating out at restaurants or having a drink at a bar should not be rocket science to do for a man who walks in the same skin I do. How many other communities have I supported and sustained simply by patronizing them?
I would often hear Philip Scott from African Diaspora News Channel (as well as other Youtube channels) talk about the need for us to realize as a people we’re all we have in this world. We have no friends and need to unify and support ourselves. The answer to our problems lies within us as a united people. I’m sick and tired of hearing the disparaging comments about my community as a collective as being disorganized, lazy, non unified, & criminals looking for a handout or a way to steal what we want.
This brother only needed one person to show him that his efforts on the straight and narrow (while it wasn’t a Wall Street gig he was working) was worth him doing if only to keep from entering the Prison Industrial Complex aka (The Beast System). In that moment I saw the microcosm of what once was and could be again if only we as a collective people choose to support each other and build our own businesses and communities up like the Black Wall Street of days past. Black Wall Street in Tulsa Oklahoma was so successful the U.S. Government helped destroy it. Let that sink in for a moment. That alone should tell us we must rebuild that lost wealth and paradigm for success and a way to pass on generational wealth.
Why should we look to outsiders and foreigners to come into our communities and set up shop while we give them our hard earned money (which leaves the community almost immediately) yet they give us disrespect, disdain, and in quite a few instances violence (See Nail Salon Owners attacking Black Patrons over $5) in return? Why should we let every other ethnic group capitalize off of our culture and sell us our own culture instead of us doing so? I mean think about it. We are the most influential, copied, and appropriated people on the planet bar none. It only makes sense that we should own and operate the businesses within our communities.
The movie “Black Panther” came out to rave reviews and enormous box office receipts but what has happened since then? The euphoria of that films achievements is over now. The hope that it inspired for the first time in a long time depicting Africa and “Black” African nations as not some third world wastelands or deserts or jungles full of bush people and uncivilized townships but as highly intelligent and capable people who’s brilliance in not only tech but also weapons and self defense made them unrivaled in the world seems to have waned. The world fears the day we as a people wake up and unite because then the system of white supremacy falls. The lies crumble in the face of Truth and ultimately justice prevails.
Everything has a beginning. The point to take away from all this is if nothing else let’s start our own small businesses, support “Black” entrepreneurs men and women alike whether it’s a juice bar, or coffee shop, the candy seller on the train or hair & nail salons or spas or restaurants. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain if we do. We built America and its vast wealth from its inception till now. Also lastly, and probably most importantly, hold onto our money and boycott any business(es) that mistreats or disrespects us individually and collectively. That’s what businesses understand. The power of our spending if we curtail it from those who abuse us we will bring about change in policy and some attitudes over night. Discipline will be the key.