How We Can Find Ourselves In An Age Of Black Prosperity

Flickr / Bart Everson
Flickr / Bart Everson

Black wealth needs to be consolidated and multiplied for the benefit of the black community. Instead of continuously pumping black income into white pockets, there needs to be a conscious effort by the black community to invest in their black neighbors and themselves. The “black community” is not to be considered a regional or economic term, but is a term that applies to all blacks in this country.

But how are poor blacks to become entrepreneurs overnight, to fund their schools on minimum wage incomes, etc? Not all blacks are poor. This is a misconception. There are wealthy blacks in decent numbers throughout many regions. It should be their social and moral obligation to reinvest their wealth in poor black communities. However, all too common is the urge of wealthy blacks to leave impoverished communities (or to continue not living in them) and assimilating into predominantly white communities. This is historically self-deprecating. To jump start the prosperity of black Americans, their wealth needs to be reinvested in black jobs, black businesses, and overall infrastructure in the black communities. This includes — and this is the most critical — local public schools. It’s a cultural disgrace to bus poor black schoolchildren across town to receive a “good” (read: funded) education. This is a crucial step to ending the school to prison pipeline which has so many of our young people being processed through systems of the state like cattle.

With this community reinvestment, poor blacks need a conscious and vocal reappraisal of values. Money should not be the end goal. That is the same destructive white concept which has us struggling for scraps of American wealth. Money and wealth are material ends which have been absorbed into black culture to our own detriment. The black community should concern itself with nothing short of the well-being of the community, which can only be had via education, critical thinking, and compassion. Crime is a product of poverty but we must master our desperation for the greater good of our community.

However, it would be childish to suggest we wait for the generosity of our wealthy black counterparts. We can take immediate steps to better our community. With community organization, we can shift the mindset of our neighbors and ourselves. Round table discussions of local issues, community beautification, celebration of local artistry, food drives, community day cares, etc. These things exist as isolated concepts, but they must be rebranded and approached as part of a greater community movement. It should be the talk of the town at bars, clubs, churches, the workplace, bus stops, and — most importantly —in the home in front of our children. The goal is to excite the black community about itself to the point of extreme productivity. This is a necessary dream.

If these steps are taken in concert, within 10 years, we could find ourselves in a golden age of black prosperity.. TC mark

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