In our culture the worship of death is so intense it stands in the way of love… We will witness the death of others or we will witness our own dying, even if it’s just in that brief instance when life is fading away. Living with lovelessness is not a problem we openly and readily…Read More
I don’t recall now how this book ended up on my list but I’m glad that it did. Rosa Guy is known for writing books aimed at young adults, this one included, but it didn’t make the novel any less engaging. It was both a coming of age story and the story of culture shock…Read More
Last week I, as many others, looked for every update that could be found about Erica Garner. Horrified at the possibility of police violence claiming yet another victim. Hopeful that she would pull through. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. At 27, a woman who had to watch her father get choked to death on TV…Read More
It just keeps happening. It’s like watching reruns of that same awful ass episode on TV, except while the storyline stays the same, the central characters change. Same story, different day, different family and community destroyed. Each time it happens it’s like another piece of your heart gets ripped out, another part of your soul gets crushed. You…Read More
If you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches, there’s no progress. If you pull it all the way out, that’s not progress. Progress is healing the wound that the blow made. And they haven’t pulled the knife out, much less healed the wound. They won’t even admit the knife is there.
Keep this in mind as you go about shopping the holiday sales:
How are you spending your money?
Don’t talk to me about high unemployment or institutional racism or housing discrimination. Don’t talk to me about some big corporate giant that is making its execs wealthy off the backs of poor, working people while you spend every dime you earn with those same companies.
Don’t want to hear a thing about it until we finally realize that the African-American community has within its purse, pocket and wallet the very means to address many of the problems that plague it…and then do something about it. If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem. If you will not provide the missing piece of the puzzle, you are contributing to the jumbled mess. Either we will buy our freedom or pay for our own oppression, I say.
They want to talk about affirmative action. They want to talk about corporate greed. I want to talk about conscious consumerism.
They want to go on and on about discrimination in the work place or the fact that African Americans are unemployed at an appalling rate that pales in comparison to that of Whites. And I want to know when was the last time you purposely went to a Black-owned gas station or grocery store even if it meant going a little bit out of the way.
Here in New Orleans, 50 percent of all African-American men are unemployed. And upon hearing that dismal statistic, I shake. But then I remember that according to a reputable study, if African Americans would just double the money we spend amongst ourselves and spend just 12 cents of every dollar with Black-owned businesses, those businesses could in turn provide more jobs for Black folks—about 589,000 Black folks to be exact.
To be sure, I have perfected the art of taking any argument, any tirade and turning it into an opportunity to have a heart-to-heart with anyone who will listen to me when I say that there is only frontier left for African-Americans as it relates to the quest for power and fairness in America. It is not at the ballot box or at rallies, but at cash registers.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. Vote habitually. And when demonstration is in order, protest vehemently. But unless and until Black America corrals it’s nearly $1 trillion buying power and uses it to build, strengthen and sustain its communities, all the voting and protesting in the world will not get us out of the mess we are in.
Don’t complain about the rampant crime in your communities and others like it while you spend your money with businesses that do nothing for your neighborhood or your neighbors. Don’t complain about the horrid state of your environs when while you spend money every day with businesses whose owners get into their fancy cars and fine trucks to commute to and from gated hamlets and far-flung suburbs to set up shop on your block.
–Anitra D. Brown; editor of the New Orleans BlackBook, a directory of Black-owned businesses, Black entities and organizations in New Orleans, LA.
I hadn’t planned on updating my blog yet. I’ve had something else in the works but wasn’t ready to release it yet. But in the wake of this disgusting, though unsurprising, decision not to indict Darren Wilson, I had to disrupt my plans. We all know the stat…every 28 hours a black person is killed…Read More