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Black Dollar$ Matter
1/26/2017 1:15:16 PM

James Johnson
By James Johnson 

Surely we’ve all heard it said before that “It takes money to make money.” While we may all have different opinions regarding this statement, it does hold some degree of truth. In order to attain thorough understanding of this, we must foremost acknowledge the essentiality of money.

Regardless of who you are, where you’re from, or what you believe, it’s undeniable that in this life money is a necessity. Certainly, we’ve all also heard it said before that “Money makes the world go around.” That being said, one must consider that the rotation of the Earth is indicative of progress. As day turns to night, and night again turns to day, we continue to progress through time. So the adage “Money makes the world go around” precisely depicts the truth that without money there is no progress.

In light of this realization, it baffles me how African-Americans intend to persevere and thrive in this economy when it’s a well-known fact that we spend the majority of our money with other races. According to several recent studies, a dollar only circulates in the African-American community for approximately 6 hours. On the other hand, studies indicate that a dollar circulates in the Asian community for approximately 30 days, in the Jewish community for approximately 20 days, and in the White community for approximately 17 days. Based on this data, it’s indisputable that the other races mentioned definitely understand the importance of establishing and supporting their own businesses as it relates to their ability to create and maintain wealth and stability.

Aside from the fact that as a race we spend the majority of our money with other races, the fact that many (if not MOST!!!) of us tend to practice uneconomical spending habits and attempt to live beyond our means is also worth mentioning. I’m reminded here of something I often heard my great-grandmother say. She’d say “Don’t hang your hat no higher than you can reach.” Although I didn’t quite understand back then, as I’ve gotten older I now see exactly what she meant. If we are to build prosperous futures for ourselves and our families, then it’s imperative that we be shrewd regarding our finances and don’t overextend ourselves. We must also possess and apply the wisdom to distinguish the difference between our needs versus our wants, and master the discipline to delay gratification.

Having now established the essentiality of money and the importance of financial literacy, let’s take a deeper look at the importance of us supporting Black-owned businesses as it relates to our ability to create perpetual wealth and thrive as a race. In recent weeks, I’ve engaged in several conversations regarding this topic, and I’ve found quite a few common threads. Apparently, many African-Americans regard Black-owned businesses as nothing more than second-rate alternatives to mainstream establishments. That being said, Black business owners must be certain not to cut corners when it comes to their products and/or services. Rather they must strive to be exceptionally superior in order to dispel such defeatist mindsets. While this may not seem to be just it’s a harsh reality, and Black business owners must govern themselves accordingly if they intend to gain and/or maintain the patronage of fellow African-Americans.

Also worth mentioning are the shameless attempts that some African-Americans make to negotiate ludicrous markdowns whenever they do patronize a Black-owned business. While I’m well aware that this may leave some readers offended, I proceed BOLDLY since this is the TRUTH and it is the TRUTH that will rid our minds of such poverty-stricken perceptions. We must not only choose to support Black-owned businesses, but we must do do without asking for or expecting a discount, “hook-up”, “look-out”, or any type of favors. If we’re able to shop with mainstream establishments and willingly pay their prices for their products and/or services, then why is it that some of us have this impractical sense of entitlement when it comes to Black-owned businesses?

Most mainstream establishments financially rape us everyday with little to no objection from us. Then to top it all off, we grumble amongst ourselves regarding their prices, but continue to patronize these establishments. Is it just me, or is this behavior illogical? There are countless Black-owned businesses that offer the products and/or services we need and desire at reasonable prices. Why not support our own and make a statement to mainstream establishments letting them know that we’ll no longer settle for them trampling over us as though we have no choice other than to patronize them? If we ceased from patronizing these establishments and instead chose to support more Black-owned businesses we’d see many (if not ALL!!!) mainstream establishments fold as Black-owned businesses skyrocketed and our counterparts of other races were forced to regard us as a force to be reckoned with. History has proven that complaining about the conditions we’re subjected to in this morally decaying society never has and never will produce results.

The only language that the perpetrators of injustice understand is the language of dollars and cents. That being said, put your money where your mouth is. SUPPORT BLACK BUSINESS!!! Black DOLLAR$ Matter!!!

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