Black Business Matters

Black Business Matters, Uncategorized

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According to ProsperityNow.org/ (Formerly Corporation for Enterprise Development.) it will be centuries before “wealth equality” between whites and African-Americans and Latinos is realized in the United States. (Read their report on “The Ever-Growing Gap: Without Change, African-American and Latino Families Won’t Match White Wealth for Centuries.”)

According to Neilsen (The top consumer rating agency for the nation.), “…Black consumers are one of America’s greatest assets.” Without a doubt, any group of people or country that has $1.2 trillion in buying power and who at the same time has kept virtually nothing for themselves, would be everyone’s best buddy (asset). Especially coupled with no true power or authority to govern themselves and manage the distribution of their monies. In a way, it’s almost like saying, we support racism.

Even with all these strikes against African Americans, the nation still struggles to focus and understand why Black business development matters, not only in turning the tide in the advancement of the Black race in all aspects including making them players and global decision makers, but in making them major contributors to job and enterprise development, which benefits the nation.

In Chicago, Black Business Matters not at all to those who sit at the realm of our government managing our lives in accordance with the prevailing skin tones of the residents of particular communities. Racism is nothing new in a city that is still holding on dearly and without shame or apology to its versions of the Mason-Dixon lines.

Take a ride through the west and south sides of this city, and you, like in Stevie Wonder’s Living for the City will see the blatant disparity in income distribution, inequality in business and infrastructure investments, and the failure by our elected and appointed officials to provide a quality education to all the residents of this city. But, given the evidence of the disparity, which are known to more, what continues to be a mystery is the acceptance by these communities of the “slights” by the controlling parties, when evidence of the inequality has been staring them in the face since the city’s incorporation.

Without a doubt, the cry that #BlackBusinessMatters should be heard from every corner, pulpit and community organization given that even recently, the sitting elected officials of the city of Chicago straight-faced lied while investing $55 million of city TIF monies into Navy Pier as the south and west sides of Chicago continues to implode from lack of economic development. One of the city’s creative solutions even includes adding more cops to arrest more people for selling loose squares. Yes, selling loose squares is illegal. But isn’t diverting TIF funds from poor communities illegal and immoral?

These are just a few of the reasons why Black Business Matters:

  1. Communities are stronger when the businesses are stronger. Research has shown that the economic state of a community is partially related to the amount of money spent in the businesses within that community. Those businesses invest back into the community’s civic and social structure, thereby, solidifying its base. You know the local business owners. Their concerns are your concerns. You are part of a community family that supports each other and grows together.
  2. Employment and training opportunities denied to Blacks by other communities become available to the unemployed and under-employed. Small local businesses provide experiences the can propel many to upper level management positions by providing them with previously denied chances to gain experience and enhance their employability. (In other words, the community can hire its own college graduates.)
  3. Community businesses create and support a business culture wherein the community’s children become a part of that mindset, as they develop and grow around entrepreneurial- minded adults.
  4. African-American businesses tend to have achievements in sports, arts, politics, education, and civil rights. Although these industries are of great importance to the community, we must continue to tap into other industries like technology, food and services and engineering. Its resolve must be 100 fold in order to enable support for every product need and service of the nation and permit gains in the US economy that will foster its position in the global marketplace.

  5. Just like any other race the prosperity of the Black race will contribute to the tax base and that is of benefit to the local and national community. (Given this fact, it is up to the community to ask why the incentive is not there to make the appropriate investments locally in supporting the small Black business owner.)

  6. New employment opportunities provide chances for previously unemployed or under-employed workers to increase take home pay and better their meet financial obligations. This leads to a higher rate of consumer spending, which benefits other businesses who depend on consumer sales to stay open. This creates a healthier local economy and allows more businesses to thrive and the community to be self-sufficient.

According to Wikipedia, “In 2016, Chicago hosted over 54 million domestic and international visitors, a new record making it one of the top visited cities in the nation.” But, the revenue flow stopped at the color line due to lack of investment in businesses in Black and Latino communities with the violence going unchecked on the south and west sides of the city. Visit Choose Chicago (Formerly Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau) and you’ll find Black Chicago a ghost town in the places to visit listings, therefore percentage-wise barely participating in the inflow of $15 billion in direct tourism spending and the 145,000 jobs generated by the city’s tourism. This means that outside of Chicago’s (white controlled) Central Business District (CBD) there was almost no opportunity for economic advancement and growth. Because it takes investment dollars to make that happen and the life flow (money) stops before it reaches our communities.

When the African-American community truly decides that Black Businesses Matter, instead of the constant lip service paid to such slogans, then they will put in place and demand that those placed into positions of power apply the necessary agendas important to these communities. When Black business truly matters to the Black community it will make the decision that those elected, appointed and employed persons with six figure incomes that fund their mortgages, educate their children and permit their families to obtain the best medical care are removed from those positions, then and only then will there be a clear understanding that you can’t hold a job that provides you with economic stability while the communities that you manage has double-digit unemployment.

There is no better time, then now, to move forward on the #BlackBusinessMatters platform, as we celebrate National Black Business Month.

As I’ve heard the Rev. Dr. Albert Sampson say many times, “Where is the rage?”

Read more in the latest edition of Chicago Street Journal

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Chicago Street Journal (CSJ) Is Celebrating National Black Business Month

Black Business Matters, Black Wall Street, World News

According to ProsperityNow.org/ (Formerly Corporation for Enterprise Development.) it will be centuries before “wealth equality” between whites and African-Americans and Latinos is realized in the United States. (Read their report on “The Ever-Growing Gap: Without Change, African-American and Latino Families Won’t Match White Wealth for Centuries.”)

According to Neilsen (The top consumer rating agency for the nation.), “…Black consumers are one of America’s greatest assets.” Without a doubt, any group of people or country that has $1.2 trillion in buying power and who at the same time has kept virtually nothing for themselves, would be everyone’s best buddy (asset). Especially coupled with no true power or authority to govern themselves and manage the distribution of their monies. In a way, it’s almost like saying, we support racism.

Even with all these strikes against African Americans, the nation still struggles to focus and understand why Black business development matters, not only in turning the tide in the advancement of the Black race in all aspects including making them players and global decision makers, but in making them major contributors to job and enterprise development, which benefits the nation.

In Chicago, Black Business Matters not at all to those who sit at the realm of our government managing our lives in accordance with the prevailing skin tones of the residents of particular communities. Racism is nothing new in a city that is still holding on dearly and without shame or apology to its versions of the Mason-Dixon lines.

Read more in the latest edition of Chicago Street Journal

Enter here to be in the NEXT edition of Chicago Street Journal.

CSJ Page 1 August 11, 2017 Reduced

 

The Real organizer of the Bus Boycott — E.D. Nixon: The Forgotten Hero

History

Edgar Daniel Nixon (July 12, 1899 – February 25, 1987), known as E. D. Nixon, was a civil rights leader and union organizer in Alabama who played a crucial role in organizing the landmark Montgomery Bus Boycott there in 1955. The boycott highlighted the issues of segregation in the South, was upheld for more than a year by black residents, and nearly brought the city-owned bus system to bankruptcy. It ended in December 1956, after the United States Supreme Court ruled in the related case, Browder v. Gayle (1956), that the local and state laws were unconstitutional, and ordered the state to end bus segregation.

Nixon was president of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Montgomery Welfare League, and the Montgomery Voters League. At the time, Nixon already led the Montgomery branch of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters union, known as the Pullman Porters Union, which he had helped organize.

Martin Luther King Jr. described Nixon as “one of the chief voices of the Negro community in the area of civil rights,” and “a symbol of the hopes and aspirations of the long oppressed people of the State of Alabama.”[1]

Edgar D. Nixon was born to Wesley M. Nixon and Sue Ann Chappell Nixon. As a child, Nixon received 16 months of formal education, as black students were ill-served in the segregated public school system. His mother died when he was young, and he and his seven siblings were reared among extended family in Montgomery.[2] His father was a Baptist minister.[1]

After working in a train station baggage room, Nixon rose to become a Pullman car porter, which was a well-respected position with good pay. He was able to travel around the country and worked steadily. He worked with them until 1964. In 1928, he joined the new union, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, helping organize its branch in Montgomery. He also served as its president for many years.[1]

Read more on page 7 in the current edition of Chicago Street Journal.

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“Spook by the door”by Khari B. From CSJ.

Books

I’mSam GreenLee a fine muthafu**a,” gives one a great look in to the personality of the legendary writer, poet and filmmaker Sam Greenlee who transitioned May 19; an act which I suspect was intentional.

Sam loved Malcolm X and probably thought it would make for a great connection. He thought like that. Greenlee is best known by the public and federal intelligence agencies for his notorious work, “The Spook Who Sat by the Door.” He is better known to those of us close to him as an ornery, quick-witted, sharp-tongued, generous, loving writer who pursued his passion till the day he left this Earth. The major media has done a fine job covering his biographical past. I’d like to share a bit more personal insight on the man.

Sam was a Jazz and Blues writer. When he wrote, he did so to the sound of that music—whether in his head or playing in his home. His personal goal was to write 1500 words a day, an output that he maintained until his health prevented him from doing so and even then, he would say, he continued to write in his head to be able to refer back to once he was well enough. The music was inseparable from his work; the novels, the poetry, the film, even the memoirs he was working on. He weaved Coltrane, Miles and more into his lines so that upon reading them you would hear the music as well.

A small crew of us became closely associated with Sam years ago.  We connected almost weekly at Cedars restaurant in Hyde Park. Later, we would visit him at his Kenwood home. Big Rob was our point man, as he and his wife Latrice visited Sam most; Sam would call them if he needed something quickly. Dee and I would go by to sit with Sam, clean up around his house and sometimes take him some food. Sam’s friend and light-hearted adversary for 40+ years, Baba Griot, another community elder and artist, would join us. Watching the two of them argue and call each other expletive-filled names (Sam) was classic! We loved him. He loved us. We know because he never hesitated to tell us. I may have learned that lesson from him, now that I think about it.

He was a global giant who never grew too big for his community. You’d be hard pressed to find an artist in Chicago’s Southside poetry community who doesn’t have a Sam Greenlee story. He was an accessible man. In earlier years when I hadn’t seen him for a long time I asked him where he had been hiding.  He remarked that he doesn’t hide. He realized that the Feds kept up with where he was so it didn’t make sense to hide.  If anyone wanted to talk to him, he would be in the phonebook. He knew how to leave a lasting impression.

Of poetry, Langston Hughes was his foremost influence.  As a novelist it was Chester Himes who later praised his book after Chester’s first wife sent him a copy. He was “knocked out” and later found out that they lived close to one another in Spain. Of the modern poetry scene he recognized the gated cadence of open-mics and the slam (competitive) arena but would say that every now and then you get somebody that’s saying something. “That makes it worth having to listen to all the bullsh**.  AND,” he would state, “that it wouldn’t sound as good if everyone else didn’t sound so bad.” Sam was hilarious.

Spook By The Door

A wealth of information and insight, Sam shared stories of Black Americans fighting alongside the French in the 1st World War as the reason that they are typically so well received there to this day. He talked with admiration about Chicago’s infamous music educator, Cap’n Dyett, and why such ideals were not carried on after his passing. He spoke passionately of the current state of America. “Your generation… slams the door on their history…  is brain dead when it comes to politics.  The irony is the integrationalist movement produced class segregation in the community. I think it’s tragic …but we were too busy fighting for liberation to train you all the way we were trained,”

His intelligent and experienced views were invaluable and never stopped with either the book or movie that he was known for. Sam was bigger than any movie or book. If you asked him he’d tell you he didn’t write a book. He wrote a blueprint for revolution in this country because he loved his people and his community so much. In his own words, “When I die I want to be cremated and then walk out on the bridge at Washington Park and sprinkle my ashes – cause that’s where I grew up.”

He will be intensely missed.

From a previously issue of Chicago Street Journal.

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