As African Americans we spend a lot of money even if we don’t come from a silver spoon. As a person who lives in a predominately black neighborhood I have seen boys spend hundred of dollars on shoes, shirts or jeans. African American females also spend a lot of money due to the fact that a lot of hair products are promoted to black women. Not to mention, African American hair needs a lot of moisture and also needs good products to keep it looking neat, Unfortunately, these hair creams and lotions and gels are usually not black owned and are full of chemicals. In a black neighborhood one can find stores selling hair extensions, hair and nail products, and make up and all are owned by Arabs or East Asians. One can also see corner stores where adults can buy 40 ounce beers and cigarettes, children can buy chips, candy and soda. Unfortunately, things promoted and more accessible to blacks are actually unhealthy yet majority of blacks support this. Not to mention the customer service by Arabs or Asians in urban areas. From my own personal experience Arab men lusting after teen girls was quite common they would be 27 flirting with a 15 year old girl. I even had the unfortunate experience of going to the gas station as a 17 year old and having this Arab guy caress my arm. I felt disrespected and cheap sadly I feel Arab men see young black women as highly sexual and promiscuous and thus welcoming to sexual advances. I also witnessed a man telling a 14 year old’s mom that he would date her in 4 more years. Even now I deal with some Arab men flirting with me as he scans my items. Asian beauty supply stores and hair extensions in general are making a killing with selling hair extensions yet their is a lack of friendliness when I comes in a hair supply store it’s just a feeling they want my money yet don’t have any of respect for me. Ironically, in a black neighborhood you rarely find a black owned business sometimes you may find a place that sells ribs and fried fish but the most money goes to other races. Most black business fail do to lack of funds and support from other blacks.
Ironically, even though we spend 1.1 trillion dollars we only put 2% into black owned businesses. I became more and more interested in promoting smaller black owned businesses after watching Seinsei Ashitemasu videos on integration and how it contributed to the failure of the black economy. The way in which she explained it is that we became so enamored with the idea of being near whites we forgot to take care of ourselves, we bought into this colorblind idea that we are all equal we let them go. As a black person I’m constantly told white is better therefore white businesses are better and a black business is less than. Subconsciously we as blacks think white businesses provides higher quality products or services or is more professional. To be honest a lot blacks suffer from this collective self hate that makes us not trust a business just because the owner is black. Corporations know this and bank heavily on the black dollar. They bank their Black Friday sales predictions on how much blacks will spend. The odd thing about this is during segregation all blacks had was black owned. We had black hospitals, clothing stores, beauty supply stores, gas stations etc. Some blacks were doing so well they became billionaires and they did what they were suppose to which is put back into their communities and work in their communities, they opened black owned trade schools and colleges, started scholarships and gave to charities. What I learned recently about Carter G. Woodson the person who started Black History Week which later became Black History Month, was that he wanted blacks who went to school to go back into their own communities and work to build it up. The African American celebrities are so lost they either go by this attitude that blacks didn’t make it because they didn’t work hard,or they don’t owe anyone of the same race anything which is so wrong because everyone can’t be a celeb and they had support along the way. We are not viewed by colorblind eyes they see us and judge as a whole. And our economics as a whole. On average the Average African American household is worth 6 thousand dollars. Since every race or ethnic groups starts their own business, hire family or friends and support each other why won’t we? I read in an article Donald Sterling mentioned blacks are poor because black celebrities care nothing for their own people and we as a whole don’t support each other part of this is true. He is a racist but he laid out the map for blacks and we should take note he said that he was Jewish and no one wanted to hire him so he started his own business and the Jewish community supported him and he became very wealthy. So why don’t we help each other so we can stop being called lazy and worthless welfare recipients even though I know some blacks with three jobs but hey stereotypes die hard.
My last point I want to make is withholding economics is the best way to protest. Martin Luther King’s Montgomery Bus boycott showed us this. While blacks are in the street tearing up their neighborhoods which is counterproductive they should stop giving to non-black businesses, show them that you matter. This sends the clear message that if you don’t respect my body, my life or my health I do not respect you and will not patronize these large corporations. Once their bank accounts dry up the rich people in power will start to push for change and trust me “Racism is only a by product of capitalism ” As Fred Hampton, the former Black Panther said. We can see how well blacks were doing if we study the success of Black Wallstreet. In 1921 blacks in Tulsa, Oklahoma were thriving the only reason it failed was because whites in Tulsa, became jealous of how rich blacks living in Greenwood became (the black part of Tulsa) and used the excuse of a white girl saying she was raped to go and burn down 108 black owned businesses along with murdering innocent people and displacing them from their homes. Despite, their downfall I believe it can be done again. So check out Sensei Ashitemasu’s channel on Youtube she does reviews of black owned household essentials and skincare products. Next time you see a black owned business on Twitter, Instagram or a new store in your neighborhood check it out and patronize it. If everyone contributes a little it eventually makes a big impact.