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Marching in place for the past 50 – its time for a revelation

James Clingman | 7/18/2013, noon
As we draw nearer to one of the most relevant events in history, an event that has been revered and ...
James Clingman

If our history of marching is any indicator, after we march this time we will go back to sleep a short while afterwards. So what’s the point? Here’s how Claud Anderson recently put it: “Blacks have been marching for centuries and have barely moved an inch. Marching does not injure the majority society. In fact, it does just the opposite. Black marches reward those who are kicking our butts. Blacks spend millions of dollars on hotels, airlines, restaurants, clothing stores, rental cars and cabs while attending a march.”

I say we have been marching in place. Instead, we should be marching to our businesses and supporting them, marching to our banks and depositing our funds, marching to our schools to educate our youth, marching through our “hoods” and turning them back into neighborhoods and then into real communities. Let’s march to our churches and form Collective Empowerment Group chapters across this country.

Stop being “treadmill activists.” And, in light of King dying while fighting for an economic cause, if you are going to march in Washington this year, at least fill up at a Black-owned gas station, stay at a Black-owned hotel, eat at a Black-owned restaurant, and charter a bus from a Black-owned company. I can hear the moaning, groaning and excuses now. Sorry for my cynicism, but I wrote the same thing in 1995 prior to the Million Man March.

While we are counting our people at the marches, others will be counting their profits from the marches.

Jim Clingman, founder of the Greater Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce, is the nation’s most prolific writer on economic empowerment for Black people. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati and can be reached through http://www.blackonomics.com.