Economic activists support ‘Buy Black’ movement

DENISHA McKNIGHT | 1/16/2017, 9:10 a.m.
The racial wealth gap is a growing trend that continues to grow each year for Black people. The Institute of ...
Dr. Boyce Watkins and James Clingman Official photos

The Dallas Examiner

The racial wealth gap is a growing trend that continues to grow each year for Black people. The Institute of Policy Studies found that the average Black family would need 228 years to build the same wealth as White families.

What most of these studies don’t show Black people is that this gap can narrow sooner if the Black community establishes a strong economic base.

“The racial wealth gap will close when we commit to building,” said Boyce Watkins, renowned business scholar and creator of The Black Business School. “The Black unemployment problem will not be solved until we solve the Black entrepreneurship problem.”

African Americans have suffered discrimination for 500 years, and it has been 95 years since Black people had a strong economic structure like the 1921 Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which was destroyed during a deadly race riot, to counteract these issues.

There has been a resurgence of Black organizations and support throughout the country geared toward pushing for more entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and empowerment in the community through the national Buy Black movement. More people are becoming interested in what this movement is about and how to join.

Black capitalism and the Buy Black mission roots can be traced back years ago during the Booker T. Washington and Marcus Garvey era, when activists were pushing African Americans to do business with their own and for their own to create better circumstances for the people at large.

After the national recognition of the killings of Black citizens and the Black Lives Matter movement, social media reintroduced these ideas and gave attention to movements that piggybacked off Washington and Garvey’s ideologies such as #BuyBlack and #BankBlack movements.

Most people are aware of the movement, but they don’t fully understand why it is important and its potential. Amefika Geuka, co-founder of The One Million Conscious and Conscientious Black Contributors and Voters movement, said supporting Black business could help improve African Americans’ influence on the formation of public policies by creating a strong force and economic institution to fight against the opposition.

Geuka’s partner, James Clingman, The One Million co-founder and founder of the Greater Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce, added on to this ideology, stating that Black dollars can generate a lot of power and create many coalitions that can solidify and sustain this movement.

“We can use our dollars to create organizations, trust funds, and leverage our vote,” he said. “We can create a bloc of non-party related voters who say that ‘We will vote for anybody if they are acting in our best interest.’”

Aside from the political capabilities buying Black has, it can create stronger close-knit communities where African Americans depend on each other to survive rather than White-dominated corporations and governmental entities.

“Ain’t nobody going to take care of us but us,” Watkins said. “We need to embrace that for our survival. There’s nothing more important in any community than to feed your children. We can’t allow other people to feed our kids; We have to feed them ourselves.”