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James Clingman

Stories by James

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How much are you worth?

In a 2010 report titled, Lifting as we Climb: Women of Color, Wealth, and America’s Future, posted by Insight – Center for Community and Economic Development, a startling and unbelievable statistic was cited. Written by Mariko Chang, with the help of Meizhu Lui, director of the Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative, the report stated the median wealth for Black females from “36-49 years of age is $5.00.”

Romancing the ‘power to vote,’ ignoring our ‘voting power’

It’s so silly for Black people to fight over the Dems and Repubs when it is counterproductive for us to be enslaved by either party.

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‘Economic freedom’ should be rallying cry

Because the Negro does not own and control retail establishments in his own community, he is unable to stabilize his community … The Negro must pool his capital in order to help himself … This will enable him to solve his own problems. – S.B. Fuller

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Freedom ain’t free: The revolution must be financed

When it comes to gaining true freedom, the words and actions of our most revered Black authentic leaders emphasized economic empowerment.

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Turning the game on political poverty pimps

An article published on nky.com, titled, “Running for Senate not job for paupers,” stated: “The average household in the United States has a net worth of $69,000, but the average wealth of a U.S. senator is about $12 million, according to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau and Center for Responsive Politics.” To me, it illustrated the fact that we are far removed from the original intent of serving in Congress.

When the tax man cometh, where goeth our Black dollars?

When the tax man cometh, Black dollars “goeth.” Where will they goeth? Down a myriad of paths in pursuit of new items such as furniture, cars, clothing and other niceties. But first, unless you do your own tax return or get it done for free by someone, Black dollars goeth to tax preparation firms, the vast majority of which are not owned by Black people. I can hear the two excuses right now: “I don’t know where to find a Black tax firm” and “I don’t want ‘them’ to know my business.” The first one I can deal with, but the second excuse just blows my mind.

Prisonpreneur: Charting your destiny from cells to sales

* This article is dedicated to the folks in jails and prisons. Please share it with them.* According to the 13th Amendment, slavery in this country has not been fully abolished; there is an exception that says if one is duly convicted of a crime he or she can be enslaved.

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Selling out, buying in or buying into the sell-out’s mission

During the enslavement period of Africans in America, the Meritorious Manumission Act of 1710 was enacted in Virginia.

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The high cost of needless wars - nation-building vs. community building

With their fingers on the triggers, the secretary of defense and others in our government are poised to strike Syria and commit fighting troops to that country, even at a time when the soldiers in Afghanistan are scheduled to leave. Understanding that World War II and the Vietnam War, followed of course by the war in Iraq, brought with them huge windfall profits to various corporations, we should brace ourselves for this next foray into a foreign country, especially one that is located in the so-called Middle East.

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Detroit bankruptcy: Death certificate or an opportunity for rebirth?

Will the largest city in history to file bankruptcy receive a death certificate, or will this action result in a new birth certificate for the Motor City? Of course, a city as large and as well-situated as Detroit will not die. Already there are plans for a $400 million hockey stadium, despite all the tales of woe and danger put forth by various media. All things considered, will Detroit’s majority population remain Black and will Black people play a significant role in its economic rebirth?

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

As we draw nearer to one of the most relevant events in history, an event that has been revered and immortalized by the iconic phrase, “I have a dream!” hundreds of thousands of people are preparing to relive the famous March on Washington. August 28, 1963, was the day that a quarter million people descended on the National Mall and heard Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his timeless speech that began with an economic theme and ended with a rousing, thought-provoking, soulful call for freedom and equality.

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African American sports agents strike out with African American athletes

Let me make a “pitch” (pun intended) for Black sports agents. Watching the NBA playoffs and finals was more than an exercise in pulling for my favorite teams; it was also a very frustrating experience for me because I tend to look at most things from an economic perspective.

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Economic Freedom Riders of today, stand up!

It is always interesting to reflect on certain events that took place in days gone by, especially when it comes to economic issues. In my entrepreneurship classes, I often use the example of the Montgomery Bus Boycott to illustrate a very important lesson we could (and should) take from those strong, dedicated, and committed brothers and sisters who walked until their demands were met. Some 42,000 bus riders walked to work for 381 days. Not only was their action exemplary and admirable, it also offers a very important lesson in economic empowerment.

Demanding more from ourselves: Do the right things for the right reasons

Frederick Douglass’ words – “Power concedes nothing without a demand” – have been haunting me lately, because of the pressing issues we face in today’s political world, the dire economic straits many of our families find themselves, and the ever-present social problems Black people deal with every day. The key word in that admonishment is demand.

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Black voters are back in style … What are we going to do with it?

The push for the Black vote is on. Black folks are back in style. Black is beautiful – again. Since the last election, the mantra has become, “Get more ‘minorities’ to vote Republican” and Black voters are at the top of that list. Yes, they want to increase their Hispanic support, but the African American vote is ripe and ready to be harvested by just the right message given by just the right messengers. Wow, that sounds familiar. Don’t Democrats have that same strategy? They trot out a couple of spokespersons to soothe us with convincing platitudes that have kept us in their corner for decades.