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WTF is going on???? VENT!!

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WTF is going on???? VENT!!

Post by miels on February 7th 2008, 9:17 am

My name is miels and I approve this message...

WTF is going on??? WHERE ARE THE BLACK OWNED BUSINESSES?

Why is it that we can't/don't/won't support our own peoples? On every block (or just about) there is a chinese store, and the newest craze is the PAPI stores taking ovewr as grocery stores. It seems to me every Nationality has a niche to get a jump on business but African Americans. Weaves/nails/eyelashes/wigs are cornered by the chinese. Food is cornered by the chinese, Papis are taking the hood by storm with the corner grocers and even this is not totally foreign to the chinese also. They make a MINT off of our people! and don't forget that the chinese i've been contact with treat people like SHIT. I doin't even eat the stuff anymore. When are we going to start supporting each other... OTHER than selling our people drugs??? This is truly ridiculous people. I can count on one hand how many SUCCESSFUL businesses are located in OUR neighborhoods, other than Barbershops, and Beauty salons what do we have?

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Re: WTF is going on???? VENT!!

Post by Diva_Bleu on February 7th 2008, 12:12 pm

HEY!!!

I feelz u!!! afro

But where's UR Black business??? scratch You are a very talented Black man, you have the connections to get it done...

The issue is that most Black people do not take the time to do the work that comes along with starting a business. It's blood, sweat and tears and it may be quite a while before you actually turn a profit. Sad affraid For those of us economically challenged colored folx, that can be quite a problem. Rolling Eyes You have to do your homework, if u want to be successful, that is. I am in the process of writing my business plan AS WE SPEAK and it is WORK, let me tell you. Wink Being a boss of others, and not just a boss but a LEADER, takes a lot. The ambition or the idea cannot be enough, it simply isn't. Idea It is still work, whether for yourself or for someone else.

That being said, Black people are mired in a thought process that renders them irresponsible. Yes, slavery happened and it was an attrocity, a genocide, a mass torture and homicide and an institutionalized version of it DOES still exist; and we are owed a lot by the system because of it. afro However, most think that negates personal their responsibility to themselves, their families and their communities. It isn't enough to say, "The system is corrupt and the Man wants me to fail, so I won't even try!" Rolling Eyes By doing so, you've given them what they want by not fighting for your place. You affirm the lazy, shiftless nigger stereotype... Suspect

And related yet unrelated to this point, how many times have you heard a Black person say, "We ain't ready for no Black President!" WTF does THAT mean??? Wut if MLK said, "We ain't ready for no bus boycott!" Or Nat Turner said, "We ain't ready for no slave revolt!" confused affraid afro

Yeah, that's what I mean. Black people, this vote should be cast on the basis of your personal identification with the issues; but imagine what it would mean to your children to see a face like theirs finally in the White House. Bill Clinton was the first Black President, YEAH RITE!! He liked chicken & ribs and Black woman's curves, but he WAS NOT BLACK and tho he reached out during his campaign, it was because he knew he couldn't win without the Black vote. pirat However 2008's election unfolds, this is a special time. Young Black people are voting in record numbers. afro We finally have a REAL, PALPABLE chance at TRUE change, and to see a Brown person in the Oval Office!!! My Gammy passed 3 years before she got the chance to even see this history we are living, my mother almost 20 years ago. When she passed, the first Bush was still in office, fucking it up for everybody. She said to me many times in her life that she would never see a Black person as President, and that I wouldn't either. If only she knew. And if only we knew from whom we really come, we would never place ourselves so low as to not dream big... and own our own DAMN BUSINESSES!!! king queen afro

***exit soapbox***

my name is Diva, and I endorse Miels 4 President... cuz i'm VICE, BITCHES!!

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Re: WTF is going on???? VENT!!

Post by Kar on February 8th 2008, 2:45 pm

How many times have you heard a Black person say, "We ain't ready for no Black President!" WTF does THAT mean??? Wut if MLK said, "We ain't ready for no bus boycott!"
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Re: WTF is going on???? VENT!!

Post by Diva_Bleu on February 10th 2008, 7:03 pm

I'm so done with the complacency of our people, and the complacency of others that perpetuates the cycle. That lethargy brings us to the point of having two stolen elections, extreme economic disparities and a host of other ridiculous problems in the minority societies.

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Re: WTF is going on???? VENT!!

Post by RM$~QUÉ~LINDA! on February 10th 2008, 7:13 pm

When are we going to start supporting each other... OTHER than selling our people drugs??? This is truly ridiculous people. I can count on one hand how many SUCCESSFUL businesses are located in OUR neighborhoods, other than Barbershops, and Beauty salons what do we have?

I believe the problem is laziness, pure and simple. Get up off your asses!!! Nothing worth having/doing is won by sitting on your ass complaining. And what minority businesses do YOU support regularly besides the barbershop?
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Re: WTF is going on???? VENT!!

Post by miels on February 10th 2008, 10:54 pm

Then you might have missed the point. I don't support any but the barber that has been cutting my hair since he's been cutting in his mothers basement years ago. I don't support any b/c there aren't any i know of. Do you know of any black grocers? Shoe shops for repairs on my shoes? Cleaners to press my suits? I don't. If you do please tell. If they do quality work they "will" get my business 1 because they are black, and 2 because the quality of work. But not just b/c they are black.

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Re: WTF is going on???? VENT!!

Post by Black J Brown on February 11th 2008, 11:13 pm

I Feel you both on the topic but the fact is that this is the point in our existence in America that we recognize the things we need and have the ability to access the information to get it.

Now thats not saying we can easily attain our level of individual "success",it will be an uphill battle in every meaning of the word for entrepreneurs of our standards ( speaking collectively on the fact that we would all like to live comfortable from our business ) We have to treat this movement as that...... a movement ......and connect and provide as much information to what it is we do and where you can find these businesses and what they do.

Now to do that it takes a lot of hard work as I was saying and that's my point . We gotta make this push for lack businesses as well as educate on how to create your own B/O ( Black Owned and Operated) What are we each doing to make that push ( speaking to myself more than anyone cause making a tristate Blk business guide is a genius idea as is......Why have I not done that?!?!/ I'll research that and let you know if there is one already. ) The point is we gotta do it. I think everyone on this Blog is enough to begin a movement.


And I ain't even gotta soap box just a busted milk Crate

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Re: WTF is going on???? VENT!!

Post by Diva_Bleu on February 12th 2008, 2:28 pm

THE URBAN LEAGUE YOUNG PROFESSIONALS PRESENTS:
FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY
ECONOMIC ADVANCEMENT SEMINAR


In celebration of Black History Month and the Financial Empowerment of Young Professionals

Date: Saturday March 1, 2008
Sponsored by: The Enterprise Center, The Urban Socialite, Inc & GoodlifeTheMagazine.com
Location: The Enterprise Center, 4548 Market Street, Phila, PA 19139
Time: Starts @ 9:30 am

TOPICS:
INVESTING 101
THE HISTORY OF BLACK BUSINESS


Space is limited so RSVP now at ulyp@urbanleaguephila.org!

Brought to you by the Enterprise Center, The Urban Socialite, Inc & GoodlifeTheMagazine.com




So there you have it Miels, Mike Jackson heard your plea and gave you a seminar... Basketball... in ur court, bro!!!

BTW, there are Black business directories, you just have to look for them...

I also think that for any business, B/O or otherwise, to survive, they need captital and a solid labor force. They also have to stay competitive. Not many Black people I know have the good credit needed to purchase a storefront, much less the skills to run it. We should be complaining about the education of people, the seeking out of the proper resources. Only through that can we achieve what you are asking for...

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Re: WTF is going on???? VENT!!

Post by miels on February 14th 2008, 9:23 am

For Clarity.... **** I don't want a business **** I am a bonifide hustler of sorts. (thank for the talent comment BTW) That seminar wouldn't help me save for educational purposes. I would like to help those who did take that leap by bringing them business. It really bothers me that "WE" have NO NICHE in our own communities. We buy fried wings... asians. We clean our clothes... Asians Corner stores... Papi Gas stations... Midd. East? Laundromat? Asian I got another post I'll write on my feelings as to why when I come from SEEING JUMPER @ 1:30 the Bridge BABY!!!!!! whoo hoo

(jumping off soap box and running for the door)

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Re: WTF is going on???? VENT!!

Post by RM$~QUÉ~LINDA! on February 18th 2008, 1:58 pm

Then you might have missed the point. I don't support any but the barber that has been cutting my hair since he's been cutting in his mothers basement years ago. I don't support any b/c there aren't any i know of. Do you know of any black grocers? Shoe shops for repairs on my shoes? Cleaners to press my suits? I don't. If you do please tell. If they do quality work they "will" get my business 1 because they are black, and 2 because the quality of work. But not just b/c they are black.

Here's the problem with what you're asking. There are still a lot of Black businesses, depending on your neighborhood. When I was growing up, there were alot, but as our community declined, so did Black business owners. I agree, we need to support our own businesses, but a bigger quetion is, how do you have a business that is B/O but you cannot control the fact that your suppliers are white or Korean, your lawyers and tax people are white. eventually, you hit the wall with that. White people in this country have a 400 year head start on owning businesses, and the industries we used to have cornered have been gobbled up by big corporations.

We also have to remember our own level of responsibility. Not just to spend our money in the Black shops, but to educate our children about business and money, to be envolved at every level of local government to make sure the opportunities remain available; and finally, to take our "bonafide hustler" status' and show others how to do it and make it a viable business.

To me, if YOU make money of of what you do (hustlin), and you don't invest it in community banks or build a true business model and help create jobs for others, even show them how to do it too, then YOU are a part of the problem. When we used to have businesses back in the day, it was because "Mr. Johnson" on the corner gave you an afterschool job and TAUGHT you how to do it on your own. In turn you invested your afterschool money until you could buy your own supplies to start whatever business you had. Maybe you bought a lawn mower and mowed lawns until you could build your own landscaping business. Think about it, that's all I'm sayin'.
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One man isn't enuff...

Post by miels on February 20th 2008, 11:57 am

Taxes you'll never beat, but It "can" be a simple fix... We boycott. A movement like J mentioned previously. Boycott like our fathers, fathers did the buses. Example. If you and I both bought groceries from Mr. Johnson and not the "others", they could not move their product. If they cannot move their product they cannot buy more product and the suppliers stop making profits. With the demand for goods being Mr. Johnson's store they would have to sell to him in order to make money, breaking the lockout chain... this will atleast keep suppliers neutral. Popping up new stores isn't the answer either, but supporting the ones we have with a "lockout" of the "others" would probably make some noise... possibly take back our neighborhoods. This one mans "hustle" wouldn't make a dent in the grand scheme of things, we need a movement of masses. If everyone didn't ride septa for one day, they would be "hurt" big time...

BTW... I remember my moms saying "when you get your own money you can buy what you want, until then you get these". This is why "I" got a job. Wasn't to open a store, and allowance wasn't coming in fast enough. It was for that green paper that everyone wants/needs.

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Re: WTF is going on???? VENT!!

Post by RM$~QUÉ~LINDA! on February 21st 2008, 1:59 pm

Now, that's my point exactly. You have a lot of ideas and thoughts, but if you are not ORGANIZING the boycotts or SEEKING OUT and providing people with info about the B/O businesses you find, YOU are still a part of the problem. Listen, I agree with your points, but until I see a post from you in which you have instituted some kind of change or started the grassroots growing, I'm gonna be the thorn in your side. A brother like you could be very inspirational if you take it to the next level.
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Re: WTF is going on???? VENT!!

Post by Diva_Bleu on February 23rd 2008, 9:01 pm

Mielsy, I will post more info as I find it and encourage others to do the same, but I just found a list of Black Banks on a blog site that had your exact P.O.V. posted... here's the list of Black banks, how many of us knew there were so many in so many places!!!

Black Banks

Advance Bank Baltimore MD
Alamerica Bank Birmingham AL
American State Bank Tulsa OK
Broadway Federal Bank, F. S. B. Los Angeles CA
Capitol City Bank & Trust Company Atlanta GA
Carver Federal Savings Bank New York NY
Carver Municipal Bank Brooklyn NY
Citizens Savings Bank and Trust Company Nashville TN
Citizens Trust Bank Atlanta GA
City National Bank of New Jersey Newark NJ
Columbia Savings and Loan Association Milwaukee WI
Commonwealth National Bank Mobile AL
Community Bank of Lawndale Chicago IL
Consolidated Bank and Trust Company Richmond VA
Douglass National Bank Kansas City MO
Dryades Savings Bank, F.S.B. New Orleans LA
Dwelling House Savings and Loan Association Pittsburgh PA
First Independence Bank Detroit MI
First State Bank Danville VA
First Tuskegee Bank Tuskegee AL
Gateway Bank of St. Louis Saint Louis MO
Highland Community Bank Chicago IL
Home Federal Savings Bank Detroit MI
Ideal Federal Savings Bank Baltimore MD
Illinois-Service Federal Savings and Loan Association Chicago IL
Imperial Savings and Loan Association Martinsville VA
Industrial Bank, National Association Oxon Hill MD
Landmark Community Bank Memphis TN
Legacy Bank Milwaukee WI
Liberty Bank and Trust Company New Orleans LA
Mechanics & Farmers Bank Durham NC
Mutual Community Savings Bank, SSB Durham NC
North Milwaukee State Bank Milwaukee WI
OneUnited Bank Boston MA
Seaway National Bank of Chicago Chicago IL
South Carolina Community Bank Columbia SC
The Carver State Bank Savannah GA
The Harbor Bank of Maryland Baltimore MD
Tri-State Bank of Memphis Memphis TN
TrustAtlantic Bank Greenville NC
United Bank and Trust Company New Orleans LA
United Bank of Philadelphia Philadelphia PA
Unity National Bank of Houston Houston TX
Urban Trust Bank Washington DC
Woodlands Bank Beaufort SC

and here's a site that lists many B/O businesses all over the country, for the readers not in PA: http://www.littleafrica.com/

it only takes for each of us separately to do the work it just took me 20 minutes to do and provide it to the rest of those who do not have the resources to find the info for themselves, that is our legacy... remember that!!!

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Re: WTF is going on???? VENT!!

Post by Diva_Bleu on February 23rd 2008, 9:16 pm

If you would like to know where the Black businesses are in our community, here's a resource I am sure is underused in bringing these places to light as well as empowering ourselves to become entrepreneurs:

African American Chamber of Commerce of PA NJ DE
Mellon Independence Center, 701 Market Street, Suite 6500
Philadelphia, PA 19106
215-351-5201


Also, their web address is: http://www.aachamber.org/

BE EMPOWERED ALL!!!!
________________________________________________________________________________________

BTW, I also wanted to bring to attention that the State of the Black Union was on C-SPAN all day today and will air again on C-SPAN2 on Friday beginning @ 8PM. It is a very interesting program brought to us every year by Tavis Smiley in hopes of shining light on our achievements in America as well as our exclusion from many of the tenets of society that perpetually keep us from owning our own businesses. The DVD of the symposium can be purchased @ http://www.c-spanvideo.org/. I urge everyone to either TIVO it, watch it Friday or purchase it and to obtain copies of the last 8 symposiums as well.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, hope I've done my part for tonight!!!

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Re: WTF is going on???? VENT!!

Post by miels on February 24th 2008, 7:31 am

"I agree dosen't work..." Get on the team... Put your head in the huddle. Be part of the solution not a critic which blk folk already have too many of. I see no post for a blueprint from you. Just finger pointing. Don't wait till you see a post from me... start one adding ideas. My rough draft Bcott is just a answer to the Johnson scenario, Blks right now are too dependent on "goods" by the "others" to boycott isht. Unless an alternative market is created, I can already see the lips turned up at trying to get sisters to wear a natural. Youngins won't do it unless they see it in a video???

Idea which might not be a bad idea...

Diva that's on point. If you find anything local it would be much appreciated. I will save this to pass on to others...

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Re: WTF is going on???? VENT!!

Post by RM$~QUÉ~LINDA! on February 25th 2008, 1:44 pm

miels wrote:"I agree dosen't work..." Get on the team... Put your head in the huddle. Be part of the solution not a critic which blk folk already have too many of. I see no post for a blueprint from you. Just finger pointing. Don't wait till you see a post from me... start one adding ideas. My rough draft Bcott is just a answer to the Johnson scenario, Blks right now are too dependent on "goods" by the "others" to boycott isht. Unless an alternative market is created, I can already see the lips turned up at trying to get sisters to wear a natural. Youngins won't do it unless they see it in a video???

Idea which might not be a bad idea...

First off, my head is in the huddle by just being a part of this discussion. I just get tired of Black people (Black men in particular) complaining about there not being any B/O businesses or opportunities for their advancement in the large companies and not doing anything to change it. And to an extent, YOU were finger pointing to begin with. You were criticizing the few businesses that we do have and not offering solutions or pooling your own resources and brains to make things better. As for a boycott of the major stores, how do you see organizing a MAJOR boycott countrywide? That would take so much, and I'm not sure you could fully work that out. I dig the thought, but in practice it would fall short if only because the boycott would have to last for several months to make a small impact. And we can't forget the superstore chains, BJ's, Costco, Walmart, etc. Where everything your family needs is in one place, DIRT CHEAP!!! How could people be trusted to buy groceries form the corner store, clothes from accross town and everything else without givivnig up and heading somewhere where all those needs are met in one place?

@Diva: It seems like miels agrees more with you than me, but I want to know how you feel about this boycott thing he's talking about.
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Re: WTF is going on???? VENT!!

Post by DivaBleu on February 25th 2008, 1:58 pm

Now, now, children...

keep it clean and play nice... (we're watching you!!! Shocked )...
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Re: WTF is going on???? VENT!!

Post by Diva_Bleu on February 26th 2008, 4:59 pm

Whoa, nellie!!!

How did I get drawn into the middle of this????

Okay, with the boycott thing, I agree with Mielsy, 2 an extent that is. I believe that if we frequented the local spots instead of the major chains, we would help our own people to come up. I also believe there is a mindset that comes with being a successful B/O business in a Black neighborhood. Once you come up, you leave the 'hood. Sell your shop to some major store just for the one-time profit, but the profit is not reinvested or used to start another business or uplift the community that brought the success you have enjoyed. It's sad, but it doesn't happen that way in other minority communities. Chinese stores aren't sold to McDonald's, so why do we take the money and run?

I digress.

I also understand that the major things needed to make a business run (loans, financial planning, business education, etc.) are lacking in our neighborhoods. I agree, mielsy, that we should be trying to solve the problem rather than arguing over it. I've posted info on Black banks, a business seminar and a site where you can find local B/O businesses. Now, I implore others to do the same.

"Change doesn't happen from the top down, it happens from the bottom up." - Barack Obama

He's right, you know. Those @ the top are content with where they are. It's up to those whom are displeased with the status quo to change the landscape. ***exiting soapbox and looking 4 a cigarette...***

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I disagree....

Post by miels on February 26th 2008, 10:32 pm

I suggest we go back and read again...

I really don't think i critized any businesses "we" have but the drug trade... In fact I went and re-read the entire thread just to be sure... I recall ONLY QUESTIONS asking why the lack of, and where blk owned businesses were so I could support them. I do recall giving my opinion on papi/asian stores as background. I do recall you asking me what businesses I supported other than the barber, and I also recall mentioning NONE cause I don't know of any. I also recall ASKING if you "RM$~QUÉ~LINDA" knew of any because I didn't... I recall your reply was "the problem with what your asking..." Not... "there is a shop over on market..."

My "complaining" was a cry for "us" to support each other more for the sake of our neighborhoods being run over and the fact that "we" as black people don't have a niche in our own neighborhoods. Is that being critical, or just stating the facts? It was also in effort to brainstorm different theories real and unreal that could be employed as a conversational piece. (I mentioned this using your Mr. Johnson scenario).

I do not aim for or want to be grouped with "men complaining" about advancement at the corner store... I donot want to own a store nor have any trade talent to market. I would like to "support" those who do... I will also add advancement for blacks (males especially) is TOUGH and I'll lend an ear to any brother or sister unhappy with the system whether they are powerless to change it or not. Being familiar with "Blk men complaining about whatever" care to share? I would be interested in hearing what the outcome is/was to any struggle.

Furthermore, I only recall disagreeing with you on the suppliers issue, and whether my (illegal) hustle could make a difference. I recall Diva publishing a list of banks/investors, and I thanked her for that. I fail to see where i was being critical. I do see many times where YOU were being critical though... maybe b/c your tired of hearing blk males complaining? (for example) just go back and read a little you'll see...

I think a boycott would make a huge dent IF and only IF it COULD be organized. A month of no blacks shopping at Walmart in south Philly? It would also lead to layoffs too amongst a host of other negatives... My fight is with the smaller stores that litter our neighborhoods, I do not see these on every corner in the burbs. Whyte people aint having that... They even fight casino owners tooth and nail...

@DIva... You are on point with the take it and run theory. It makes it hard to support each other when we get a payday and split. But i think if they were truly profitable they wouldn't run. Point blank we support everyone else but our own.(we being critical of myself included for clarity lol)no finger pointing here...
The grass is greener problem is we move away from the hood/ghetto/wherever to the suburbs and just turn those into "new" ghettos. Wht folk bounce everytime blacks move into a neighborhood... Look at yeadon and all those surrounding townships... When I was growing up that was all Wht. I know cause we used to go and steal their bikes.. LOL pirat
@Admin... The problem with writing/email/texting is you can't hear/see the other person... they are just words written which can be taken the wrong way depending on the context. I don't think nothing written here was written with malice, or ill intent on all parties. At least I don't think so. If it were to be a verbal chat you wouldn't hear any raising of voices I'm sure... just differences in opinion.

My names Miels and i love a debate...

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A very interesting POV...

Post by Diva_Bleu on June 4th 2008, 12:56 pm

Found this on UPPN, it's an article praising UPPN's Entrepreneurial Boot Camp which took place a few months back... Miels, I think you'll appreciate the writer's words...

I believe the original can be found @ http://www.blackprof.com/?p=2034

CONGRATS SULAIMAN!!!
----------------------
Black Enterprise, Black Finance, Black Power
May 5th, 2008 by Boyce Watkins · No Comments



I spoke this weekend at an Entrepreneurship boot camp for The Urban Philly Professional Network. The head of the organization created something I consider to be profound and promising. He regularly gathers the black entrepreneurs of Philadelphia for networking events, training and motivation for their endeavors. I am proud of him because he has shown a consistent commitment to two issues of critical importance in the black community: black people working together and black people engaging in the ownership of capital.

Black entrepreneurship is not just about money. It's about LIBERATION. The easiest way for me to control another man is for him to know that I am the reason his kids get to eat every day. That man will do exactly what I tell him to do, when I tell him to do it, and how I tell him to do it. Historically, African-Americans have been consumers of products and sources of labor. We have rarely been in a position to own or control capital. This country's empire of wealth was built without black participation, as our ancestors were unable to transfer assets to their children. We all know that. Slaves were a form of human capital from which our country's foundation was created. Theft from the black community is in the trillions.

As a result of this legacy, nearly every inch of the financial capital base of American institutions is controlled by someone else: The media, corporate America, academic institutions, you name it. Fox News freely spouts racism because Rupert Murdock and others like him control media infrastructure. Universities earn over 1 billion dollars per year from the families of black athletes because HBCUs don't have the capital base to compete for these players. Jeremiah Wright and Barack Obama end up with distorted images because they've attempted to repair their reputations by appealing to the same institutions that destroyed their images in the first place. There are few black alternatives to media and corporate America, so our messages, leadership, outcomes and incentives are typically beyond our control. The controller of capital is the controller of destiny, so the social implications of capital ownership are vast.

The legacy of disproportionate capital acquisition also breeds a mentality in those who are controlled by capital. Some might call it the slave mentality. It affects all of us, from truck drivers to college professors. The slave mentality says your sole objective for obtaining education or skill is to work for someone else. We seek to find a job, rather than create one. Even most black doctors, lawyers and college professors fall victim to this mentality, as this is the tradition for many people of color. Risk aversion in the black community is strong enough to choke a horse, and any dreams of "going at it on your own" are squashed by relatives who encourage you to take the high paying, "prestigious" position at IBM or Stanford University.

The problem with the slave/laborer mentality is that there is a huge social price being paid when one spends his/her entire life drinking from someone else's fountain: You are not free to pursue social justice and the platform on which you stand can be taken out from under you at a second's notice. When injustice occurs around you, you are trained to sit silently and hope for the best. You don't dare rely on ideas like "academic freedom", because capitalism usually trumps idealistic concepts like democracy and freedom of speech. You can speak freely as long as it is financially convenient for the organization that controls you.

When I met with the black entrepreneurs and business owners of Philadelphia, I reminded them of the significance of their contribution to Black America. Owning a business is not about making a dollar, it's about providing a critical supplement to the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Black Entrepreneurs aren't just finding a source of income, they are building black institutions. I reminded them that General Motors wasn't built in a year, and that they should be proud of the trees they've planted, even if they are smaller than the strong, sturdy oaks around them. There was a time when a high ranking position in the British Empire paid a lot better than joining the American Revolution. Black Entrepreneurs are the financial Harriet Tubmans of the black community: liberating people in mind, spirit and resources.

Many of us are so "blinded by the bling" that we take our eyes off the prize. Even those with high incomes remain as vulnerable as Katrina victims, as one unfortunate event can lead you to financial ruin. High income without an understanding of wealth building, diversity of resources and long-term financial stability is a recipe for financial disaster.

Careful management of the strengths and weaknesses of capitalism is critical to any social movement in America. Socially responsible financial machinery can serve to empower and sustain movements toward justice and equality. Models of entrepreneurship should be taught to every black child in America. Children should understand the nature of revenue generation, cost minimization and how business models work. The path to liberation in a capitalist democracy goes straight through Financialville. Controlling capital means controlling lives, and it's tough to be free without it.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Finance Professor at Syracuse University and founder of YourBlackWorld.com. For more information, please visit www.BoyceWatkins.com.

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