It is a known but not normally talked about fact that African Americans endured
more then 400 hundreds years of enslavement, generations of oppression, and
continued acts by their oppressors shortly after emancipation.
The slave system of men, women, and children forced to do their masters’ bidding
and regarded as no more than cheap labor helped to build the America we cherish
today. The cotton boom gave way to a globalized economy that was built on slave
Blacks fought for every civil right that resulted from Jim Crow, lynching, segregation,
and American apartheid. African Americans were promised 40 acres and a mule, but
the promise was never fulfilled. Black people were given civil rights, but without
economic equality, parity, or justice. African Americans marched in streets,
communities, college campuses, and towns so that all Americans, including men,
women, gays, lesbians, Asians, Hispanics, and all other “minorities” could have civil
rights and affirmative action opportunities.
However, today, after the blood, sweat, and tears of black slaves, we find African
Americans at the bottom of the economic pool of opportunity and equality. The
disparity between the white race and the black race is immensely discouraging. But
what’s even more troubling is that other minorities and women are moving further
along economically than blacks. This has all systemically impacted the black
community since the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and President Lyndon
Johnson’s Executive Order 11246 after a weaker law was passed in 1961.
Nonetheless, the black community today consumes an estimated 1.2 trillion dollars
and owns or produces less than 2 million businesses nationwide. If African
Americans would have had an economic plan attached to their civil rights agenda in
1968, where would we be today in 2012?
It is clearly African Americans’ time for economic equality, parity, and justice. Black
people never received their dues for enduring slavery, not to mention the promised
40 acres and a mule. African Americans are a major purchasing power in the United
States. It is time we receive not a hand-out, but a hand-in. We do not need charity,
but rather economic parity. We must hold accountable all who have benefited from
cheap labor and low economic status within the confines of capitalism. The facts and
the statistics are clear. We just need to handle our business, unite, and spend our
money on those who patronize, hire, and support the African American community.
Political leadership must lead to economic access, opportunities, and equality;
otherwise, it amounts only to a failed policy or political advocacy agenda. He who
holds the golden rules, by embracing civil rights without economic justice only does
us a civil injustice.