As of today, a dollar circulates in Asian communities for 30 days, in Jewish communities approximately 20 days and white communities 17 days. How long does a dollar circulate in the black community? It circulates for 6 hours!!! Yes, you read it correctly.
The African American buying power is at 1.1 Trillion, yet only 2 cents of every dollar an African American spends in this country goes to black owned businesses. The economic behavior of our people is to appease those who don’t give a damn about us and makes us feel better about ourselves instead of building our community. Stop emotional shopping and spending for approval, then start building wealth.
Dr. Claud Anderson said, “Blacks are the only group in America who do not have communities…a community signifies commitment and the potential for power. Neighborhood does not…Black neighborhoods spend approximately 95 percent of their annual disposable income with people who live outside of the neighborhood.”
Ouch!!! As profound as this statement may seem, it can be hurtful because of the truth. How much longer can we blame others for our lack of wealth when we aren’t building it for ourselves and communities? I once challenged Churches, the biggest business in the community, to take a year of tithes, work collectively, then reinvest in the black community to build its own modern black wall street. Needless to say, there were many who laughed at the idea of churches working together. Just because churches aren’t willing to get involved doesn’t mean we need to stop the movement.
Black Wall Street can occur as it had before.
In 1906, O.W. Gurley moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma where he purchased 40 acres of land which was “only to be sold to colored”. As one of the most successful and wealthiest black communities in the United States during the early 20th Century, it was popularly known as America’s “Black Wall Street” until the Tulsa race riot of 1921.
For those who are seeking ways to work collective and build wealth in the black community, there are solutions. For me, I’ve connected with like minds who support and share black own businesses across the country. In addition to finding a black own business and spending my dollar, I have also joined a Facebook page to hold me accountable to my actions. It’s a place where posts are shared daily of individuals, companies, organizations and experience with service.
Now, is the time to stop making excuses and build strong, thriving black communities across the states.
Bahiyah Shabazz is the President of Shabazz Management Group, Fabulous & Money Savvy and BROWN GIRLS DO INVE$T. She has appeared and given financial advice on various media outlets, and is the author of Women Building Wealth.