Since the existence of Black folks, some White people have tried to do everything in their power to control Black people. Slavery was the ultimate example of control, and it has left a mark on Black people for hundreds of years. Even to this day, some of us are controlled and don’t even realize it.
William Lynch, who was an American military officer from Virgina was notorious for controlling slaves. It was noted that he was known for the term “lynching.” In the Willie Lynch Letters and the Making of A Slave, Lynch details and gives suggestions for how to control a slave. He stated, “I have a full proof method for controlling your Black slaves. I guarantee that everyone one of you, if installed correctly, it will control the slaves for at least 300 hundred years.” We weren’t meant to have a mind of our own. We weren’t even meant to live in this country that was built by “We the People.” We were not included in that, but here we are. We are still controlled in some ways, and a mental shift is needed for our race, our culture, and our history. We have to change our mindset and start thinking for us.
We are now in the year 2023, and we still have so much to fight for such as rights and equality. The great late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and many others fought for us to have rights and equality and demanded “separate but equal.” Separate but equal meant that we still have our separate spaces but are treated equal when it comes to water fountains, public restrooms, businesses, loans, and housing opportunities, and so much more. When we had our own communities and our own businesses, Blacks thrived. We would support each other and put money back into the community. Integration hurt us and quickly caused our Black communities to go under. If you look around now in some of our Black communities, they do not look the same and are deemed good property because of the location and proximity to downtown. We have to save our culture, our history, and our communities.
In addition, Black people have so much buying power, that if we stopped buying stuff at some of these big corporations, they would put out of business. In an article published by McKinsey Institute for Black Economic Mobility, it stated, “Despite the unevenly distributed human and economic devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic, Black consumers’ collective economic power is set to expand dramatically, from about $910 Billion1 in consumption in 2019 to $1.7 trillion (in nominal dollars)—equal to the projected GDP of Mexico—in 2030.” We have more power than we think, if we would support each other and stop supporting these major corporations who only put diversity, equity, and inclusion as part of their statements to check off a box, we could accomplish so much. Imagine if we put $1.7 trillion back into Black communities and businesses. The report further mentioned how there are still many inequities in the Black communities regarding products, experiences, and that “investments in Black consumers can help create Black wealth and community-level prosperity.” We cannot forget Black Wallstreet and how prosperous that community was doing until Whites came in and destroyed everything. Black Wallstreet can happen again in our communities if we work together.
A mantal shift is needed in 2023. We have to change the way we think, what we support, and what we claim as our culture and our future for generations to come. Our ancestors worked hard to build the life we have and we are truly standing on their shoulders. We need to continue to build off the foundation they left to ensure our future generations have a shoulder to stand on as well.