By Roy Douglas Malonson
“At the end of the day it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished… it’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.” – Denzel Washington
Since I have been dealing with the “Accountability” series, I decided to target business owners within our community and Black entrepreneurs alike. Because the Black community is one of the most neglected in terms of small business owners and major corporations giving back. We MUST Understand, “Our Money” and “Our Vote” are two of the most powerful tools WE have, so WE should be careful who WE give them to. We MUST Understand any person or entity WE give “Our Money” and “Our Vote” to are amongst what WE empower. This is one of the reasons I am stressing emphasis on holding business owners in Our community and those WE patronage in accountable.
Nowadays, Black folks leave out of the community, passing up several Black businesses who operate in the community and give back to the community, only to invest and patronage individuals and businesses who could care less about US or Our Families. We MUST Understand some of the same people WE choose to support are some of the very same people who were in support of segregation. Sure, they will take your money for their children and grandchildren’s education, but do you think they will offer a scholarship to your children and grandchildren? Chances are, they will not.
For decades, business owners who Do NOT look like US, have built their market off of the strength of the Black Buying Power. But, when it is time for them to give back they dispense their funds into communities and those who look like them. Majora Carter once said, “If we are going to be part of the solution, we have to engage the problems.” As true as this statement is, the reality of those who look to make their bucks off of Black folks is that, they could care less about engaging in the problems of Our Communities. Clearly, this is not a show of equal reciprocation. Especially when Nielsen estimates that the, “Black buying power will rise to $1.54 trillion driven by gains in population, income and education in 2019.”
Furthermore Christine Michel Carter indicated that, “African-Americans make up 14% of the United States population, but are being called the key voters to win in 2020; represent over 40% of the overall spending in the baby food category ($813m) and led the ensemble cast of a $1.4 billion grossing film (Black Panther)”.
So, the facts show that WE have the power to use Our Money to hold business owners accountable. Now, it is up to us to assert that power in a way to show them that we are holding them accountable. To that regard, I will conclude with the words of former President Barack Obama. “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”