African-Americans live in a nation that may be considered the world’s fastest-paced society. Many liken it to the “microwave” society that consumes our thoughts and redirects our focus. The populace in this society is hard-wired to be able to access every impulse and instantly satisfy every whimsical desire. It makes sense that it is this way–given that most (but not all) of us are descendants of folks who were unwillingly transported to this country and forcibly assigned to lives of complete servitude to better the lives of others at our peril. We were the “children of a lesser God” who (like so much livestock) served as “beasts of burden” to those who did not value our lives.
We live with the residual remnants of the perception of us as subordinate and inferior to this day.
Our problems are indeed large, but to the rest of the world, Black people in the U.S. still live and work in better conditions than they do. No this is not Darfur or the “Sunny of the Side of the Street” from an old song my grandmother used to play for me.
One may look to 3 historical Black figures (Marcus Garvey, W.E.B. Dubois, and Booker T. Washington) as brilliant men who took different paths to the same goal: Economic empowerment for the masses of Black people in America.
One may take pride in George Washington Carver, Benjamin Banneker and Charles Drew, who were the forefathers of African-American ingenuity by virtue of their inventions and contributions.
For those who aren’t entertainers or athletes and may not have the chance to draw from the rewards that those stations in life may often bring, there have to be other options. The possibility of success abounds wherever we are able to define our area of excellence and flourish accordingly.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that people in the isolated urban landscape are not being armed with the tools they need to be given a genuine chance of building a sense of dignity, self-worth, emotional and psychological well-being by being involved in the excitement and challenge of creating and taking non-traditional paths—one of those being self-employment/entrepreneurship.
One can look at a phenomenal woman like Janice Bryant-Howroyd, who founded Act-1 Group Staffing and Professional Services in 1978, with $1.8 Billion in sales in sales revenues. She exemplifies the strong entrepreneurial tradition in African-American society.
Up you mighty nation…You can accomplish what you will…by “Raising Intelligent Strong Economics” through financial literacy and economic empowerment…and all that it entails.
To quote a famous Louis Armstrong lyric I was inspired by from his song, “On The Sunny Side Of The Street,” which echoes my eternal motto on inner richness:
“I used to walk in the shade with them blues on parade
Now I’m not afraid… this rover has crossed over”