The Past: Black Wall Street, Durham, NC, Sweet Auburn in Atlanta, Harlem, and hundreds of other successful towns and communities. These intact Black Communities were able to grow and thrive largely independent from the colonial society. The primary social forces that brought and held these communities together were forced segregation and our very real need for individual and group survival. This environment was conducive for the development and growth of very successful business communities. That was then.
The Present: Detroit, Gary, Benton Harbor, Baltimore, The Bluff, and Buttermilk Bottom in hundreds of cities, towns and rural communities. This period is marked by high rates of unemployment, drug infestation, ravenous imprisonment of our youth and economic exploitation at the hands of predators from all corners of the earth. While we have many businesses, these businesses do not operate within an economy (container) that we control or that serves our best interest. While massive economic resources flow through our collective fingers, we have little to show for it. - Our bucket, the hoped-for Black Economy, has gaping holes and everybody knows it.
The Future We Must Build:
The Future We Must Build: In addition to Black Business Ownership at all levels, there must also exist large scale cooperatively owned business enterprises (Ujamaa) that add muscle and provide ways to regain control of major markets and compete locally and globally, especially in areas dominated by African People. These large enterprises must be financed, owned and controlled by its members and they must operate with the clear intent to empower Black African People. In this period, with the facade of equality and fair play, and without a supremely cohesive culture, it’s impossible to build and sustain economic power while depending on individually owned and small group owned enterprises alone. The addition of large scale cooperatively owned enterprises, as a way of involving thousands of direct stakeholders (workers and owners) and as a way of amassing large sums of capital, provide the otherwise missing ingredient for economic success. *The tangible and indispensable advantage these enterprises provide is control: a way to plan and manage the emerging Black Economy and insure that it serves the real needs of our People. We call this approach “Black Power Cooperative Economics”. Us Lifting Us Economic Development Cooperative, LLC is the model.
Our Ancestors Agree:Click Here