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Buy Black Wednesdays: Money talk

August 17, 2011

by Paradise Free Jahlove

Berkeley, Calif.: The most liberal city in America and the world, some say. And yet Berkeley High School, with over 3,500 students and 250 teachers, has only eight Black teachers. Scandalous!

The City of Berkeley has declared 2011 “The Year of the Black Man.” But where are the Black male teachers that are so desperately needed for Black boys and students? Hire me! Give me the ear of Black America for one year and I’ll make 40 million model citizens appear. Let us produce more Black-owned schools and centers of higher learning. And let us make it possible to fund them with Buy Black Wednesdays.

How important is Buy Black Wednesdays? One sister told me recently, “We’re going to need much more than Buy Black Wednesday to solve our problems.” Wow. What a brilliant deduction. But is it true? Let’s see what the major problems are in our community and see if BBW can address them.

Off the top of my head I’d say the major problems we’re facing are:

  1. Poverty
  2. Violence
  3. Crime
  4. Drugs/health
  5. Lack of unity
  6. Self-hate
  7. Lack of knowledge of self

Let’s not quibble about the order of importance. If we can solve the poverty issue, the violence and crime issues would dwindle significantly. People with money in their pockets have less need to do crimes or drugs or be violent.

Black Americans have an income of $1 trillion a year. But we are a poor trillion-dollar nation because that money barely stays in our communities for 15 minutes. The next time you get a paycheck, muthafarker, do us all a favor and keep it for 16 minutes. Hahahahaha! Pray about how you’re going to use it. Everything has a spirit. Talk to your money before you give it away and tell it where to go, whom to bless and to come back to you multiplied.

Buy Black Wednesday is enriching us as I speak because more people are keeping and bringing that money home. It’s causing us to – oh my God − think Black more often, which is changing our mentalities, causing more unity and getting us back into the habit of buying Black whenever possible.

We are getting more “touches,” more connections and more involved with each other. And when you touch Black people − in their natural un-jacked-up state − you get blessed above all others, your blood pressure goes down, your endorphins rise up and your health improves.

When you create and surround yourself in a Black family atmosphere, there’s more self-love and knowledge of self. Our minds are expanded and our lives are enriched when we come into greater contact with the Black experience.

And of course, with the increased interaction comes more awareness of Black history. So before you “shoo shoo” and “poo poo” Buy Black Wednesdays, let’s try to do it! Let us do this one thing together and see the outcome for ourselves.

The Black Statue of Liberty

Bring me your tired, your poor, your hungry,

Those who are suffering from white supremacy,

Those who bleach their skin, hair and souls.

Bring me your pimps, your criminals, your hoes,

Your coons, uncle toms and sambos,

Your dope dealers, crackheads and fiends,

Zombies, abused, misused and unclean,

Your sell-outs, drop outs and cop outs,

Those who are hopeless, helpless

And plagued with doubt and loss of identity.

I am free and I set free.

I am the Black Statue of Liberty.

 

I am Buy Black Wednesdays,

I am the redistribution of Black wealth,

I am self-sufficiency,

I am the robust revitalization of Black health,

I am umoja – Black unity,

I am the knowledge and love of self,

I am ujima – collective work and responsibility,

I am the torch-bearer who has shown the way for centuries,

I am the Black Statue of Liberty.

 

I am Buy Black Wednesday,

Ujamaa – cooperative economics,

The beginning of the reconstruction of Black sovereignty,

One day a week to renew my vows

And to express my conviction and loyalty,

One day a week I promise the ancestors,

I will honor all of Black history,

Until this weekly practice becomes

A full time way of life for all of us

And every African is free,

I am the Black Statue of Liberty.

 

I am the night adorned with a crown of stars

And the golden torch you call the sun,

I am the light of the world in every Black body,

I am the original who came before everyone,

I am every brother and sister who walks the earth,

I am the co-creator of the universe,

I am the ripest fruit of my incomparable AncesTree,

I am the Black Statue of Liberty.

 

I have come up from over 400 years of slavery

And persevered with the whole world against me.

I have carried more weight on my shoulders than Atlas

And accomplished more feats of labor than Hercules.

I am the living embodiment of all those crucified

And resurrected – no need to look backward

Or forward in history.

For millions of years I’ve roamed the earth

And shepherded galaxies across the universe

And still I rise, triumphantly.

I am the Black Statue of Liberty.

 

Oh ye children of the earth,

Look no further if you want to see the likes of God,

His power and glory.

Behold! All of your legends, myths, gods and heroes

Real or fabricated, pale beside me.

I am the hope of the world,

The embodiment of divinity.

At least one day a week I vow

To help set a new trend every Wednesday

And spend money within my community,

Because my discipline is the key.

I am the Black Statue of Liberty!

© 6-30-2011

This poem was partially inspired by the urban legend that the original statue of liberty used a Black woman as the model and was symbolic of Black people and our struggle for freedom! Even if the legend/myth is not true, it does seem appropriate or, shall we say, propah!

Black Business of the Month

Queen Deelah performs on the Black Dot Stage at the 2008 Malcolm X Jazz Festival. – Photo: Minister of Information JR
Where can you go in Northern California and be most likely to see a performance or be schooled by such revolutionaries as Bobby Seale, The Last Poets or Amiri Baraka? Who organizes one of the best free events in the world for progressives and encourages community activism and racial harmony while honoring one of the great men of the 20th century with an event called The Malcolm X Jazz Festival? Who hosts the Holla Back Poetry Series and the Hail BeBop Film and Music Series and numerous other weekly cultural events that support the arts and activism in the heart of East Oakland? The Eastside Arts Alliance, 2277 International Boulevard. For more information, go to www.eastsideartsalliance.org or call (510) 533-6629. Your donations increase the peace and their outreach!

Paradise is president of the International Black Writers & Artists Local 5 in Oakland and was recently honored by the City of Oakland with “Paradise Day,” on Oct. 6. He may be reached at oaklandworldsfair@yahoo.com. Paradise also facilitates the Buy Black Wednesdays Facebook page and group, hosts the Black Wednesday Show every Wednesday at 6 p.m. on www.harambeeradio.com and blogs at www.blackwednesdays.blogspot.com.

 

One thought on “Buy Black Wednesdays: Money talk

  1. Rocket

    More than just BBW, how about greater consideration for how weflex our economic power? Rims, sneakers, baggy jeans, and misogynistic rap albums to name but a few of th poor choices made b too many. Let's buy black everyday but let's invest our dollars in heathy nutrition, education, community resources and trru political empowerment.

    Reply

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