by Paradise Free Jahlove
Turns out the freedoms we won weren’t enough; we also need discipline. No disrespect to other cultures, but when we got a little freedom, we did a jailbreak from each other and ran into the open arms of everybody else and made them rich! We ran to Chinatown to get Chinese food, we ran to Japantown to get sushi and Japanese food. We ran to the taco stand to get Mexican food. We ran to get Italian pizzas and Italian shoes and suits. We ran to MacDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken and to everybody else’s restaurant to make them rich.
We ran to the Asian beauty parlors and salons to get manicured and pedicured and our fine East Indian hair weaves and made them rich. Our comedians and boxers have made comedy clubs throughout the country and Showtime and HBO rich. Our music has made Sony, the music industry and the whole world rich. We’ve made pimps, pushers, preachers and ghetto slumlords rich.
We left our Black Wall Streets with 600 businesses in a 10 square mile area and our Harlems and Little Africas and were seduced by greener pastures, the American dream and Goldilocks to make Disneyland and Hollywood and Manhattan and suburban malls rich.
We ran to Nike for $200 running shoes and made them rich. We ran to the NBA and made the National Basketball Association rich. We ran to the NFL and made the National Football League rich. We ran in the Olympics and made the International Track Federation, ABC, NBC and CBS sports rich.
We’d had our own professional baseball teams in the Negro Leagues, an ebony field of dreams with the best baseball players in the universe, but we allowed ourselves to be seduced and put thousands of Black folk out of work and communion to return to our former slave masters and make them and major league baseball rich. And that rich ebony field of dreams has vanished into the mists of time.
Our young boys and girls get scholarships and the promise of a free education to play ball at major colleges and universities and make them rich. “Run nigger, run!” Because this is primarily what the colleges are for and all about: money, human roach-traps and four-to-eight-year detention centers for our community’s brightest minds and greatest talents – only to be treated the same way after the degree and piece of paper as before.
So as a form of therapy and medication, we make Newport cigarettes and malt liquor-makers rich. Our physical constitutions and oppression anxieties are so strong that we need a “double poison” to get a buzz. We can’t just smoke regular cigarettes, we gotta have menthol. And we can’t just drink regular beer, we gotta have malt liquor! And our poor drinking and eating habits have made many a doctor, hospital and undertaker rich!
We’ve made America rich, Europe rich, Asians rich, Jews rich, Arabs at the corner liquor store rich. Everybody has fed off of and is benefiting from our labor, talent, suffering and life force but us. Even our poets and spoken word artists are making other people rich. Which is why I’m giving For Colored Girls $1,000 Winner Takes All Sistar Slam in October to encourage literacy, art, culture and cooperative economics. We’ve made everybody else rich; now it’s our turn!
Support Black and community friendly businesses every day, but especially on Black Wednesday!
The meaning and importance of the upcoming historic Besto Pesto Festival
I am soooo excited about our Besto Pesto Fun(d)raising Festival later this month! I know only so many people can come and we are going to be able to squeeze only so many dollars out of the people who do come. But what I would like to impress upon you and the people who do come is that this is about more than raising money for a couple of mountain bikes and a Besto Pesto Mobile to deliver product. This is about more than even the Besto Company itself; this is about community and the future welfare of our community. This is a part of The Movement! Which one? All of them that are concerned about us!
This is a healthy vegan product that is a part of the Green Movement and the healthy living in our communities’ movement. This product will give the whole world “a taste of Oakland,” because it embodies the flavor of Oakland.
So I would like to see us invest in brother Toussaint’s company as if it were our own. Where there is vision the people prosper. Use your imagination. This product is going to create jobs. Besto Pesto buildings are going to spring up that need workers. And the Bay Area hasn’t had a product like this since Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream!
The Jackson 5 were so hot at one time that not only did they have their own sound, but they also had their own TV variety show and a Jackson 5 cartoon series. But what people don’t remember is that for a brief while, they also had a Jackson 5 Coca Cola on the market. But nobody believed, even in the Black community, that such a product could be viable or trustworthy, so it fizzed out of existence. We can never let that happen again.
We haven’t had a product like this in our communities since Famous Amos’ Cookies. And speaking of Coca Cola, legend has it that only two people in the whole wide world know the formula – and they never fly at the same time. Hahahahaha! In the same way, we should embrace, tend to and support this local community prize that we have.
I would like to see us invest in brother Toussaint’s company as if it were our own. Where there is vision the people prosper. Use your imagination. This product is going to create jobs.
So I hope that you will not only come to this historic Besto Pesto Community Festival – which will one day be bigger than the Gilroy Garlic Festival – and see for yourself what the rave is all about, but that you will also get on the horn, the phone, the mic and the net and let people know that you/we have an exciting new product that is “some of the best tasting stuff on earth” that the whole world should know about!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.