Buy Black Wednesdays: Cooperative economics the ancient African way

by Paradise Free Jahlove

Buy-Black-Wednesdays1, Buy Black Wednesdays: Cooperative economics the ancient African way, Culture Currents Thank you for supporting Buy Black Wednesdays. This new wave of “cooperative economics” is spreading across America and pan-Africa like a red, black and green tsunami of Black empowerment. Where there is vision, the people prosper. And many of you are envisioning the Promised Land of a bourgeoning Afrometropolis and supporting this campaign for more healthy, robust and sustainable communities. This is the ancient African way, to envision a brighter day and project ourselves out of conditions of sorrow and … step into tomorrow.

This Buy Black Wednesdays initiative is designed to bring awareness, consciousness and prosperity back to OUR COMMUNITIES. Black Wednesday is a promising new Black holiday held weekly every “Hump Day.” You may call it Black History Day and Pan-African Market Day, meant to be celebrated by Africans worldwide. But it’s also African Reparations Day, which means everybody – even conscious non-Africans – can participate. Especially anybody who wants to see crime and poverty go down and world peace, prosperity and joy go up and be more equitably distributed. Everyone is encouraged to participate … by supporting Black, so-called minority and community-friendly businesses on Wednesdays.

The goal is to go out of our way to support and patronize Black businesses every day, but especially on Black Wednesdays; to vote for community every day with our dollars, instead of every four years or so for a hoped for community savior. On Black Fridays, the day after Thanksgiving – which happens to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of every November because it was decreed so by brother John Hanson, the African who some scholars say was the “real” first president of the United States – many of us thank our ancestors by blindly and carelessly replenishing the bank accounts and community treasure chests of our former slave masters and those who still oppress us and the world. We buy trinkets and bling and shiny things that disempower us and deplete our own bank accounts and community treasure chests, the life blood of our people. Black Wednesdays is intended to encourage Black Friday like enthusiasm for Black Businesses and Self Love.

I recently overheard a sister say she had just gotten over her five-day-a-week addiction to Starbucks coffee. It made me think, “Who is starbucking who?” Who are you starbucking with your dollars? And are they starbucking you? Who are you bucking up to the stars with your spending habits when you could be and should be starbucking yourself and your community and making your people shine like stars with wallets and purses and community treasure chests bulging and overflowing with star bucks. Hahahaha.

Are we such poor mathematicians that we can’t figure out that, as you spend in your own communities, with your larger family, it enriches your own family and you? Why would your neighbor rob you if he has money in his pocket? There is no reason for us to be a poor trillion dollar nation.

The new Black dollar that is emerging out of this movement is going to be incredible. The new Black dollar bill presently unfolding will be the strongest currency on the planet and more valuable than gold and diamonds. Why? Because it will be a reflection of who we are. Actually, our currency is already in circulation but it’s being controlled by other people.

Africa is the breadbasket of the world, the continent with the greatest resources, but it’s being controlled largely by outsiders. We have the greatest entertainers and athletes in the world – hip hop, jazz, R&B, funk, soul, blues, gospel and spirituals – but it’s mostly controlled by other people. Imagine my consternation when I recently went to see an Alvin Ailey Dance Company presentation at UC Berkeley and the dance troupe was multi-racial. You mean to tell me in the whole East Coast area you couldn’t find enough Black dancers to fill up one dance company?

Black enterprise, including the knowledge of ours being the greatest civilizations with the greatest history, is being controlled by others. Black people don’t need the rest of the world, but imagine what the rest of the world would be like without us. So Black Wednesday gives us a chance to control our own enterprises, arts and resources and it gives the rest of the world a chance to show their acknowledgement and appreciation. Bring back the Negro Leagues!

In the not too distant future instead of sending our children out on Easter egg hunts and telling them that Easter bunnies lay chicken eggs, we will teach them and invite them to go treasure hunting for Black businesses with us and searching for Black Gold in our own back yards. And those Black people who have become “the other white people” and gone “incognegro,” in hiding and ashamed or feeling like they can no longer afford to be Black, will come back to Black proudly.

Since integration and for over 40 years now, a lot of Africans here in the states – Watuusa: Black people in the USA – have tried to disown their heritage and felt the need to woo white customers and shoo Black customers and eschew great Black music to become gangster rappers and work for gangster corporations instead of hue-man dignity and get lost in and miseducated at capitalist universities, racking their brains for hours in white classrooms doing equations about nothingness and going off to war to battle other communities while bullets are flying around at home, instead of doing God’s work and getting a celestial education and divine knowledge by rolling up their sleeves and using all their mental faculties and doing the real homework of being an alchemist and turning their local ghettos into Gardens of Eden and Timbuktus of prosperity and international Meccas more prosperous, sustainable and greater centers of higher learning than the best Western universities.

They go incognegro until maybe Kwanzaa or Black History Month when being Black is in vogue. Well, thanks to Black Wednesday more Black people will feel they can afford to be Black again. And they will come running back to Black.

THE GREAT INTEGRATION EXPERIMENT IS OVER. It was something that had to happen, but for the most part was a colossal failure, except for what we learned from it. The whole world was set back because many of us felt we could no longer afford to be Black. So without your leadership and you playing your role, the rest of the world didn’t know how to act.

Ethos and the word ethics is derived from the word Ethiopia, because when the Europeans first encountered the Ethiopians they marveled at their regal behavior – how ethical they were. So we will show the way by putting down those weapons of mass destruction handed to us and pick up our musical instruments of creation, harmony and self-love again. Starting on Black Wednesdays all over the world we will come back to Black.

Life will imitate art and there will be an Afrocentric version of the classic Christmastime movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” where everybody comes to the rescue of the hometown hero, bearing gifts. But in this case the hometown hero that we will rescue and the Great Homecoming will be to Africa, Africans, our communities and ourselves.

So tell folks about Black Wednesday and share our new jingle: “Hip hop hooray. Today is Black Wednesday.” Call, tell and email at least a hundred people. And if someone calls Black Wednesday racist, tell them: Self-love is positive racism.

Black Business of the Month: Shashamane’s Ethiopian Restaurant

Shashamane’s Ethiopian Restaurant, Bar & Grill is located at 2507 Broadway, uptown, just north of downtown Oakland. Pronunced Sha-sha-money, owned and operated by personable hosts, Tes and Yeme, the Bay Area’s newest hot spot was named after the huge tract of land designated by Ethiopia’s King Haile Selassie for African Americans who wanted to come home, for supporting them during the Italian invasion.

Maya-Cuterry-Shamar-Cotton-eat-Ethiopian-Buffalo-chicken-at-Shashamanes-Ethiopian-Restaurant, Buy Black Wednesdays: Cooperative economics the ancient African way, Culture Currents Shashamane’s has great ambience, great food with reasonable prices, huge big screen TVs for sporting events, an upstars art gallery, meeting room and dining area, and the prettiest, sweetest, hardest working waitresses in Northern California. And one of the highlights of the dining experience there is their ritualist burning of rich coffee beans to fill the air with aroma. They have live jazz on the weekends, as well as African and American music, dancing and DJing.

I also host my World’s Fair Poetry reading at 6 p.m. every first and third Sunday, including our first Black Oscars, June 19. Call Shashamane for reservations at (510) 868-4318. See page 4 to be included in the Bay View’s local Black Pockets Business Directory for only $5 a month or $50 a year.

Black Oscars June 19

On June 19 – Juneteenth – the Black Oscars will celebrate Black elegance and eloquence with Hollywood’s Oscar night-like fanfare for our own people and culture, although all are welcome. Except for this year, it will be held annually, simultaneously on the day of the Academy Awards as a symbol of protest against racism and white supremacy and glitz and glamour tactics being used as a smoke screen of the American Dream while billions of Africans and people of color are living in a nightmare and being victimized and murdered in cold blood throughout America and the world.

Egyptian-statue-of-Ptah-model-for-Hollywood-Oscar, Buy Black Wednesdays: Cooperative economics the ancient African way, Culture Currents We will encourage everybody to turn off the TV and turn on community. We will also pay homage to the brothers and sisters who have been murdered, martyred and victimized throughout history by racism and white supremacy to remind people that what they did to the Native American and Emmit Till and others is still going on. We will reward community activists. And of course there will be drumming, song, dance, music, speakers, spoken word and a celebration of African life and culture. Although we will have one central location and main event, other Black Oscar parties are encouraged. This event is intended to be one of international scope and participation. Spread the word. Ya heard?

This will be a great event to celebrate Juneteenth and Father’s Day. Food, culture, fun and activism. Aspiring to have as our first major honorees: Bobbie Seale, co-founder of the Panthers, Angela Davis, Marvin X, godfather of the West Coast Black Arts Movement, and Tarika Lewis, renaissance woman and first lady of the Panthers.

Paradise is president of the International Black Writers & Artists in Oakland, Local 5, and was recently honored by the City of Oakland with “Paradise Day,” on Oct. 6. He may be reached at Paradise also facilitates the Buy Black Wednesdays Facebook page and group, hosts the Black Wednesday Show every Wednesday at 6 p.m. on and will soon be posting a blog.