Insight News

Thursday
Oct 02nd

Mobilizing, redirecting our $965 billion purchasing power

E-mail Print PDF

Mobilizing, redirecting our $965 billion purchasing power

Can you name this tune?

"Fish don't fry in the kitchen. Beans don't burn on the grill. Took a whole lot of tryin' just to fix up that meal" or "Just lookin' out of the window. Watchin' the asphalt grow."

Blacks from the inner city to the suburbs know the words to these sitcoms depicting the Black struggles of modern times. Regardless of our status, we would gather around televisions nationwide... Can you name this tune?

"Fish don't fry in the kitchen. Beans don't burn on the grill. Took a whole lot of tryin' just to fix up that meal" or "Just lookin' out of the window. Watchin' the asphalt grow."

Blacks from the inner city to the suburbs know the words to these sitcoms depicting the Black struggles of modern times. Regardless of our status, we would gather around televisions nationwide in anticipation of watching Good Times, The Jeffersons and years later, The Cosby Show.

The Cosby Show was unique in that it was the first time America had seen us as everyday professionals. Cosby presented a happily married couple raising good kids, not the ghetto gangster children too often depicted on television. The show was groundbreaking and breathtaking, because it was a stark contrast from the downtrodden Black family typically depicted in sitcoms and described daily on the evening news. White Americans were seeing a dynamic of the American Black family never before shown on TV. Some of us were middle class, some of us were poorer. The fact remains that, regardless of those depictions, all of us still share the same struggle -- images of poverty and violence shown on the evening news.

In years prior to the 1963 March on Washington, our communities -- rural, suburban and urban -- were unified by the boundaries of racism across America. Laws enforced more violently in the south than in the north, referred to as Jim Crow or Black Codes, were aimed at limiting the economic growth and physical freedom granted to the formerly enslaved.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the landmark law prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination in public facilities, government and employment. This invalidated the Jim Crow Laws and Black Codes in the southern U.S. It became illegal to compel segregation of the races in schools, housing or hiring. Powers given to enforce the bill were initially weak, but were supplemented in later years.

In years prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental and financing of housing, the Black community was vibrant.

Our communities were filled with doctors, teachers, entrepreneurs, musicians, attorneys and working class citizens. We shared a common bond regardless of social status within the community. Segregation yielded a market for Black businesses that will never exist again. If you needed goods or services, the first place you turned to was the Black owned business that provided the service or produced the goods you wanted.. If the service was not found, we sought the next best business owner that would treat us with respect to purchase from. Regardless of our status, we sought out and patronized Black businesses.

With the passage of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968, we attained a certain freedom, defined more by what we could afford. That freedom afforded the choice of moving away from the Black community.

The Civil Rights laws enabled "the great exodus" from our communities to greener pastures. We were movin' on up. The Black consumer was being accepted more than ever in White-owned businesses, which were all too grateful to finally receive our money. It was not only okay to serve Blacks, it was against the law if they did not.

Prior to the passage of the Civil Right Acts of 1964 and 1968, Black entrepreneurs had a steady stream of Black customers. Our entrepreneurs opened all sorts of businesses in our community, which was the only place they could open a business. They were assured a chance at success because they had the Black consumer market to rely upon. When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led Civil Rights protests in Birmingham, A
 

Recent Comments

Powered by Disqus



Facebook Twitter RSS Image Map

Latest show

  • September 23, 2014
    State Representative Rena Moran (65-A), Verlena Matey-Keke, and Professor Nekima Levy-Pounds.

Business & Community Service Network