Continuing MLK'S Fight for Economic Justice
The economic problem is probably the most serious problem confronting the negro community
-Martin Luther King Jr.
The Economic Problem
In 1968, MLK said that the most serious problem in our community was the economic problem. It has been fifty years since Dr. King made that statement. But it remains truer today than it was yesterday. Dr. King discovered that after winning civil rights victories, "it did very little to improve the lot of the millions of negros in the ghettos of the north and in the nation generally." This speaks to the limitation of using politics to change our economic reality. If we want change, we must fight for economic justice with the power of our dollar!
Our Purchasing Power
According to an article in Black Enterprise, the purchasing power of Black consumers in America is $1.1 trillion. However, we should never mistake this for being a measurement of real wealth. To quote Lauryn Hill, "it ain't what you cop, It's about what you keep." From a macroeconomics perspective, if we spend more than we earn, we end up being Broke Phi Broke collectively. It is often cited that a dollar remains in our community for six hours but the veracity of this claim has been questioned. The fact remains that building real wealth means investing in our own community.
How to Invest in Our Community
We invest in our own community buy shopping at We Buy Black online or visiting local, Black owned stores. Another way to save and invest in our block is by opening a bank account with a Black owned bank such as OneUnited. If there are no Black owned stores around, creating one is the best way to invest in us! We are created by our Creator to be creators! A perfect example of this would be opening up a pharmacy in your own town.
A Quintessential Example
As reported in The Rouge Collection, which is a Black owned media source in Baton Rouge, two Black brothers are opening a pharmacy in Baton Rouge, La. Their names are Kyle and Orlando Palmer and they are planning to have their grand opening in two weeks. You might not be able to open up a pharmacy like the Palmer brothers but you have the power in your wallet to change our collective economic reality. Start today by buying Black!