African Americans Must Create Financial Institutions Instead of Begging For Jobs


We can get a million-plus marchers but we won’t start banks?

[Business Exchange]

Is the Enemy Us?

As Mary McLeod Bethune said long ago: “Blacks’ challenge is developing confidence in one another. This kind of confidence will aid the race’s economic rise by bringing our pennies and dollars together and their investment in useful channels.”

What is the biggest obstacle to Blacks’ economic development in America? The answer is that: it is us.

“He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother,” is a theme for contemporary Blacks to take up. Let’s stop talking pass each other and get serious about maximizing individual and collective wealth growth plans and programs that capitalize our race. By eschewing assimilation behaviors, Blacks can improve their collective wealth and esteem simply by working together. At this time, Blacks’ incomes and wealth are just 72 percent that of Whites. Racism and discrimination are central to Blacks predicament in America, but these evils can be checkmated by our mounting enhanced economic acts.

Its factual – the income and wealth inequality Blacks endure diminishes as entrepreneurship increases. To be viable in American society, Blacks must employ strategies that involve meaningful and sustainable activities that enhance Blacks’ prosperity.

Blacks are plagued with problems of: mass incarceration, which has through decades taken away millions of Black fathers, schools not educating our kids, few to no economic opportunities, and high-levels of violence in our cities, for which normally we wait for outside intervention by Whites.

All the while, Black figureheads are more concerned with maintaining their status as Washington insiders than they are about finding real solutions for Black populations’ problems.

More Blacks need to increase their identity with the race and bring of their money back home. The term “collective” and concept of Black leadership must be internalized so that all of us carry our weight, instead of waiting for other people to do for us. Instead of waiting for the White power structure, to make policy and programs for us, policy each of us must see ourselves as leaders in our families, of our communities and social circles.

As we move up capitalist ladder, let’s keep in mind that: Money is the lubricant of modern economies. The key to Blacks’ economic development lies with creating our own banks. Such banks can leverage deposits that create loans for businesses.

As these businesses grow and create jobs, they produce new customers that grow banks. It needs to become as elementary among African Americans as it is for other ethnic groups, to create and own our own banks. A bank is created by forming a corporation and fulfilling requirements for chartering set by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The most difficult aspect of bank formation is meeting capitalization requirements. In most states, it takes about $20 million to start a bank. Just 20,000 Black households could form a bank by saving $20 a week for one year and investing that $1,000. Every city in America with a sizeable Black population should have at least one Black-owned bank. Currently there are 30 Black-owned banks in the United States – one for every 1.3 million Blacks.

Too few Blacks espouse “family” and “tribal” traits. And, too many have “mainstream” perspectives that fog our marketplace practices. Too many Blacks are caught up in the mainstream, and more should be cognizant of the ills of assimilating to the point our culture and language totally resembles those of “the mainstream.”

Blacks dead set on “integrating” with White so called Mainstream society fail to see the importance of creating and maintaining our own banks. This is something Black Americans must do: begin developing our own banks in our own communities, and then money will remain in our communities to create businesses and jobs, and place more Blacks on sound fiscal footing. It is only under these conditions can we expect our unemployment rates to decline and our incomes to raise, and our wealth to grow.

What we see as leadership is important to our views and perspectives. Blacks have to rise above “crabs in a barrel” mentalities. “The Black perspective.” is in need of internal leadership mapping out where we need to go to “win” as a team or an organization it is dynamic, exciting, and inspiring.

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via [email protected]

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