In a culture where things used to be so sweet, there lies an area of sour bitterness- so, how do we get back to that financial sweet spot?
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The Black community has always been just that: a community. Whether we’re always on the same page or not, we never hesitate to pour back into the very same people that offer us and countless others, support. Thinking back to the times of Soul Train or even Black Wall Street, Black people appeared to be a united front- everything was kept within the community. However now, because we have turned into consumers rather than community members, our unlimited access to unlimited options makes it easier to outsource products or a service. This has lessened our need to depend on community and weakened our moral sense of obligation to the community. Rather than seek from within, we’re quick to support outside sources or businesses who don’t always have the best intentions for (members of) the Black community in mind. In a culture where things used to be so sweet, there lies an area of sour bitterness- so, how do we get back to that financial sweet spot?
The answer may lie in a slogan that’s increased in popularity as of late:
#SupportBlackBusinesses. But it goes beyond that. The aftermath of last year’s civil unrest- showcased by numerous riots and protests to challenge police brutality and racial injustice, in addition to the ongoing COVID pandemic, revealed Black people need support beyond chants, catchphrases, symbolism, and representation. Black people need tangible aid- direct help that can directly impact lives. This can look like supporting Black businesses, but more importantly, this is supporting Black people. This means supporting GoFundMe’s, looking out for the betterment of the Black diaspora, and working on ourselves so we can be better leaders and team players to every single member of the community. As actress, writer, and producer, Issa Rae, said at an Emmy’s red carpet interview, “I’m rooting for everybody Black”, and we should all adopt that same sentiment. It’s the attitude that made Black Wall Street such a thriving success, and it’s one worth returning to.
The past year has also uprooted our entire faith in the workforce, changing our perceptions of money- the means of obtaining and sustaining it. Thousands lost their jobs, pushing them to finally start their own business, pursue alternate creative hobbies, or crowdfund for survival. This also made many realize they do not have to self-sacrifice or overlook their boundaries for the sake of keeping a job, nevertheless, one that exploits their workers. Although it’s been a tough two years, people are realizing the importance of prioritizing themselves, and are seeing how supporting others helps everyone as a whole. When the government and big-dollar corporations lets its citizens and workers down, these same people were able to turn to their communities for help, and received it. Now, a collectivist mindset is being prioritized over an individualistic one, and its proven to have made everyone’s life a bit easier to manage.
By prioritizing the individuals of that community, we are also prioritizing said community. Thanks to organizations like Pop of Culture who make it their mission to create an ecosystem that supports and promotes Black businesses, we are able to put our best foot forward and do the same.
Pop of Culture, ATL August 2021
In a world tough as rocks, it’s easy to chip our teeth trying to get by. Therefore, making sure to rely on one another, and being intentional with our support are all steps that’ll lead us back to that Black financial sweet spot.
Until next time,