Never stop learning is a life’s motto that I try to live by. When you stop learning you are a know-it-all, and that is a place I don’t want to get to. One discovery was the Micro Finance Project. This project was designed by a college associate of mine from the sixties, Dr. Earnestine Thomas Robertson. Dr.
Robertson’s project was part of a Sister City Project between Los Angeles and Lusaka in Africa that was started by then Mayor Thomas Bradley.
The project chose ten women and two men to fund the startup and improvement of their business idea. Once funded, the participants were to start their business using their start up/improvement money. Bank Accounts were set up at Barclays’ bank for each of the participant entrepreneurs. The participants were scheduled to pay it back in a two year period. The money is scheduled to be replenished over a period, presumably turning the money over to new applicants.
Each new business produces new jobs community pride and new earnings for the community and their participants. Dr. Robertson’s project has created thirty new businesses including a grocery store. Other businesses have included the expansion of a variety of food stands, a handbag business, clothing company, a ginger and garlic farm, a goat farm, chicken farm, a seamstress business, a pilot training program, and an egg production business.
Dr. Robertson’s project is part of an organization called African Focus Inc. African Focus recently celebrated ﬁfteen years and has donated Christmas gifts and medical supplies to Africans. The group also sponsors and organizes Homecoming tours to Africa. My wife and I attended the African Focus Good Awards and Family Induction dinner event and were blessed with breathtaking show of African fashions and activities. Those wanting more information may contact African Focus at website: www.Africanfocus. org, email: agri@africanfocus. org. phone: 310-676-7300.
As America moves to skirt the damage that Donald Trump is trying to do to America and the working class people, we need to develop survival plans. The Micro Finance Project is one way to curtail the ravages of this man America has elected as President. Get your group together and develop a survival plan, other than stealing and begging for your community.
My second and most recent discovery was re-reading about Black Wall Street and the real damage that the white people of Oklahoma did to progressive ideas of black America. The entrepreneurial model that Black Wall Street set up for America was an amazing feat. Few Americans have any idea of the wrongs done to America.
Black Wall Street is an event in American history that demonstrates an example of racism that happened in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1921. The event, known as the riot that destroyed Black Wall Street, was the destruction and burning of a prosperous Black community in America. The result of a misunderstanding of an event between a White elevator operator and a Black elevator rider was interpreted as an attempted rape. In fact, the elevator operator stepped on the black man’s foot, she screamed and slapped him.
He grabbed her hand to stop a second slap. That was enough to get him arrested and a white Lynch mob numbering over 1000 went to the jail to lynch him. A group of approximately 400 Black men grabbed their guns and went to protect the young man. The sheriff sought to disarm the Black men and the war was on. In a twenty four hour period Black businesses including hotels, an airline and Black churches were burned to the ground, Black folks were killed, drug through the streets tied to a vehicle. One couple was caught in their home on their knees praying and were shot and killed.
Every page of Hannibal Johnsons’ book, Black Wall Street, left me with my mouth open, saying “Wow!” In one passage I read a message directed to Blacks from Edwin P. McCabe, a prominent African American newspaper publisher (the Langston Herald, in which he appeals to Blacks to abandon the back-breaking grind of Southern plantation living for the greener pastures of Oklahoma, “What will you be if you stay in the South?Slaves, liable to be killed at any time and never treated right, but if you come to Oklahoma, you have equal chances with the white man, free and independent.” Why do southern whites always run down Oklahoma and try to keep the Negros from coming here? Because they want to keep them there and live off their labor. White people are coming here everyday.”
We need to learn about what happened at the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma, or we may have to relive it.