In the last few weeks Black America has been in a state of euphoria because of the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States. But life goes on and I have also observed the Obama administration striving for economic progress.
Recently, we traveled to Atlanta for the Trumpet Awards, and but for the Induction of heroes into the Civil Rights Walk of Fame which was held at historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, formerly pastured by Dr. Martin Luther King, all of the events were held in buildings not owned by African Americans.
This month I went to see a play which was a Black subject but held at a venue not owned by African Americans. I went to a dinner in Los Angeles held in a building that (I believe) was owned by an African American. I went to the annual Pan African Flim and Arts Festival and a friend of mine made me think with a statement that Black America got a Black President but White Corporate America got billions of Federal dollars. Is that Corporate welfare? Is that socialism? Is that hypocrisy? Is that one of those things that Conservative Republicans say they don't like? If they don't like it, they sure seemed to gobble up all the welfare they could get their hands on.
What if we could do it all over again and had a choice between a Black President and billions of government dollars input into the Black communities? What if the money was spent to improve Black America's economic independence, improve schools in our communities, improve employment opportunities, and reduce crime in Black communities? What would be your choice? Thank God we don't have to make that choice and answer these questions but they are ammunition for discussion of what our continuing needs in Black America are.
I think we can have it all by creating an economic and an educational stimulus plan in our own communities. The realities of the recently passed economic stimulus plan are that it will create jobs for those who can and will do construction and road building work. If you can swing a hammer, do electrical work, or cement work, the jobs may be plenty. So who in your household will get a job?
The other side of the future came to me from watching the movie, "The Secret Life of Bees" and seeing the independent women in the honey business and being reminded of my mother in her business. Her business and the treatment of my father on a job when he attempted to go into business on his own are the impetus for my own career choice of working for myself every since I had a shoe shine stand as a teen-ager and later a Barbershop at the age of twenty. The women from "The Secret Life of Bees" are what life needs to be about. They had a family business providing jobs for family members who had no future except as domestics, housekeepers, and Nannies. I couldn't help but think of the many that are unemployed and could open family businesses. For years African American businesses have improved the lives of African Americans in a part of Black History that has not fully been told.