05-25-2018  7:34 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Attorney General Forms Hate Crime Task Force

The task force will study hate-motivated crimes and review existing legal protections for victims ...

Portland Art Museum Celebrates Art Museum Day with Free Admission on May 25

Portland Art Museum joins art museums across North America, with great works of art and public programs ...

June Key Delta Community Center Hosts May Week ’18 Health Fair May 26

Event includes vision, glucose screenings, medication disposal and car seat installation ...

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

The highest-paid CEOs by state

Here are the top-paid CEOs by state for 2017, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive data firm.The survey considered only publicly traded companies with more than jumi billion in revenue that filed their proxy statements with federal regulators between Jan. 1 and April 30....

Douglas County suspends recycling service due to Chinese ban

ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) — The Douglas County Landfill and transfer stations, along with its recycling partner, will be suspending all recycling efforts in the county.The News-Review reports that the operations will be suspended June 1. The Douglas County Public Works Department in a statement...

The highest-paid CEOs by state

Here are the top-paid CEOs by state for 2017, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive data firm.The survey considered only publicly traded companies with more than jumi billion in revenue that filed their proxy statements with federal regulators between Jan. 1 and April 30....

NFL players, coaches grapple with new anthem policy

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Seahawks coach Pete Carroll wanted to be talking about football matters — Seattle's recommitment to the run game, the addition of two new coordinators, almost anything to do with what happens between the lines.Instead, the league's oldest coach has spent the past...

OPINION

Racism After Graduation May Just Be What's on the Menu

Dr. Julianne Malveaux says that for our young millennials, racism is inevitable ...

Prime Minister Netanyahu Shows Limits of Israel’s Democracy

Bill Fletcher, Jr. on racial politics in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s uneven treatment of African immigrants ...

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Students hand back in yearbook after racial slur is pictured

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Students at a coastal Georgia high school are being asked to hand back in their yearbooks after a racial slur made for some bad memories.The Savannah-Chatham County school district tells news outlets that the publisher has recalled the Windsor Forest High School yearbook...

Column: Jack Johnson's biggest crime was being black

Jack Johnson's biggest crime was being an unrepentant black man who beat up white men for a living.High-flying and flamboyant, he refused to live by the unwritten rules of American society in the early 1900s. That made him a target, and that eventually cost him his freedom after being convicted of...

Rachel Dolezal accused of welfare fraud after race scandal

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A former NAACP leader in Washington state whose life unraveled after she was exposed as a white woman pretending to be black has been charged with welfare fraud.Rachel Dolezal, who legally changed her name to Nkechi Diallo in 2016, was charged this week with theft by...

ENTERTAINMENT

Daniel Craig to return as 007 in 2019, Danny Boyle at helm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Daniel Craig is back as Bond, the spy series' producers confirmed, in a Danny Boyle-directed film due for release in 2019.Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of EON Productions announced Thursday that production on the 25th official James Bond thriller...

Rose McGowan on Weinstein: 'One win is a win for all of us'

NEW YORK (AP) — She was one of the earliest Harvey Weinstein accusers, and she thought the mogul might never face justice in a court of law.Now, actress Rose McGowan, who has accused Weinstein of raping her 20 years ago, is gratified but "still in shock" at the news that he is expected to...

Morgan Freeman apologizes in wake of harassment accusations

Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman apologized on Thursday to anyone who may have felt "uncomfortable or disrespected" by his behavior, after CNN reported that multiple women have accused the A-list actor of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior on movie sets and in other professional...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

For CEOs, .7 million a year is just middle of the pack

NEW YORK (AP) — Chief executives at the biggest public companies got an 8.5 percent raise last year,...

Explosion at Indian restaurant in Canada wounds 15 people

TORONTO (AP) — An explosion caused by a homemade bomb ripped through an Indian restaurant where children...

Veterans, discharged and jobless, seek hiring-rules changes

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Military veterans who were discharged for relatively minor offenses say they often...

The Latest: Syrian army warns Daraa rebels of nearing attack

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the situation in Syria (all times local):6 p.m.Syria state-run media says...

49 dead after boat capsizes on Congo River tributary

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congolese officials say at least 49 people have died after a boat tipped over on the...

Explosion at Indian restaurant in Canada wounds 15 people

TORONTO (AP) — An explosion caused by a homemade bomb ripped through an Indian restaurant where children...

James Clingman
James Clingman (NNPA News Wire Columnist)

“There are [Blacks] who are willing to worship the pyramids of 4,000 years ago, but will not build pyramids in the present so their children may see what they left behind as well. We have a leadership who rallies the people to look at past glories, but leave their children neglected, who will make great analytical and oratorical dissertations on the inadequacies of Eurocentric education and yet will not contribute one penny of their money or their time to the construction of their own schools.” — Dr. Amos Wilson, Afrikan Centered Consciousness versus the New World Order.

Montoya Smith, host of the Atlanta talk show, “Mental Dialogue,” asked, “Can we rebuild ‘Black Wall Street?’”

“No, really,” he added, recognizing the depth of his question and assuring folks he was not kidding or just being rhetorical.

So, what was Black Wall Street? Most of what I have learned about it was obtained from a book by John Sibley Butler titled, “Entrepreneurship and Self-Help Among Black Americans, A Reconsideration of Race and Economics,” which contains an exhaustive section on Tulsa, Oklahoma’s history and a detailed account of what took place in its Greenwood District. Some of the information below comes from Dr. Butler’s book. I also learned from face to face conversations with six of the survivors of the Tulsa Riot.

Black Wall Street was burned to the ground in 1921 by a White mob. The Greenwood District, located in the northern section of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was once called “Negro Wall Street,” and “Little Africa.” It was home to hundreds of Black owned businesses and sat on valuable land desired by White oil speculators, who even tried to buy parcels of that land from Blacks for ten cents on the dollar immediately following the Tulsa riot. Fortunately and wisely, Blacks refused to sell.

Despite hundreds of Black lives lost in the riot and all of Greenwood’s businesses destroyed, the story of that economic enclave during the ensuing seventeen years was one of triumph over tragedy. By 1923, as a result of Blacks pooling their money to capitalize new enterprises, the Black business district was even larger than before, and Greenwood was completely restored by Black people by 1938. Ultimately, urban renewal and integration, which allowed Blacks to shop at non-Black stores, led to the demise of “Black Wall Street.”

To Amos Wilson’s point, Greenwood was a pyramid built by Blacks in the early 1900’s. Instead of looking back and merely reveling in the successes of Mound Bayou, Mississippi, and other enclaves that came before them, Black people in Greenwood built upon those legacies. Thus, my answer to the question posed by Montoya Smith, (Can we rebuild Black Wall Street?) was and is an emphatic and unequivocal, “Yes!”

My answer to that question is based on the fact that we have done it before under far worse circumstances than we are under today. But as I listened to the other guest on Montoya’s show, Mr. Jay West, entrepreneur and president of the Lithonia Small Business and Merchants Association located on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia, I became even more convinced.

Immediately impressed by Mr. West and the work his group is doing in a city that is approximately 85 percent Black, I sought him out to learn more. Jay West understands and promotes local business support. “I do 95 percent of my shopping right here in Lithonia,” West said, “because I know that one dollar spent here has the multiplier effect of three dollars, as our businesses support one another.”

West is absolutely correct, and the Lithonia merchants association will benefit collectively and individually from circulating their dollars. They will grow their businesses and create more jobs. This nascent organization can be the model from which new Black Wall Streets can be built across this nation. It is on track to encourage more entrepreneurship and demonstrate the power of a cohesive, mutually supportive, self-directed, and economically empowered network of conscious business owners and consumers who are committed to growth and sustainability.

True partnerships between educated consumers and business professionals in Black economic enclaves comprise the basis for real power in the marketplace, i.e. collective purchasing programs and affinity groups, revolving loan funds, business equity funds, and financial leverage to stimulate future growth. Lithonia is in that space right now, and there is plenty of room for more cities and segments within those cities to do the same.

To draw the discussion closer to home in Atlanta: “Can Sweet Auburn be sweet again?”

John Wesley Dobbs called Auburn Avenue the “richest Negro street in the world.” Suffering its own riot in 1906 that left 25 Black men dead, the Sweet Auburn neighborhood can also be restored, and with leaders like Jay West and others in Atlanta, I am confident that we will build more pyramids in the Black community.

James Clingman is the nation’s most prolific writer on economic empowerment for Black people. His latest book, “Black Dollars Matter! Teach Your Dollars How to Make More Sense,” is available on his website, Blackonomics.com.

 

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