Recent unemployment data shows that black unemployment went up in every demographic while white unemployment declined across the board. Both Martin Luther King and Malcolm X had dreams, one of which involved the pursuit of economic independence for our community. Since their deaths, we’ve forgotten about this part of their dream, but it’s time that we come together to make it into a reality.
Malcolm made it clear that black unemployment will cease to be a problem only when we take a stand and own our own businesses. We can picket, get angry and wait for companies to offer us opportunities, but the reality is that we cannot depend on institutions that are owned by the descendants of our historical oppressors. All throughout American history, black folks are the last hired and the first fired, and this is not going to change any time soon.
Lawrence Watkins and Tre Baker are the founders of a company, Ujamaa Deals, that is seeking to change all this by bringing together black businesses with the consumers seeking to support them. They were recently selected as the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs of the Week and won a national White House competition for the quality of their business idea. They believe in pursuing ethical business models that seek out the joint objectives of long-term profitability and black economic development.
If you believe in this cause, I hope you’ll join our Ujamaa Initiative to support black-owned businesses. You can sign up for free by clicking here. We need your help and the only way we are going to fulfill our dream of economic independence is by reminding ourselves of the value and power of ownership.