By Terry Allen
My good friend, Jewel Diamond Taylor says, “Your main thing is to make sure your main thing stays your thing.” So, the point of my column and Jewel’s quote is to keep the main thing front and center….In short, the quote is about staying focused on the main thing, and not be distracted by all the other things popping up around you. I am excited about the chants for remove, reform, and defund but those shouts signify our collective response to this moment sparked by the eight minutes forty-six (8:46) second death of George Floyd. We must now make this moment a movement so we will not have to revisit this again. We can applaud all those corporations that have symbolically denounced systemic racism as well as stepped up to pledge huge dollar amounts aimed at racial equity. Yet, WE must control the narrative. We must invest in our wealth creation. We must save ourselves to make this moment a movement. Many of those dollars will be difficult to obtain and we will give up. When we do not obtain the dollars set aside by enlightened institutions then it will be perceived as a buffer response to our moment. We will never get to a movement unless we own this moment. We cannot allow for our Diaspora to get back to “racism” as usual status.
In the words of my mentor, George Fraser, “Black people have to save Black people.” Our success will never stay top-of-mind by any other race than us. We must maintain this global momentum. Donating money to nonprofits, establishing unattainable loan funds, and creating diversity & inclusion departments will not make up for our missing 40 acres and a mule. It will not rebuild our Wall Streets. Homeownership (40 acres) is the first step American families took to build wealth. Business ownership (the Mule) is the second step Americans use to build wealth. We must mandate that these corporations create revenues infused line items for multiple years, not just one. Let’s create opportunities for us. How about technology and entrepreneurial development for young Black men? Can we make a sizable dent in the income/ wealth gap in Black communities thereby creating Black prosperity while simultaneously reducing the pipeline to prison paths in our neighborhoods? We must make investments in ourselves and our businesses. So, join me and my Good Trouble Mentoring Program for young Black men and women. Those are my thoughts. Now yours? In closing, please if we use our collective faith to guide our steps, we will have a movement from this moment. We can then give ourselves a High Five! Please email me at the paper and tell me you are with me. Terryallenpr@gmail.com.