The Power Of The Black Dollar

By David Jordan Jr
So amazing how the power of the dollar is not necessarily determined by who has it but by who spends it and how it’s spent. Financial power and financial stability in the United States of America has had domino effect on the makeup of not only the country as a whole but on the ideologies and preconceived notions about individuals and groups of people. The very first step of the black person on North American soil spearheaded the value of what would eventually become US Currency. First as property (slaves), the value of the black person to economic growth in the United States of America is priceless. As slaves black people cultivated the land and built structures with their hands which would eventually become the trade centers of American commerce. Emancipation gave the newly freed black people the opportunity to earn their own money and create businesses for themselves. The opportunity to build with their own money provided black people with an avenue to be self sufficient in a racist, segregated society; the oppressors eventually saw this as an opportunity to reclaim the property which they lost by the ending of slavery, the black dollar. “The Secret of Selling the Negro Market” is a 1954 film financed by Johnson Publishing Company which essentially told white businesses and corporations how to get black people to spend money with their establishments. Their is a strange irony in the fact that Johnson Publishing Company (A black owned corporation) would produce a film to encourage black people to spend money with white businesses and corporations during a time when blacks in many places in the country weren’t allowed to shop or eat due to segregation and Jim Crow Laws. The film came out in 1954 prior to the birth of the Civil Rights Movement; it could open up many different conversations about it’s role in many different areas going forward. Blacks during this time period either were extremely proud of their own self sufficiency or craved acceptance and validation from white people. Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Marcus Garvey and W.E.B. Dubois were all proponents of black businesses and blacks spending their money where they were truly respected and valued as customers. This film, though produced in 1954 expresses the same message that many blacks feel today; a need to be valued by businesses that only want their money. This question needs to be asked; how can you spend money with a company or corporation that doesn’t value you or even represent you in it’s marketing or advertising? Watch the short film “The Secret Of Selling the Negro Market” and share your thoughts.

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