Updated: Apr 25
Yesterday, just like many other days of being a black entrepreneur, I walked into our black owned business and there was another person waiting to ask me to give them a FREE copy of my Award-Winning Book.
As normal, the person asking is never anyone who needs a charitable $2.99 book on Kindle, $12.99 at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, $17.99 on Audible or iBooks, or in Waterstones if you happen to be in the UK.
It is always someone with a $1500 iPhone, a Gucci belt, or is riding in a brand-new Cadillac Escalade, that will approach me (a small-town activist, author, Non-Profit founder of REACH ONE CHESS, Inc, and local retired barber) with the expectations that we can support the charitable needs in our community and our families by giving away goods or services that we’ve worked very hard to produce and master, for free.
It is frustrating and insulting because it is already so difficult for black men to find safe spaces to share our real emotions. When we do find positive productive ways to express ourselves like writing, our community should be first in line to show us some support, given our literacy rates.
For Christ's sake lady, I am bearing my soul in this book, sharing about traumatic events like my father being killed. We authors get vulnerably transparent, in hopes that by sharing our testimonies, our voices might help to heal others.
What’s worse is, this attitude of expectations usually comes from black people that we’ve known well for years.
Now, what we learn to do is to hold up a mirror for these types of negroes, so that they may see themselves, unfiltered. Most people don’t like the image being reflected back to them and find it easier to blame the metaphorical mirror holder, instead of having the capacity to correct the reflection we all should see needs some adjusting.
Self-reflecting is a way for us reshape our own shadows, giving us the opportunity to become the communities we desire to see. If we support any and every other thing outside of our communities, we must encourage black businesses with our dollars, as well.
It’s sad because I wrote an entire chapter in my book, (THE SOUTHERN AWAKENING: A Black Man’s Guide to Liberating the Rural South), challenging us to elevate our mindsets from Combative to Collective Economics. However, those who need to be blessed by the empowering information baked into the pages of this book the most, will miss the bus because they are too tight to ride with a black owned business for $2.99.
We must reprogram our minds away from this devastating way of thinking. Combative and confrontational thinking, from an economic standpoint does more damage to black communities than the Coronavirus ever could. A dollar circulates, in other respective spaces, for 20 to nearly 30 days.
However, in African-American communities a dollar leaves us in a matter of 6 hours, not days!
Our future is not dependent on how “the white man” treats us. Our future is dependent on how we treat each other. If we expect better, we must regard each other better first.
Barnard the Barber