Before America was Ameria, it harvested the indigenous people who had no notion of an economy built on capitalism. What is capitalism one might ask? According to Merriam Dictionary capitalism is, “A way of organizing an economy so that the things that are used to make and transport products (such as land, oil, factories, ships, etc.) are owned by individual people and companies rather than by the government.” WEBSTER MARIAM. “CAPITALISM.” To understand capitalism we must understand the history. According to University of KMT press, an “Economic systems are different in history. Capitalism grew out of feudalism.” “Feudalism is a social system that existed in Europe during the Middle Ages in which people worked and fought for nobles who gave them protection and the use of land in return. WEBSTER MARIAM. “Feudal System.” Before capitalism, many people bartered which is engraved in the cultural traditions of people. The originators never valued anything outside its function or it’s need. Bartering catered to the necessity of the community meaning what one family couldn’t harvest or have access instead they traded amongst each other as it meets the needs of the entire community. What is a bartering? “According to Investment Answers, “Bartering is an exchange between two parties using goods and services for payment instead of currency.”
For centuries since being kidnapped and brought to the Americas, our ancestors have struggled to gain wealth and equality. After hundreds of years slavery and enriching the lives of others, we continue to be shackled, and empty handed. Despite all our hard work and millions of hours of free labor, Americas new economy “capitalism” has generated a wealth system we have yet to become full beneficiaries. A system that has proven catastrophic to our community as a result of economic castration preventing us from fully engaging in this economic system built by our ancestors.
According to Tdka Maat Kilimanjaro Yahra Aaneb in Bak2. “Economist say the Great Recession lasted from 2007 to 2011. In 2004, the median net worth of white households was $134,280, compared with $13,256 for black households, according to an analysis of Federal Reserve data by the Economic Policy Institute. By 2009, the median net worth for white households had fallen 24% to $97,860; the median Black net worth had fallen 83% to $2,170. In 2009, for every dollar of wealth the average white household had, Black households only had two cents.”‘
Many people believe we should compete in this capitalist society to fix our community, while others disagree pointing to its past tracked record of addressing the problems of black social injustuce, racism, and white supremacy. However, Dr. Claude Anderson seems to accept certain aspects of the economy system, stating capitalism creates job. Dr. Anderson pointed out in his book that job creation was the first step in political empowerment. He encouraged us not to depend on the government for support and maintained that we have always been the losers of captlism a system built on inequality . “as 2nd class citizens for 500 yrs we got absolutely nothing, soon we will be 3rd class citizens, and in the future, we’ll be 4th class citizens. If we didn’t get anything as 2nd class citizens what make you think we will get something as 4th class citizens”. He encouraged us to create jobs, business and take social responsibility by creating programs that foster growth and community development. Dr. Anderson believed at the core of our success is the development of an independent economic structure, a code of conduct economically, and group economics. He also encouraged block voting, which he maintained took discipline and accountability.
Like Dr. Anderson, Dr. Amos Wilson took a similar approach. He Also believed Africans must maintain integrity economically, while understanding survival was the key to our growth and development. He suggested that short-term solutions and long-term initiatives could liberate us from the economic stronghold of capitalism. He stressed the European could not help us solve our problems. “We create jobs, but we are not in a position to own that job that we created.” Tdka Maat Kilimanjaro of University of KMT press echoed these same beliefs in a similar way but placed emphasis on overthrowing the system using group economics stating we must “take advantage of All our resources.” All three scholars agreed that we should pull our resources and then develop a plan based on cooperative economics.
As Africans living in American, we have to come to grip with our position and realize this was the hand we were dealt. We were kidnapped, and deprived of our culture, language, spiritual system, and identity. Therefore, we must come together collectively to gain economic ground by setting an economic agenda. I read a study that stated we are 300 years behind in wealth compared to the majority. Take a look around at the wealth disparities in this country, predatory lending, and a look at all the new millionaires, all which that look like them. Our leadership has failed. Our community lacks the same education opportunities faced with very few options other than Section 8, welfare, and minimum-wage jobs as a means of survival.
The states are high, and we must look critically and how we addressed these problems and ask how can we design an economy built for us, what would it take, what would it look like, how could it benefit everyone, what would keep the economy afloat? All of these questions have to be answered, evaluated, and solutions must be designed based scientific methods that focus on economic survival that are deeply engraved in the fabric of American culture. Once we can answer these questions and devise a plan, we can then design a economy based on meeting the needs of our community. “We need a social/economic system that allows every person to have equal food, clothing, shelter, technical applied education. Second, we need the extraction and modernization of the very best of African culture–minus anything myths/mysticism forced on us by invaders. Self respect, self-value, and self-reliance is the foundation of happiness. Justice is the basis of equality and freedom.”- Tdka Kilimanjaro Ife Kilimanjaro Bak2.
If we want to have our own “Pie”, we must create the best bakers on the planet. We must be willing to inherit the ideas of a Claude Anderson, mixed with Amos Wilson Black Power approach, and incorporate them with Tdka Kilimanjaro using nothing less than our best, brightest and wisest minds. This will take sacrifice among like-minded individuals who can incorporate and see things from beginning to the end. We have very little time, no time for finger-pointing or blame, and we must be willing to dedicate our lives to the liberation from the horrors of 500 years of systemic racism in America.
We didn’t come to America looking to build our families or looking to create financial freedom. Instead, we came naked, bruised and confused on boats full of urine, blood, mucus, disease, and death. One by one, trip after trip we were captured against our will and thrust into an unfamiliar place to bend over backward to our death for the greater good of someone else’s dream. In return, we got absolutely nothing, not one red cent, not a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of!
Everything we got we earned under very strict and harsh circumstances which we made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our women, men, and children from the oppressor. Capitalism was built on these sacrifices with the purpose of destroying our will to live. How dare we fix our problems, how dare we accept this path for our children, and how dare we fight this economic bully that has created social, economic, and spiritual decay in our community?
We have to work hard and study the past to advance the future. But we must not only study, but we must also test our solutions, critique the flaws, and repeat the process to ensure our success. Then improve our existence by fostering relationships between like-minded individuals who are committed to advancing our sociopolitical position in society that was created to ensure we remained death, blind, and ignorant to the reality. In order to restore what was lost we must empower our people using strategies based on sound economic principles employed when we were in the land of our ancestors.
Voices of Fire
References: Tdka Kilimanjaro Bak2, Claude Anderson Powernomics book and lectures, Amos Wilson The Blue Print to Black Power lecture and book. Video references: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCQ9gh8EcY8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4m4lY5IQZgQ
Photo Credit: American Dream Cartoons, Ashley Bradford
Editor: Nyah Amara
Highly recommend all three books