Black America Inc. is a book that touches on actual solutions that our people can implement to solve the economic and social problems that plague the black community. For those that do not know, I read a lot of books. This is not the first book I have read on black economics and it is not the first book I have read about present day solutions to today’s issues that impact black communities. It is, however, the first book that spoke on using the massive buying power that we have (over one trillion dollars) to create black solutions. It’s like Dr. Boyce says, “you can’t tell me that black folks cant create jobs when our buying power creates a ton of jobs for everyone else but us”.
I enjoyed this book because AR Morton, or as he is referred to on twitter @doedoobs, does away with the victim mentality. This is not to say that he dismisses certain issues and how it has impacted the community but this book is about taking responsibility for our future not passing on blame. I like how Doe acknowledges that bad stuff has happened to African-Americans (“AAs”) in America but that is not a reason to throw our hands up and give up. All too often we get books and think pieces that speak on the obvious and indisputable bad stuff that has happened to black folks, and then leave it there. Doe takes it to the next level with the “now what”… Yeah a lot of bad stuff happened… “now what”?
The best part about this book is that AR spends most of the book talking about how to win, not why we are losing (see New Jim Crow). AR provides solutions for food, housing, budgeting, finance, transportation, science and education. AR challenges a lot of conventionally held ideas that pacify us into inaction because we can pass on the blame. One thing that stood out to me is how AR talks about how we often times say that disease runs in our family. But we ignore the fact that it’s not the disease but the recipes and habits that were handed down from slave to ex slave, to non slave and now us. This is significant because blaming your DNA is something you can’t control but blaming your habits is something you can. One requires change and discomfort and the other does not. This is relevant to all of the things holding us back that we say we can’t control. That line of thinking is false. We can control those things if we are willing to put in the work. Yes bad stuff happened, change and adapt to be better.
I keep saying that a certain section was the best part but in my opinion all of the sections are the best part because they challenge your thinking. You are where you are because of how you think. Everything we have now isn’t because of some white person it’s because of how we THINK. If we can change our thinking we can change our circumstances. Books are a great way to change your thinking. The focus it takes to read morphs your brain. As your brain gets morphed new original thoughts and ideas emerge. The opposite is true when you listen to music or watch a movie because they are doing all the thinking for you, at least that’s what my mom used to tell me growing up. I think she was right.
Now, another significant piece of AR’s book is that all of AR’s solutions not only show that we can do it, but it shows with proof that we can finance it. This is significant because every time a black solution is presented the number one objection people throw up is that we lack funds. The fact is that we don’t lack the funds. The fact is that “if black America were a country, it’d be the 15th wealthiest nation in the world”. Yet we produce little to nothing. We don’t lack the funds or the resources, what we lack is RESOURCEFULNESS. We lack the will to be creative in the ways that matter. We are great at creating entertainment and memes but we need to apply that same intellectual strength into creating solutions for our people and for people as a whole that we can then turn around and SELL.
In Doe’s book he talks about growing our own food and eliminating that expense from our budget which frees up more money to save and invest. He also talks about how when we do this we not only will be able to sell to our own but we will sell to other communities. The fact is that in America we love a great product and or a great bargain When our community creates great products we will bring in money not just from our own but other people as well. We have to become producers and not merely consumers though. Producers get rich, consumers get POOR. I always say this.
Additionally, Doe speaks on combining households in a way that we have more income earners under one roof (basically what Hispanics and Asians do) creating an economic system where more income is used to liberate us and not merely house us. For example, if you have 6 adults under one roof each bringing in $2-$3k per month that is $12k-$18k gross income under one room with the mortgage at about $2,000. That gives you net discretionary income of $10,000-$16,000 per month that can be used to reinvest back into your people and your community. On the other hand, say those 6 people each had their own on bedroom apartment at about $1,200 per month. That turns int $7,200 in housing expenses and about half the discretionary income as above. Not to mention you also have to pay utilities and insurance. It just makes sense to bunk up for some time. That is if you are serious about winning and not just being a complaining loser waiting on a check that will never come.
You don’t have to live like this forever but its smart to do it for some time. Do it while you level up into income properties and assets that can make you an owner not someone who is owned. It’s time we see ourselves are bigger and better not as mere peasants trying to get by. These two ideas (food and housing) are the two that stood out the most because food and housing are what keep people tied to a job where they are mistreated, under appreciated and under valued. People go to work because they need to put food on the table. Men sell drugs to “feed their daughter”. If we can learn to house and feed ourselves then we are free to build what we want or work a job we enjoy.
This adds tremendous psychological value and worth to our people because the psychological trauma that we have endured impacts how we spend money and our time as well. Most of the money we spend is because we don’t feel worthy. We don’t feel as though we are good enough so we rock a lot of ice cause we got a lot of pain. The truth is that you are amazing as you are and you don’t need expensive brands to elevate you.
This past week I had the pleasure of interviewing the author and during that podcast we expanded on some of the solutions and the hows. AR Morton stated that “it’s not a matter of IF we will achieve our goal but WHEN”. Another point that AR Morton made in his book is that economics are the problem and the solution. The beauty in all of this is that we have the power to change our condition. We don’t have to depend on any outside forces as long as we start operating along the formula outlined in this book.
The key is that other groups are winning not because they are better, smarter, or faster, but because they do the exact things outlined in this book. They have their own schools, they have their own businesses and grocery stores and they bounce the dollar in their community. Think about it, if you spend money in the grocery store that employs your son or daughter or that is managed by your brother then you are really just giving money to your son, daughter or brother who will then take that money and use it to buy goods at the store that you own. The money should be coming around and around like a train on a circular track. Where if you don’t get it on the first try it will circle back around.
It is not a matter of reinventing the wheel. It is merely a matter of following a strict game plan aimed at the level up. If we create opportunities in our community for our own and less for Ralph Lauren and Nike employees that don’t look like us, there will be less drugs and crime in the community, people will be happier, families will thrive with both parents and property values will be on par with other comparable areas.
It is time that we stop being slaves and victims waiting for a handout and start being the great people that we once were. We are more than able to do great things.
I know that this post does not do the book justice so I recommend you pick it up at https://www.amazon.com/Black-America-Inc-Trillion-Dollar-ebook/dp/B01NA6QSTK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491496232&sr=8-1&keywords=black+america+inc
I promise you will not be disappointed.