The Problem Of Class In The Black Community

US One hundred dollar bills
Abeni Jones
May 5, 2020

Since they first arrived in America, our ancestors were exploited for financial gain. But it wasn’t just whites doing it - some of our ancestors also took part. Yes, there WERE Black slave owners, and no, they weren’t ALL just freeing family members.

Money has a way of corrupting our values like that.

For centuries, adopting white patterns of speech, style of dress and hair, and work culture was the only way to get ahead. Because so much of the culture of wealth is white, too many of us believe the lie that whiteness actually IS better.

When we start believing that, it’s easy to look down on our own people.

America, built on the lie of “rugged individualism,” makes it almost NECESSARY to ditch your folks if you want to succeed. 

Just two examples: because of racism, homes in majority-Black neighborhoods gain value more slowly, and businesses in Black neighborhoods do worse economically, than identical homes and businesses in white areas. This causes people to leave the ‘hood and never look back.

Capitalism is built on the exploitation of the underclass. The separation of wealthy Blacks from the rest of us is intentional! If we’re separated, we won’t build power to fight our common enemy: white supremacy.

But there is another way!

As Black people, we have to create - or, more accurately, remember - alternative, communal models of success and reimagine wealth. We’ve done it before.

Black liberation means ALL of us, not just the lucky few who strike it rich!

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