African Diaspora History Month in the United States. This should be the official name for the month, but I digress ….
Black American history in a nutshell (Also known as what Tom Joyner and Roland Martin won’t tell you on the radio because … well, they haven’t figured it out yet.)
1619-1808-Africans brought to the United States as working capital with no compensation going to the African. Slaves.
1808-1865-Continued use as working capital primarily on plantations in the south. A brewing conflict since the beginning of the country between shipping and financial interests in the North and agricultural interests in the South comes to a head exploding into a civil war. One of the results of the North’s victory is the physical emancipation of human working capital i.e. slaves. Freed Africans legally could ask for compensation for their labor, but in freed slaves are severely under-compensated and the ability to move the capital within their person hood across state lines is severely socially and legally restricted. This state of severe capital immobility would continue for 100 years, particularly in the South.
1964-1968-Major pieces of legislation are passed into law designed on the surface to provide rights to housing, the voting booth, and the movement of capital contained in one’s person hood. The period also represents the emergence of black political power as blacks start running for and winning elected offices …
1977-Significant legislation addressing the “redlining” of black communities. Legislation intended to increase black American access to loanable funds.
Today-The black unemployment rate is approximately two times the rate for whites. White wealth is over twenty times higher than black wealth, with blacks overly indexed in home ownership vs. more diversified portfolios owned by whites. Blacks still have a harder time accessing capital for the purpose of starting businesses.
As you can see I made no mention of Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Nat Turner, Mary McLeod Bethune, Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, James Baldwin, Tina Turner, Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, Jay Z, Will.i.am, or Beyonce. Why? Because no historical discussion of a group’s existence in America should begin without a discussion of capital access, distribution, and use.
Every year blacks listen to the same playlist and end up on February 28 (or 29th in case of a leap year) singing “Kumbaya” or “We Shall Overcome” in the most dreadfully, mournful tones while asking for more “dead aid” from the great skydaddy, the federal government. It’s time to rewrite the historical narrative from a hysterical one….