By Staff Writer
Black Opinion (BO) supports the call to Buy Black as undertaken by Pastor Xola Skosana under the campaign named, National Black Solidarity Consumer Boycott (NBSCB). The campaign is not naive. It is aware that blacks shall never prosper under a white supremacist, racist, patriarchal, capitalist system. The condition for realisation of black life is black liberation which is in itself conditional on the destruction of white supremacy. The big question is how do we realise this liberation of blacks? What strategies can we adopt and tactics can we employ between now and the moment of reckoning? How do blacks “help the hand of history” to hasten matters towards the resolution of the oppression of black people?
There are no easy answers. To this end Dr Frank Wilderson III indicates that black struggle happens at two fundamental levels – first at the “programmatic” level and then at the “paradigmatic” level. At the programmatic level we build black institutions of resistance. It is in this context that the Buy Black campaign should be seen – more precisely as part of the call for building Kilombos (the safe space in which runaway slaves took refuge from slavery) as spaces where blacks can have some peace. The trouble with the Kilombo is that it co-exists with the plantation. Furthermore, the master with all the power and violence of slavery is always trying to destroy the Kilombo and return the runaway slave to the plantation. The Kilombo is the “liberated” territory deep within the territory but not accessible to the system. The Kilombo gives blacks the space to think, plan, heal, and go back to fight and liberate more slaves with the intention of doing the “paradigmatic” level of engagement which is about ending the world so that blacks may live!
Buying black must be seen within the context of building Kilombos. Buying black must introduce a new business and exchange ethic which is not determined by the evil logic of capitalism. We blacks must buy and sell to each other with the intention of destroying white supremacy. A black business person who is not aware of the fact that there is a plantation to be destroyed is an ally of white supremacy and dangerous to black people. Its the job of campaigns like Buy Black to educate blacks involved in business about the real war out there and the necessity to build a strong BLACK LOVE revolutionary movement.
As part of promoting radical and revolutionary black education, BO wishes to focus on the history of the BLACK WALL STREET, more especially it’s destruction by the white community in 1921. Basically black people, consequent to an oil boom, settled in the small town of Greenwood in Oklahoma and unleashed their creative potential in-spite of operating within racial capitalism. They worked hard to realise a dream. Ebony magazine reported on 31 May 2013 that in 1921 the white community literally destroyed this “modern, majestic, sophisticated and unapologetically Black” community and their thriving business kilombo. Moreover, Ebony pointedly indicated that the community had, “… created entrepreneurial opportunities for themselves, which housed an impressive business center that included banks, hotels, cafes, clothiers, movie theaters, and contemporary homes. Greenwood residents enjoyed many luxuries that their White neighbors did not, including indoor plumbing and a remarkable school system that superiorly educated Black children”.
It was a mistake to achieve that much whilst being black in a white world. Here’s one account of the day that speaks of the price that blacks paid just for daring to succeed under white supremacy:
“During the night and day of the riot, deputized whites killed more than 300 African Americans. They looted and burned to the ground 40 square blocks of 1,265 African American homes, including hospitals, schools, and churches, and destroyed 150 businesses”.
White people’s primary instinct is to destroy black lives. Blacks must resist to exist. There are other examples that confirm the white supremacist modus operandi when it comes to black excellence or achievement within capitalist white supremacy. Truth is as blacks we can only achieve a modicum of progress allowed by the white system. This is so because anytime whites feel threatened by black achievement they will and have used white power to destroy our achievements. In Kenya, pre independence time, Ongiga Odinga, who later became one of the key liberation figures tried to operate businesses which were collectively owned by blacks inside the colonial enclave. The colonialists destroyed these businesses forcing him to become a liberation fighter. It was the same in SA. After banning more than 19 Black Consciousness organisations in 1977 and after the murder of Steve Biko, the apartheid government took away and often destroyed black community projects of the Black Consciousness Movement.
The Buy Black campaign needs to know that we are in a war for liberation here – we must do it by any means necessary. Destruction and intrigue by white oppressors must not deter us. Again and again we must strive to be free and building kilombos is a key step in that direction. Buy Black! Its the right thing to do!
(See: Remembering the Destruction of Black Wall Street and the Tulsa ‘Race Riots’
(See: “The Destruction of Black Wall Street”http://www.ebony.com/black-