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"A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry, but money answers all things." — Ecclesiastes 10:19.
In his recent Michigan Chronicle article, "Django Unchained, Detroit in Chains," Pastor David Alexander Bullock rightly notes the presence of a lingering psychological self-loathing that dogs a significant portion of Black America, only to miss the mark by citing the recent Quentin Tarantino movie, "Django Unchained," as evidence of that self-loathing.

Surmising that Jewish America would never permit a similar revisionist take on Jewish suffering, Pastor Bullock casts himself as the cinematic neophyte who's unaware that Tarantino has already delivered Django's Jewish predecessor in the similarly unchained Brad Pitt movie, "Inglourious Bastards," a "Django"-like story about a fictitious band of Jewish soldiers who wreak havoc on their Nazi tormentors in a manner parallel to Django's terrorizing of the slave master.

But Pastor Bullock redeems by correctly noting the sad reality that Blacks can still do precious little without consent of America's White power structure. Just think, when in the average African American's lifetime has he achieved even one part of the American Dream without a white person's involvement in the decision-making process?

Dr. King dreamed that freedom would one day reign in African America, but true freedom cannot exist apart from the sort of economic equality that will remain unattainable until Black America reconciles its misconception that the only answer to racial injustice is the "either/or" proposition of mass separation or total integration. True freedom requires the uncompromised ability to say "no" without fear of marginalization, and Black America will taste this level of freedom only after baking our own economic pie. Until then, our antagonists remain secure in the knowledge that, having few economic options, we have little choice but to say "yes" to whatever size slice of their pie they choose to serve.

In the 1940s, whole neighborhoods of self-sufficient Black-owned businesses prospered until the realities of 1960s integration forced them to close. Black America's claim ticket to the spoils of its civil rights victories was also its foreclosure notice to many Black proprietors unable to sustain their businesses after the loss of so many Black customers to newly integrated competitors.

Black America has the cumulative resources to control its own destiny, but this will not occur without a new game plan. We simply cannot compete against an opponent with a 400-year head start who, by design, keeps us mired on first base because it controls all the money.

To advance toward home plate where fulfillment of "the dream" awaits, our focus must shift from base hits to home runs, from owning a few businesses to controlling the money that funds many businesses. So true is this point that even the Bible says our dreams won't be realized until we own the bank because it is in control of the " (that) answers all things."

Imagine the possibilities of Black-owned wealth deposited in Black-owned banks that consistently loan, invest and partner with African American businesses and communities. Notice would finally be served to mainstream banks which welcome our deposits but prove allergic to sustained investment in the Black community, that Black America now holds the reins of its own financial destiny, and as such, will decide whether to "separate" or "integrate" – business-wise – based solely on our own best interests.

Money circulates up to 15 times before leaving other ethnic communities, yet exits the Black community at almost the moment we get it. Caucasians control the majority of financial institutions in America, and Asians, Jews, Middle Easterners and Hispanics all have dedicated banking interests, both here and in their native lands. The common denominators in their financial success are cohesive networking and delayed gratification, a mastery of which is mostly foreign to post-1970s Black America.

There is certainly some truth to the thought that Black America's over-spending and inability to delay gratification is part of the generational effects of a slave system that forbade our ancestors from reading, writing or openly acquiring the best goods in the marketplace. But if our propensity for burning through wealth as soon as we get it is the result of overcompensating for years of material denial, why can we still so easily refuse to pick up a book?
Derek Smith is a freelance Christian author, speaker and columnist. Queries and comments are welcome and can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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