Writing in “The Crisis” (“Segregation In The North” The Crisis, XLI April 1934, pages 115 – 117), W.E.B. DuBois advances this solution to the then economic and social conditions of Africans in America;
“The only thing that we not only can, but must do, is voluntarily and insistently to organize our economic and social power, no matter how much segregation it involves. Learn to associate with ourselves and to train ourselves for effective association. Organize our strength as consumers; learn to co-operate and use machines and power as producers; train ourselves in methods of democratic control within our own group. Run and support our own institutions.”
Today, though plagued by double-digit unemployment, African Americans have an estimated buying power of $1 trillion*. Of that buying power, only an estimated 1% to 3% is returned to and spent in the Black community. We wonder, has the “integration” spawned by the Civil Rights Movement helped or hindered Black economic development? Is DuBois’ strategy the correct one?
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* Nielsen – “Resilient, Receptive and Relevant” 9/19/2013 – http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/reports/2013/resilient–receptive-and-relevant.html