Black Unity in Action, Maybe
By Terrance Amen
Nationwide (February 22, 2013) -- Black bookstores have taken an enormous beating from the introduction to the now powerful online giant Amazon. But there is a solution to this problem, just like all the other problems in the Black community, if we take the time to look inward, instead of always looking outside our community for the answers. Through Black Unity, this problem can be solved. Let us imagine for a minute that all the Black bookstores got together to form an alliance where they could save money and cut their expenses and generate new revenues, not only selling books, but becoming publishers as well. This would have to be supported by well known Black authors and independent authors as well.
We have now entered the digital age; as more time goes by, the more people will use the new devices available to read digital books. These are new streams of income; by carrying the cost collectively through the Black bookstore alliance, there shouldn't be a major burden on any individual bookstore. There also could be a central place where physical books are printed and delivered. All this would create new opportunities in printing, publishing, digitizing, delivery, and more.
It's funny how these systems are already in place, except we aren't working together to make them benefit the Black bookstore market because everything is separated or done by the individual bookstores. Now the plan of alliance may not work out as perfectly as I'm saying, but something like this can be done to save our bookstores. Has this been tried before? I'm sure it has in some form or fashion. But think about all the successful Black books sold in the past 20 years and how much money went to people outside our community because we haven't worked together to set something like this up.
How about doing this with the Black news paper and magazine industry? They're all in the in a similar industry and could benefit by working together. There is no synergy within the Black community and this is why we suffer so much. You can apply this to many other areas in our community like business products and services, education, health, finances, agriculture, and many more. Think of the jobs that can be created if we only started to strategically work together.
Notice I use the term "working together" a lot. This is because we don't as much as we should, yet we complain about what we don't have and still need in our community. Where are all these opportunities going and who is it benefiting? Other communities who don't contribute to ours! But we continue to contribute to other communities regardless! It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see if we only started to work together, we could solve our own problems. But we are Americans and our problems are supposedly American problems. Well, someone didn't get the memo because the problems in the Black community are getting worse, despite having a Black president in office who can't be just for our people but has to be for all the people.
Yes, about half of our community is doing okay, but what about the other half? Do we forget about them and brush them off by saying they're lazy and don't want to do better for themselves? Even the Black middle-class is being eroded because we continue to rely on people outside our community to find us jobs. So what do we do when our government can't or simply refuses to help us? It's past time the Black community starts to take steps towards doing for ourselves, just like every other group or community does, and past time we stop running away from the responsibility to help each other.
No one outside our community can solve the problems in our community but us. This is why these problems still exist. So maybe it's time to show Black Unity in action. In the past, when we had no choice but to work together, we were very successful. We can do this again, but even better now because we have the money and resources we didn't have back then. But back then we did have the unity, the only thing missing from us being successful as a community. It's past time to bring the unity back. Black Unity means financial independence and happiness.
Terrance Amen is the author of the new book, "Black Unity: The Total Solution to Financial Independence and Happiness". Go to www.BlackUnityTheTotalSolution.com for more information.
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