We Were Just Talking About This

Posted: December 2, 2008 in Economy, Our Expression

This morning I happened to come across the following article. The topic? Black-owned businesses. In case you have been missing it, we have been talking a little bit about this same topic in the post titled “Getting Mad At The Match“.

Now the responses on this particular topic has always been very interesting to me. On one hand you got the person who feels that talking about anything like this is too downright embarrassing and should be avoided by bringing up White examples. On the other hand you got the person who is yelling “Tell it! Tell it! Tell it!”. In any event, this always makes for a very interesting discussion.

Here is a excerpt of the article I found on finalcall.com (h/t: reddingnewsreview.com). It was written by Deric Muhammad.

I recently attended a community event with a Houston U.S. Congressman. I excused myself to a nearby Black-owned restaurant to use its restroom. As I attempted to exit the restroom, I was hit with a painful reality. I was locked inside. After about fifteen minutes of trying to “break free” I, embarrassingly, called someone from our entourage. They sent an employee from the restaurant to come and rescue me.

I heard the footsteps coming down the corridor and I was relieved until I saw a silver butter knife slid underneath the door. “Jimmy it with the knife”, he said. No, no, no… right there in the center. You almost got it.” There was nothing else for me to do but accept his coaching in order to free myself from the restroom.

I do not wish to expose the name of this establishment. I am only giving us an example of one instance where Black businesses, who complain about us believing the White man’s ice is colder, fail miserably to provide goods, services and amenities in a way that keeps customers coming back.

I regularly hear horror stories about how hard-working people pay Black contractors to do a job that never gets finished. You sometimes show up at a coffee shop or restaurant and they are closed when they are supposed to be open. Too often, we say that we will have a service completed by a certain date and fail to deliver. Many Black businesses close themselves down.

Now let’s flip the coin to the Black business patron. Too often good Black businesses cringe at doing business with our own people, because we are always looking for “the hook-up.” There are good Black contractors who finish jobs and then are paid with a rubber check! We show up at the Black coffee shop just to use the internet and then go buy a latte from Starbucks. Sometimes Black business owners just give up or move to the suburbs because doing business in the ‘hood, proves to be too challenging.

In all fairness, these business snafus are not only relegated to Black businesses. You can go anywhere in town and find poor customer service. However, if we are to survive during these economically challenging times, we must get back to the basics of nation building and self-development. We must support Black businesses that are serious about doing business and eliminate businesses that poison the water that we all must drink from. (more…)

  1. This is a good article. Thanks for posting.

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