So we now know that, as of 2008, African Americans had an aggregate purchasing power estimated at $913 billion, larger than the economy of mineral rich South Africa or oil rich Saudi Arabia – which savvy researchers will tell you used to be part of Africa until European colonialism.
These ball players tend to have closets lined with $200-plus sneakers, very expensive custom-made sport and dress clothing and two or more vehicles valued at more than $150,000 apiece. In addition, these cash-rich, at best mostly under-educated, blood-diamond wearing Negroes latch on to voluptuous, mindless women – spend five minutes watching Basketball Wives on TV to verify – and, as a rule, have a least two “baby mamas.”
In Africa and the Caribbean, potentates and other highly placed elites ride pot-hole marked crumbling main roads and dirt side streets in top-of-the-line Mercedes Benz vehicles and expensive SUVs wearing suits usually made in London, Paris or Rome, some of the playgrounds where they get to cavort with white women.
There are, of course, exceptions throughout the black diaspora but they pale in comparison to the overwhelming numbers of can-do blacks who don’t do. Therefore, real change-making black political and economic development, worldwide, is abysmal, especially when weighted against potential.
Pundits and social faddists of all kinds can wax and wane interminably about one theory or another. However, this writer stays focused on the reality that ignorance and fear dominate the conversation. They are the reaction due to classical conditioning. A sound argument is that it began with the Willie Lynch syndrome during the Trans-Atlantic African slave trade.
The outcome of it all is so very pronounced in black people’s penchant to caress what social scientists call “the reference group.” It is so pervasive that even small black children will choose white dolls with blonde hair and blue eyes over dark dolls with dark eyes and hair. Black children call the dark dolls “ugly” and the white dolls “pretty.”
Creams that can lighten skin are advertised on billboards throughout Africa and somewhat in the Caribbean. Wigs and extensions are big sellers throughout the black diaspora: Black women tend to hate curly black hair that white people named “kinky.” They go to church to praise God, while psychologically hating the way He made them!
Observing Africans, the Western world in recent years began using shea butter, which Africans have used for centuries. The trees are primarily in West Africa but white manufacturers are controlling the world market of products containing shea butter. Soon they will control the land and the trees. Meanwhile, black chemists, industrialists, potential investors and marketers are either on the sidelines or are working to further the wealth development of non-Africans.
Most of the world’s cocoa comes from Ghana in West Africa. White people, especially, love chocolate, which is a favorite everywhere but in Africa. Most Africans don’t know what cocoa products taste like. All manufacturing of cocoa products, including chocolate candies, ice cream, cocoa drinks, etc., is done in Europe and the Americas. Africans get the pods from trees, open them and extract the cocoa nut for very little pay.
One can say that God was generous with Africa in that he gave it everything that all living things would need for sustenance there. Its wealth of natural resources, even with colonial and neo-colonial exploitation, is yet astounding.
So far, though, Africans both at home and abroad have lost out on all kinds of minerals, including gold, diamonds and other gems, timber, agriculture, commercial fishing, manufacturing, ad infinitum.
The terrifying question is why, if blacks seek to be like white people – the reference group issue – people of African descent don’t amass capital and begin to engage in investing in, manufacturing and marketing African products? Buttressed by what I call “the politics of access,” doors can be opened to coffers of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, Wall Street and Washington Capitol Hill policy enhancements that will help facilitate African and African American international trade.
Al Calloway is a long-time journalist who began his career with the Atlanta Inquirer during the early 1960s civil rights struggle. He may be reached at