by Afiya J. Watkins
In this Youtube video, Dr. Claud Anderson discusses some of the principles for black economic empowerment found in his book PowerNomics: The National Plan to Empower Black America. The book outlines a five-year plan to make Black America a prosperous and empowered race that is self-sufficient and competitive as a group. Drawing from his years of experience as a notable author, entrepreneur, advisor and activist, Dr. Anderson debunks the myths and illusions of black progress and compiles data and information from various reliable sources to construct a framework for solutions to the dilemma.
Dr. Anderson concisely illustrates the dire state of the black community by asserting that blacks are trapped in the lowest level of a real life Monopoly game. He goes on to point out the lack of ownership that blacks in America are plagued by, citing that the only road to equality for a black person is to own his own business, buy all of his goods and services from a black-owned business and for a community of black people to open their own businesses and services and only shop from each other.
Powernomics also analyzes the complex web of racial monopolies and Black America’s inappropriate behavior patterns that are driving it into a permanent underclass status. Consumerism and how the African American dollar is allocated is a focal point of his teachings. Dr. Anderson explains in a very straight forward manner the disparity in which other racial groups cycle their money through their respective communities noting that currency should “bounce 8-12 times in your own community” before existing, asserting that the black dollar doesn’t bounce even once.
Vertical integration and industrializing black communities are other crucial concepts and strategies that he presents. He places a great deal of importance on building industries in black communities that are constructed upon group competitive advantage. Practicing what he preaches, Dr. Anderson has established a vertically integrated seafood industry that is currently operating and slated for expansion in urban markets across the country. His company is one of the few black-owned companies to make stock available to the general public through an initial public offering. In addition to his most recent seafood project, he owns a vertically integrated publishing company and was one of the first blacks to own a radio station in Florida.
The video in its content is both alarming and enlightening. Based on the book, it highlights many economic behaviors that should be of great concern to the African American community. Taken in totality, it begs the question: How can a group overcome economic impoverishment if they do not own anything substantially or on a mass scale and do not control the allocation of their dollars? The short answer: They can’t.
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