Let's Recognize Dr. King By Honoring What He Said -- Let's Exercise Our Buying-Power

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This year let's honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. differently.  Let's not talk about the August 28, 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech and the excerpt that loops about waiting for an elusive utopia.

Instead, let's wake up and carry out the individual call to action Dr. King gave us, five years later in his April 3, 1968 "Mountaintop" speech.

Let's not just march and demonstrate for Martin Luther King Jr, then go back to life as usual on Tuesday. Let's heed the call to action and implement the "practical things we can do".

You can be the solution to the Black community. You can stand up and choose which businesses will get your dollars and which businesses will not.

You can choose to impose economic sanctions as your most powerful statement for empowerment and against the injustice against Black people in America. Without mincing words, we are stating that this is the only way to live the legacy.

This year if you are going to march, march with your plan of action to identify and switch to spending with Black owned businesses. Then every day after, march into Black owned businesses, banks, and institutions. March in with love, good intentions, positivity, your wallet, and your credit cards. Don't worry if the ambiance isn't the nicest or it's not located in the fanciest part of town.

Don't look at the business today. Look at the business it will be when you do your part. Then, just like the Chinese, Latinos, and Indians, and Europeans, we will watch our most meager stores grow and expand into thriving hubs for jobs, resources, family stability, and community stability right before our eyes, once we have committed reinforcing them.

Then, through the creation of jobs and community stability, young people can regain faith in adults and elders. That faith and respect will come because you have risen up to put an end to the cycle of young people having to hustle or beg for jobs and livelihood outside of the Black community.

You will change the empty statement "you can be anything you want to be" into a an inspiring reality for every Black youth in America. When it's your time to go, you can then leave this planet, a part of the legacy of empowerment our children can build upon.

Young people all over the country are mobilizing against terrorism, brutality, racism, and injustice. It doesn't work if the only option after the protests are jobs in someone else's corporate America. Adults and elders will be the solution of empowerment for our babies, children, teens, and young adults who will be empowered solution for the next generation.

It doesn't start with Black-owned factories, distributors, utility companies, and conglomerates appearing out of thin air, tomorrow. It doesn't start with waiting for the Black celebrities, politicians, the rich, or houses of worship to do something different.

It doesn't start with the $1.2 trillion in collective buying power. It all starts, with you, today and your income alone.  It starts with only the dollars that come into your hands and household.

It starts with you choosing to look first for Black-owned businesses to provide the goods and services you want and need before you buy outside of the community. It starts with you to conscious decision and conscious consumerism to be the legacy and be the solution.

Your choice, is that you can choose to gain information about the Black resources around you. Then you can be a force for Black unity by not just sitting on the information.

You can share the names of the businesses you have found with others in your social and professional circles online and offline so that the "I would support Black-owned but I don't know where they are" excuse goes away permanently.

LetsBuyBlack365 has made a 100% free community resource where you can be the source of information for others. At LetsBuyBlack365.com you can share and list as many Black owned businesses, services, institutions and resources you can think of and rate and review them to let others know there are quality businesses and we are coming with our dollars and our support and our commitment to ourselves and our youth.

In return, LetsBuyBlack365.com is asking the businesses to be the living example of business excellence for each and every customer so that we can mend the broken relationship between Black-owned businesses and Black consumers.

This way after the weekend of marching and gathering, you will truly live the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through your personal choices.

LetsBuyBlack365 has made this concept and the implementation of of Dr. King's call to action. One LetsBuyBlack365 member recorded it as a declaration video.

Make your declaration video post it in solidarity honoring the evolution of Dr. King's philosophies so you too can be the vision for Black America that Dr. King had in his last big and most powerful speech. But in the most powerful show of solidarity -- live, be, and share the solution.

Dr. Martin Luther King Junior recognized the value of self-empowerment by using our buying-power when he addressed a rally on April 3, 1968:

"We don't have to argue with anybody. We don't have to curse and go around acting bad with our words. We don't need any bricks and bottles. We don't need any Molotov cocktails. We just need to go around to these stores, and to these massive industries in our country, and say, "God sent us by here, to say to you that you're not treating his children right. And we've come by here to ask you to make the first item on your agenda fair treatment, where God's children are concerned. Now, if you are not prepared to do that, we do have an agenda that we must follow. And our agenda calls for withdrawing economic support from you."

And so, as a result of this, we are asking you tonight, to go out and tell your neighbors not to buy Coca-Cola in Memphis. Go by and tell them not to buy Sealtest milk. Tell them not to buy -- what is the other bread? -- Wonder Bread. And what is the other bread company, Jesse? Tell them not to buy Hart's bread. As Jesse Jackson has said, up to now, only the garbage men have been feeling pain; now we must kind of redistribute the pain. We are choosing these companies because they haven't been fair in their hiring policies; and we are choosing them because they can begin the process of saying they are going to support the needs and the rights of these men who are on strike. And then they can move on town -- downtown and tell Mayor Loeb to do what is right.

But not only that, we've got to strengthen black institutions. I call upon you to take your money out of the banks downtown and deposit your money in Tri-State Bank. We want a "bank-in" movement in Memphis. Go by the savings and loan association. I'm not asking you something that we don't do ourselves at SCLC. Judge Hooks and others will tell you that we have an account here in the savings and loan association from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. We are telling you to follow what we are doing. Put your money there. You have six or seven black insurance companies here in the city of Memphis. Take out your insurance there. We want to have an 'insurance-in.'

Now these are some practical things that we can do. We begin the process of building a greater economic base. And at the same time, we are putting pressure where it really hurts. I ask you to follow through here.

Now, let me say as I move to my conclusion that we've got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end. Nothing would be more tragic than to stop at this point in Memphis. We've got to see it through."

Nataki Kambon,

Grassroots Black Economic Empowerment Organizer

Let's Buy Black 365

 

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