Integration & the Decline of The Black Community


We are approaching that time of the year, soon we will be celebrating the historical significance of Dr. Martin Luther King and his advocation for government sanctioned integration. Many black Americans view 50 years of assimilation as a success. However, most Americans, are not aware of King’s changing views on integration during the final years of his life. According to Harry Belafonte, a personal confidant of his, a troubled King told Belafonte that he feared he “integrated the American negro into a burning house. There isn’t a more befitting metaphor to describe the socioeconomic plight of African Americans as a result of this government enforced integration. Because of this blacks have turned their back own their own institutions, and have been doing so ever since.

In order to understand the affects of black assimilation into American society, you must understand the impact of Jim Crow, institutions and other restrictive legislation that build a wall for black consumers, business owners and citizens. According to Vicki Bogan, a professor at Cornell, Jim Crow, The National Labor Relation Board Act, and sub sequential public policies made it difficult for blacks to engage in commerce. The NLR Act institutionalized collective bargaining; such federal legislation gave the polish, Italians and Jewish immigrants exclusive access to business licensing and economic income.

These circumstances forced blacks to practice “group economy,” which entails targeting potential consumers within their race for their survival. In other words, they had to do for self! Without the patronage of whites, or government support, it was imperative that African American business applied this economic principle. Business leaders within the black community encouraged this race based economic practice that created a self sufficient economy.

As the black businesses progressed through Roosevelt administration into civil rights movement, blacks became economically independent because of necessity. There were black owned schools, loan offices and business- granted, they may have not been on par with white institutions due to racism and available resources, but they owned them. With desegregation, blacks were given that option to assimilate into the dominant demographic, an affront that we may never recover from.

In 1968, the National Business League (NBL) conducted a survey of 564 Black-owned businesses in seven cities. The survey revealed that the average Black business was intimate, small-scale operation. As the national retail sector began to focus bigger proprietors which receipts per establishment were rising rapidly, the survey data showed that the Black-owned businesses tended to have more employees on average than the white American typical firm. This is concrete evidence that Black business had, invaluable importance to their own race during the height of legal/defacto segregation. This same report notes that from 1969 to 1977, the amount of black business declined by 9 percent.

I contend that it’s the worst thing that could have ever happened the African American negro. Because a sizable portion of them are ignorant, they won’t recognize the damage that integration has done to their once strong pillars of the black community. The National Business League attributed this alarming decline, to the influx of white competitors. The notion that desegregation opened up a market that blacks business could not compete. Hence my contention.

The African American negro turned his back on his own schools, fraternal orders, business and economic citadels to be amongst his slave master. The decimation of these institutions proved that the average black person, wanted to, and still yearns to be amongst the children of his slave master, and racists lawmakers of the past. It was like heaven for the blacks to sit on the same toilet after the whites. To buy from white vendors instead of blacks. For all intents and purposes, it is safe to say that blacks abandoned the doctrine of Marcus Garvey, Booker T. Washington, and others that emphasized self-reliance. In a bizarre way institutional segregation was the best thing that could happened to the black community because again, black business were thriving out of necessity, there was a strong community in the face of outright discrimination. Reliance on integration have made black lazy, unwilling to build their own institutions, placing themselves at the mercy at others for economics opportunities and education.

You can go across any black community, and you see that the economics of that community is controlled by foreigners that disrespect your women by giving them menial under-the-table jobs. They sell you outdated products which exacerbate the urban public health issue. This is the byproduct of American integration. You send your kids to failing government ran schools because there is a meager tax base to fund such schools for our own. In this new era of America, I think that fire has destroyed the functional black community of the past.

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