Click to go to the Subscriber Log In Page
Go to menu with buttons for all pages on BC
Click here to go to the Home Page
Est. April 5, 2002
December 20, 2018 - Issue 769

The Challenges of a New Season
The Kwanzaa Season and Economics

"It must be clear, at this point in history
that African people need to determine for
ourselves solutions to the many serious problems
we face. We should realize going into this New
Kwanzaa Season that no one will do for us what
we really need to do for ourselves."

The Challenges of a New Season

As we enter a New Kwanzaa Season, we must remind ourselves of the continued challenges that we face. The fundamental issue that Africans in America must face is centered around the continued assault by the systems of racism and white supremacy that keeps us in bondage, servitude, and often times, confusion. What is at stake is our survival as a race of people. We must come to grips with the following challenges as we enter a New Kwanzaa Season.

Family Development: There is no question that the African in American family is in major disarray and is in need of major repair. Without strong African in America families, raising and nurturing our children, the future will remain bleak. Families are the foundation for the survival and development of a people. African men and women need to close ranks and reestablish the tradition of strong Black families in America.

Economic Development: Many Africans in America women and men continue to remind us that we earn in excess of 600 billion dollars a year in this country. The tragedy of this economic potential in the African Community in America is that the overwhelming majority of this income we earn, we spend with other people and not with our own. Other people still continue to dominate and maximize profits from our communities for their own advancement. When are we going to stop this awful practice of allowing other people to benefit from the dollars we earn?

Political Development: We have often said that politics is the science of who gets what, when, where, and how. And in this regard, we should recognize that the white power structure and its Black allies are doing everything possible to rupture our continuing movement for Black political empowerment. In electoral politics the lessons are clear. Personality clashes and individual personal conflicts have no place in the world of politics! The only thing that matters is what is best for African people in America. If we don't remain unified politically, we will not benefit from our efforts to increase Black political power in Chicago or in any other cities in which we live.

Cultural Development: Why should other people profit from our artistic and creative endeavors? It is clear that we are a creative people with a unique culture of our own. However, in this area the writers, poets, musicians, dancers, singers, actors, etc. must strive to control what we create and the entire African Community should aggressively support their efforts.

International Affairs: We must work harder to support the struggle of our brothers and sisters in Africa, the Caribbean, and South America in their continued liberation struggle for land and independence.

Historical Discontinuity: It appears the more we are oppressed under the system of racism and white supremacy, the more we forget our history. One generation from the next has difficulty remembering our great struggles, battles, and movements.

Harold Cruse points out in his book, The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual, The farther the Negro [Black person] gets from his [her] historical antecedents in time, the more tenuous become his conceptual ties, the emptier his [her] social conceptions, the more superficial his visions.”

It must be clear, at this point in history that African people need to determine for ourselves solutions to the many serious problems we face. We should realize going into this New Kwanzaa Season that no one will do for us what we really need to do for ourselves.

It is time we begin providing for ourselves in all areas of life. No longer should we listen and adhere to how other people define us and our struggle. Accomplishing the objective of elevating our struggle to a higher level will require that we become more skilled in organizing our communities toward our liberation and freedom.

As an old African proverb points out, “Those who are dead have not gone forever. They are in the woman’s womb. They are in the child who whimpers.”

The Kwanzaa Season and Economics

Kwanzaa is an African in America celebration based on African agricultural/harvest celebrations and collective principles which contribute to the unity and development our community in the United States. This is the 52nd anniversary of Kwanzaa and the 49th year of its celebration in Chicago.

Kwanzaa was created to introduce African people in America to new values. Kwanzaa is a seven day celebration that is held from December 26 to January 1. These new values are called the Nguzo Saba or the seven principles of Blackness, “if practiced would give them (us) a set of priorities and commitments which would enhance their (our) human possibilities and lead to their (our) liberation and a higher level of human life.”

The United States economy is suffering from the white supremacy arrogance of centuries of brutal exploitation of the world’s resources and its people.

This era of United States history demands that African people in America place a greater degree of emphasis on our collective economic salvation. Once again, the old truth that “Black people are the last hired and the first fired,” is surfacing itself throughout the major employment centers in this country.

Given this economic crisis, the Kwanzaa season helps us place the question of economics on the agenda of our struggle. The eradication of our economic slave condition must continue to be a major challenge as we enter the twenty-first-century.

It cannot be stated enough that we are far too dependent on Europeans and Asians for our food, clothing and shelter.

The principle we commemorate during the Kwanzaa season that speaks to this issue is Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics). This principle encourages African people in America "to build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together." On the fourth day of Kwanzaa, Thursday, December 29th, this principle is celebrated.

In this regard, it is important, once again, to state Malcolm X’s economic philosophy of Black nationalism. Malcolm said:

We must be re-educated to the importance of controlling the economy in which we live by owning and operating the business in the community we live in and developing some industry that will employ our people so we won’t have to boycott and picket other people in other communities to get a job. We must understand the importance of spending money in the community in which we live.”

Malcolm went on to say that, “The neighborhoods in which you spend your money become richer and richer and the neighborhoods in which the money is taken out of becomes poorer and poorer. This creates slums- all the wealth leaves.”

Finally, speaking on the topic of economic philosophy of Black nationalism, Malcolm continues by pointing out:

Even when we try to spend money in our own community we don’t. Business is controlled by outsiders who don't live in the community because we don't know the importance of owning and operating businesses ourselves. So money leaves the community in a basket at sundown. We must control our own economy.”

One important activity African American people should practice during the Kwanzaa season is doing business with each other, thus continuing this practice throughout the year.

In next to the final chapter of Dr. Chancellor Williams classic book, Destruction of Black Civilization, he addresses the issue of “Organizing A Race For Action.”

Dr. Williams explains that this organizing for racial action should have as a major component, “The Division of Economic Planning and Development.” He explains that:

The Division of Economic Planning and Development should be the foundation of the organized efforts and a principal source of support and promotion of the most important activities of the whole race. A guiding principle should be that all promoted community enterprises shall be cooperatively owned and controlled by the people of the community and that each enterprise be highly trained management and competent service personnel.”

In this connection, Dr. Williams makes this observation:

The second great understanding should be that economic activities are so fundamental in any truly upward movement, so clearly indispensable at this stage in history, that it should be unnecessary to state it even.”

If we are ever to become a free and independent people, we must organize the race for action. Columnist, Conrad W. Worrill, PhD, is the National Chairman Emeritus of the National Black United Front (NBUF).  Contact Dr. Worrill and BC.




is published every Thursday
Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield, MBA
Peter Gamble

Perry NoName: A Journal From A Federal Prison-book 1
Ferguson is America: Roots of Rebellion by Jamala Rogers