by G. Maajidah Abdullah
CAA$$H (Community Actuated Association Strategic Spending Help) is a consumer organization set to help empower the consumer – especially consumers who have little or no support.
This manifests itself in the erratic spending habits within the African American community. Our organization offers a search and recover service to businesses we discover around the community that exhibit potential.
We advise these businesses on ways to upgrade and market themselves. It doesn’t matter how excellent a service or product you are providing when the people are not aware you have what they need or want.
As for the community as consumers, that is the other end of the service we provide. CAA$$H is attempting a form of self-reparations while at the same time correcting the mis-education and redirecting the people to healthy economic practices to empower their own selves. Every nationality comes to America and takes advantage of the opportunities it provides to step up into mainstream society. As they move on they kick dirt into the faces of a people enveloped in self-hate–us. Why? Because most of us will fight for the “right” to spend their pennies at the plantation owner’s store. It makes them feel important. They don’t understand those measly pennies they have collectively make billions of dollars for other people. We could become rich overnight if we just supported our own businesses in our own community.
It reminds me of a movie I saw in the late 60’s or early seventies called, “They Live.“ A man of European decent finds some special sun glasses that allows him to see the aliens among the human population who are trying to take over the Earth.
The man who can see the aliens for who they are has to force the people to look through his glasses to see just what is going on right under their noses. To me, that movie nailed our condition as Black people.
I have only a few more articles left in the series of Black Family Drought. However, we will continue addressing our community’s economy. When people have issues with organizations, businesses, services or most anything effecting the community,
CAA$$H will investigate, present our findings and make the community aware of situations that may be detrimental to community residents. Feel free to write us at CAA$$H when you encounter positive or negative issues existing in and around your community.
I would like to reiterate this Black History issue with a little information about the first African American Lady of Poetry, Phyllis Wheatley. Of course, you know she was a slave who was taught to read and write by her master’s wife. She learned English fluently and wrote poetry, which her owners helped her publish in book form. They had to go all the way to England to find a publisher, as no one would permit them to do publish anything by a Black person, let alone a slave in the America’s at that time. They published the book and she was eventually freed. She later met an African American freeman lawyer and married. They had three children.
What you may not know is that no one would use her husband’s services, not even Black people. So he opened a grocery store. And again, no one Black or White would support his store.
Why did the people of color not support his store? Maybe they were told not to. Though there was obviously no slavery in the North and where Wheatley and her husband and children lived, there was mental slavery.
The free former slaves, were jealous of Wheatley and her family’s and resented their social position. Today, many Blacks with education and business ambitions face the same obstacles as Wheatley’s family did: Jealousy and resentment from their own people.
Wheatley’s husband closed the store and went in search of manual labor. He moved his family into a room in an African American boarding home. Phyllis and her children fell ill and literally starved to death before he was able to return to them.
He thought in his absence the other freed Black people would at least feed and watch over his family. He thought wrong. He tried to recover his wife’s unpublished manuscript, but it has never been found.
Every one of us still suffer from the same mentality that killed Wheatley and her children. We don’t try to fight our own inclination not to support our own. Every day, when we need to purchase anything, do we ask ourselves is there a business in our community that we can support and get what I need and want? Do We?
CAA$$H will be providing a registry of approved businesses and services offered in the community, as well as expose businesses that are abusing the community’s trust. If you want to be A CAA$$H Consumer, we are offering free memberships for a limited time.
Fill out the application below and send it in to the Milwaukee Community Journal with a passport photo and we will send you your CAA$$H Consumer’s Card. There will be special rates at participating stores, employment opportunities and other perks and services available to you as a courtesy. Remember, we can win if we support our community businesses.