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George Edward Tait

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     Harlem is in trouble.  The community that is the most popular Black metropolis in the world is under siege.  Black residents and Black proprietors have become the targets of outside forces determined to bleach the Blackness out of Harlem.  This, incidentally, is the same Harlem Takeover Plan that the community was warned about for 25 years and is being fully and rapidly implemented as you read this letter.

     The Afrikan Nationalist Pioneer Movement, a Harlem-based organization of 47years is requesting your assistance in saving the Harlem community for the Black resident majority.  However, we are not seeking charity.  We want you to invest in Harlem by establishing a comprehensive nucleus of major businesses for the purposes of completely supplying and servicing the community.  We know that this action would result in adults being employed, adolescents being trained, and children being inspired.

     Be assured that these businesses which would be under your total ownership and control, are guaranteed to not only bring Harlem prosperity and prestige but will bring you enormous profit.

     For example, although Black people have proven to be the world’s greatest consumers, Harlem does not have one major department store.  If Bill Cosby were to open a family department store called Cosby’s, his popularity alone would make it an instant success. There is no magic to the name of Macy, Gimbel, or Bloomingdale that the name “Cosby” would not surpass.  If the Black dollar can make a white department store successful, surely it can do the same for a Black department store.

     In addition, Harlem is literally wide open for every kind of business imaginable.  If Mike Tyson were to open a major restaurant, Oprah Winfrey a mega-supermarket, Eddie Murphy a full throttle men’s clothing store, etc., the community would respond to these enterprises en masse.

     In conjunction with the array of retail businesses, factories and plants could also be established making products that bear your names.  Whether it’s a clothing line, athletic equipment, or food product, the list is virtually unlimited.  Paul Newman did not allow his acting career to prevent him from manufacturing “Newman’s Own” Popcorn Kernels and Salad Oil.  The various products that Bill Cosby promotes should also be produced by him.

     We question why Black youth and adults must constantly wear apparel boasting labels with which they cannot or should not be identified.  What significance does Gucci have to Black people that we must allow ourselves to be branded with his name?  Why must Black people support the family business of Adi Dassler by purchasing Adidas products?  Why can’t Air Jordan be exclusively “Mike” instead of “Nike?”  Why must Black feet support the South Afrikan connection of Reebok?  What right does Calvin Klein have to hug the hips of Black women?!!!

     Finally, we urge you to purchase industrial, commercial, and residential property in Harlem.  This will enable the people of Harlem to rent from you at reasonable rates instead of being systematically excluded or exploited by enemies and forced out of the community.  When white landlords charge $5,000 a month rent for 2000 square feet of commercial space and require six months security to take possession, they do not have the average Black business man in mind.  When long established Black businesses find their rent suddenly tripled by white landlords, and Asian entrepreneurs approach them to buy them out, we call it conspiracy.

     It is not that no one is addressing these economic atrocities.  We are countering them with the Buy Black Campaign – a self-help strategy to save the community ourselves.  But because time is critical, we realize that you can accelerate the Build Black component of the campaign, reinforce the marginal progress that is being made, and reverse the increasing attacks and abuses on our means of survival and way of life.

      You were chosen, not only because you clearly have the means to correct the condition, but also because you are members of the Afrikan family.  We realize that while Hollywood might project the myth of the individual, this country is controlled by families.  Whether the family name is Bilderberg Group, Fortune 500, Forbes 400, WASP, Aryan Nation, Invisible Empire, Congress, Mafia, ZOG, or the Korean Merchants Association, each member of a given family can call on other members of the family for support in a time of need.  We belong to the Afrikan family, and we are calling on you.  We call on you knowing that celebrities of other races and nationalities continuously respond to the needs of their people.  We call on you knowing that some of you have already responded in particular instances.  Harlem, however, deserves special consideration.

     Harlem was chosen because it has exemplified itself as the most dynamic Black community in the Western world and has repeatedly influenced thought and action in Black communities throughout the world.  Not only are the worldwide influences of the Apollo Theater and the Schomburg Library legendary, every 20 years, Harlem explodes with new energy that culminates in global revitalization.

     In the 20s, the Harlem-based massive movement of Marcus Garvey and the Harlem Renaissance ironically influenced consciousness in Africa which directly led to the rise of nationalism and eventual independence of many African nations.  In the 40s, the Harlem clubs Minton’s and Monroe House became the matrix out of which a new music was born called Be-bop which not only revolutionized the world of music but established a standard of excellence that remains formidable to this day.  Virtually all contemporary forms of music still draw from the innovations of Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Christian, and others of that decade.  In the 60s, Harlem hosted the seminal influence of Carlos Cooks and the startling rise of Malcolm X which subsequently sparked a worldwide celebration of Black pride and a call for Black power.

     It is now the 80s.  Harlem has the opportunity to become a model community and guide a world of Black communities suffering from the same form of economic exploitation.  If Harlem is taken over, it will be one of the greatest tragedies of all time.  We know it can be saved.  We of the Afrikan Nationalist Pioneer Movement trust that you will accept this challenge and respond to a critical need.  It has often been the courage and cooperation of a few to alter the course of history.

Racially yours,

P.S.  For further information, write:  Afrikan Nationalist Pioneer Movement, 29 W. 125th St New York, N.Y. 10027-4512, (212)534-6841