Culled and crystallized from the economic concepts of Booker T.
Washington and Marcus Garvey, the “Buy Black” campaign was initiated
over four decades ago by Carlos A. Cooks (founder and first administrator
of the African Nationalist Pioneer Movement).
The fact that it has not yet been successfully implemented is both
an indictment of or collective intelligence and an insult to the record of
We stand suspended in a gulf between idea and implementation,
between awareness and aggression, between enlightenment and enforcement. For although the “Buy Black” campaign has been ardently
and accurately articulated by countless advocates and committed activists
for over forty years, we continue to witness the economic exploitation and
ensuing erosion of Harlem by the arrogance and avarice of aliens (i.e.
Understanding the meaning and merit of the “Buy Black”
principle has not motivated the materialization of the practice.
It is highly ludicrous that a campaign must be launched to trigger
the transference of economic power in the Black community from non-Black
control to Black control; other ethnic communities automatically establish
and relentlessly maintain their economic sovereignty.
But we have allowed Harlem to be made into an interracial economic
prostitute for Italian, Jewish, Arab, and Asian pimps who take the money
and raise their families, build their communities, develop their
institutions, and win their wars.
you think that you can do the same to them, try it - and your obituary
will immortalize your attempt.)
Neither Italians, Chinese, Irish, Jews, Germans, Poles, Wasps, nor
any other ethnic group are regarded as racists when they engage in
But as soon as
Afrikan people attempt to collectively exercise the same fundamental
rights and natural inclinations, we are depicted as racists, hate-mongers,
antisemitics, and are attacked by an aggregate of similar appellations.
The “Buy Black” campaign is basic training for nation-building,
re-cultivating ourselves and reconditioning ourselves to engage in the
full spectrum of commerce and industry by depending on each other for and
supplying each other with the staples of sustenance and survival –
subsequently developing an independent economic system that encompasses
the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.
The “Buy Black” campaign is not to be confused with the
“Don’t Buy Where You Can’t Work” movement which is tantamount to
whitemailing the alien for a job and deriving “penny” benefit from
“pound” exploitation. (“Buy Black” is not concerned with working
for the alien business in the community; it is targeted toward removing
the alien business from the community.)
Neither is the campaign to be confused with other momentary
boycotts for questionable objectives, extorting cosmetic economic
satisfaction for chronic economic sickness.
Nor is it to be confused with “Negro” attempts at and
imitations of monopoly capitalism.
is not the private program of any individual, organization, or institution
but rather a family business venture for Afrikans from Afrika, the
Caribbean, the Americas, and elsewhere.
Recently re-activated as one of the resolutions of the African
People’s Convention – 1979, the “Buy Black” campaign solicits the
strength of community support for the sake of community survival.
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GEORGE EDWARD TAIT
Publication Name: NEW YORK AMSTERDAM NEWS
Publication Date: 11-24-79