Have you ever wondered why we, as a people, are the poorest group in America yet we have been here longer than everyone? Have you ever have asked yourself, why are black people so oppressed and downtrodden over all other groups of people? Have you ever questioned why the government and the legal system do not protect black people but goes above and beyond to hurt us? Have you ever wondered why no matter how much we pray to God and keep his commandments, he never redeems us from our oppressors? Well, I just watched a very enlightening documentary film that answers all of these questions and more.
In the film, 7AM, producer Jason Black documents and showcases that the reason we as black Americans are so poor and oppressed, despite our trillion dollar spending power, is because we don’t have a unified economic power base. He argues that the majority of us are employees instead of business owners; and therefore, we are always dependent on those outside of us take care of us. And it’s because of our lack of money and wealth, that allows the government, the law, the schools and society to continually oppress and abuse us. In addition, he states that the key to fixing our problems begins with what we do every morning after 7AM, whether that be working towards economically empowering ourselves or others.
“We are the poorest people in America because we shop and work at other peoples businesses, but we don’t any of our own.”
To support his thesis, he interviews top black experts on the social economic status of black Americans, such as Dr. Claud Anderson, Dr. Umar Johnson, Don Peebles, Brett Pulley, and A’Lelia Bundles. Each of the cast, whom are business owners in various industries, shares their expert knowledge and experience as how and why black people remain at the bottom of the totem pole economically, but at the top of it, in social oppression. They also provide tangible solutions as to what we can do to produce our own businesses and provide generational wealth for our families.
7AM is the best film I have seen so far on the subject of our social and economic oppression. It provides a great deal of educational value in regards to understanding how our current social conditions are a byproduct of our inherited economic conditions and I learned a lot of history that I surprisingly didn’t know, myself, from watching it. The film starts out by showing us where we are economically, and then moves on how we got into this situation, and ends with how to get out of this situation.
“Every major problem that black people have in America can be directly traced back to our lack of money.”
In regards to where we are today, Dr. Claud Anderson tells us that we are in the same position economically as we were in 1865, the year we were supposedly emancipated from slavery. He states that we own less than 1% of the nations wealth then, and we own less than 1% of this nations wealth today. And he has the facts to back it up. This means that despite all of the lies that these so-called leaders, pastors, and politicians try to tell us today about how far we have come, the truth is that we have not made any progress financially as a people. And that is a sad fact, considering that we have been free from chains for over 100 years.
So how did this happen? What was the cause? Well, the experts in the film point to slavery. They go back into history and how slavery was an economic strategy to enrich white European nations at the expense of African nations. In the mid 1400’s, the Roman Catholic Church became the first institution to enslave Africans on the continent. Seeing how they could come up financially from the free labor of blacks, the Pope issued a decree to enslave Africans on the basis of skin color; using them not being Christians as the excuse to work for free. And after Columbus discovered that there was land in the Americas, which was occupied by blacks, other European nations followed suit and there became a race to get to America to get rich off black labor.
“Slavery… it stole wealth in the form of labor and resources from black people and gave it to white men. This unfair economic advantage created the world’s richest nation… who constructed a system of white male privileged … designed to give white men permanent generational wealth and access to capital while making sure black people were permanently poor.”
The European nations were impoverished during the 1500’s so they established the trans Atlantic slave trade to buy and sell blacks as slaves to work for them for free, to make whites rich and keep blacks poor. All whites of Europe came to America to began capitalizing on slavery, which is how they became rich today, and we become poor. But it wasn’t just whites, every nation on earth became rich off of black people. Dr. Claud lists 20 different nations on Earth from Europeans to Asians who became wealthy from the enslavement of our ancestors. Since we were enslaved from the 1500’s to the late 1800’s in the Americas, the Europeans had a 400 year head start to attain wealth. And this is why we’re so behind today.
“Slavery was primarily an economic strategy intended to enrich a few nations at the expense of African peoples. The social damage of slavery was tremendous, but it’s the economic legacy of slavery that haunts to this very day.”
After slavery, the government and whites in power sought to keep blacks perpetually behind them. They used tactics like Jim Crow, segregation, racial profiling, medical apartheid and many others. This became known as racism; and it was solely based on economics. But when our leaders began fighting against racism in the 60’s, they fought it in the form of civil rights and social integration. And according to this film, this was the biggest mistake we’ve ever made. Due to fighting civil and social rights instead of economic rights, we lost all of the economic power.
After the Civil Right Act was passed, we lost most of our black businesses and institutions which made up our economic base, to be socially integrated with whites. As a result of be awarded desegregation and civil rights, black people no longer felt like they had to provide their people with goods and services because white people would be obligated to give us theirs. But as Jason Black states, the flip side of this delusion is that we would no longer have to provide each other with jobs because white people would give us theirs. So we traded in many of the businesses, entertainment venues and sports leagues that we owned and controlled so that we could work for and be accepted by whites.
Racism is and has always been an economic issue. It’s not a social issue or a political issue. It’s an economic issue. And until black folk come to understand that, they will always be in the bottom of the barrel.
I have often stated on this blog that you can’t gain freedom from oppression by integrating with the same people causing your oppression. And this film backs my philosophy up 100%. From this film, I discovered an alarming statistic that showed just how much wealth we gave away by integration. According to the stats, from 1888 and 1934, 134 black banks were established and between 1867 through 1917, the number of black businesses increased from 4,000 to 50,000. Fast forward to 2014, there were only 25 black owned banks still running in the USA. And there is probably less than that today. This stat was mind blowing to me because without black banks to fund black businesses, there is no black power. So integration truly ruined us.
“The reason black people are the poorest people in the United states today is because we don’t own businesses. if you don’t own businesses, you’re going out of existence.”
7AM also provides awareness of the many covert ways in which the government and racist white supremacists are slowly getting rid of the black wealth that’s left and ensuring that we remain a permanent underclass in America. The negro removal project, as Dr. Umar Johnson called it, consists of mass incarceration, gentrification, mis-education, medical apartheid, birth control, governmental laws, sell out politicians, etc. And the reason they are allowed to get over on us is because we don’t have a unified economic power that we can use to defend us, the way that other races do.
In regards to what we can do to overcome these circumstances, they suggest that we practice what Dr. Claud Anderson calls “Group Economics”. This is the practice of buying everything we need from black owned businesses and entrepreneurs as much as we can before ever spending money outside of our race. But in order to do this, we need to form black communities again, where all of the businesses that surround our neighborhoods are controlled and owned by us. In the other words, we need to do what the Jews, Chinese, Arabs, and east Indians are doing and buy up blocks. But in order to do this, we need to start our own businesses; and develop a social code of conduct locally that we will only support black owned businesses.
“There is no path to wealth for the employee, only or the employer.”
However, starting businesses requires capital. So in order for us to gain the capital to start businesses, the cast suggested that we stop splurging on all these non-black brands of clothes and cars and phones, and save our money and pull our resources together and build something. And one of the largest spending habits that we as a people have is tithing to the church. Most black people are Christians and every Sunday, the black church in America receives a total of over 300 million dollars in tithes and offerings. If we as a people would take that money and invest it in businesses, all of our economic problems would be solved within a year.
After we build our economic base, Dr. Claud says we can then use our money to start our own media companies so that we can communicate with each other and start our own schools so that we can educate our own children. He also suggest we buy off the politicians and legal/police systems the way that other races do so they will be on our side. But I think a better solution would be to create our own black police force in each community so that we can protect each other instead of depending on the system to protect us. Either way, Dr, Claud and the rest of the cast provided us with some good strategies to empower ourselves economically.
“As long as we don’t control businesses, we don’t control resources. And as long as we don’t control resources, then white privilege maintains.”
Although I agree with the solutions offered in the film in regards to economic empowerment, I think it may be a bit too late in the game for us to carry out these strategies. I say this because I think the American empire is going to fall within the next decade and become a 3rd world country. I’m not a prophet, so I could be wrong, but the handwriting seems to written on the wall, if you pay attention to global currency and the American dollar not being as valuable as it once was globally. I also think that way too many black people live in integrated neighborhoods today in order to establish black communities around them. Not to mention that our cities are getting too overcrowded with foreigners and immigrants.
So I think a better long term way for us to practice group economics is to either 1) buy land in the rural country to build black neighborhoods, communities and farms or 2) move to another continent like south America or Africa to build black businesses, neighborhoods, communities and farms there or 3) do both and develop an international import/export trade business that benefits blacks in America and another continent. The strategies in 7AM can work anywhere, but I think they would work better long term in more rural or tropic areas on lands that we control so that we can live in harmony with nature and be free from the system like our ancestors were before slavery.
But 7AM is a great educational film and shows us that the solution to racism and oppression is practicing group economics. I have watched many documentaries over the years in regards to our plight and condition, but this one stands out above them all because it shows us how we got into impoverished conditions today and gives us a blueprint for how to come out of it. So I encourage all black people to get this documentary and watch it with your family and friends so that you can develop strategies to become economically empowered, whether that be in America or elsewhere. You can watch 7AM on DVD or stream it online.