Community Issues and Opinions / Uncategorized

“Black Wall Street” – Segregation was better for blacks

“It resumed being a vital black community until segregation was overturned by the Federal Government during the 1950s and 60s. Desegregation encouraged blacks to live and shop elsewhere in the city, causing Greenwood to lose much of its original vitality. Since then, city leaders have attempted to encourage other economic development activity nearby.”

“Not only did African Americans want to contribute to the success of their own shops, but also the racial segregation laws prevented them from shopping anywhere other than Greenwood”

Black Wall Street

Greenwood a community in Tulsa, Oklahoma was once the wealthiest black community in the United States and gained its reputation as being the “Black Wall Street” (Negro Wall Street), because of the thriving success of million dollar businesses and black multi-millionaires. Greenwood’s success encouraged blacks to build and support one another in states across the nation and unlike today blacks worked together in peace and were able to employ their own people. In the early 20th century angry white mobsters raged into the Greenwood community burning down stores, homes, and other businesses, killing innocent men, women and children in the once great black community.

black wall street in flames

The race riots caused the once thriving Greenwood to fall to pieces and after rebuilding what could be restored and the federal government overturning segregation, blacks were only then encouraged to shop at white businesses, because whites knew they could grow their businesses more with black consumers and Greenwood the “Black Wall Street” collapsed completely.

This demonstrates what transpires when black people stop supporting black businesses, and also how successful black businesses could be with black people’s support.

Why did blacks agree to shop where they were once not wanted, instead of continuing their support of black owned businesses and rebuilding the “Black Wall Street”? Imagine where the “Black Wall Street” and Greenwood would be today and the number of employment opportunities blacks would have if they would have continued supporting black businesses. Integration hurt black businesses causing blacks to separate and support other businesses, even though other races did not support blacks businesses.

riot black wall street

Business Revenue

Look at how much more revenue White, Hispanic and Asian businesses generates than black businesses even though black people make up the second largest population in America.

White owned business – $10.3 Trillion

Asian owned business- $513.9 billion

Hispanic owned business- $345.2 billion

Black owned business- $137.4 billion



White or European American 223,553,265      72.4 %

Black or African American 38,929,319       12.6 %

Asian American 14,674,252       4.8 %

American Indian or Alaska Native 2,932,248      0.9 %

Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 540,013     0.2 %

Some other race 19,107,368 6.2 %

Two or more races 9,009,073 2.9 %


Why are blacks at the bottom?

Black people don’t support black businesses.

Why don’t blacks support blacks?

Lack of trust

Black people don’t trust other black people. The mentality of some blacks is that blacks are trying to get over them, which causes them to shop elsewhere. Has this never been an issue with businesses owned by other races? There was a time when whites refused blacks business, sent them to the back of the store, falsely accused them of stealing, conned them during a sale, but honest black folks continued spending their money and supporting white businesses.

Have blacks never been in Asian owned companies where store owners and employees gave them dirty looks, watched their every move, provided poor customer service, and overcharged on certain items? Of course, but black folks continued shopping, and if they decided not to go to that particular store they would find another Asian owned business to spend their money at. But wait blacks will go to a black owned businesses one time and if their experience is not pleasurable, criticize and never return to any black business instead of giving them the same support so they too can grow as white and Asian businesses which would ultimately expand black businesses opening doors for more employment opportunities and more black businesses.

Blacks businesses charge too much

Is it not true that white businesses charge lesser than other businesses because they can afford to?  More people shop as white businesses, which means they make more money, they can afford to buy products in larger quantities which means at a cheaper rate, and sell at a lower price than non-white companies. Imagine if more people shopped at black businesses, wouldn’t black businesses be able to lower their prices?

For those blacks who may not know, black businesses pay higher rates for merchandise because small black businesses can’t afford to purchase items in larger quantities. Which means it may cost 2.00 for something, a white person paid 20cents for and while the black person may charge 3.50 to make a profit whites charge 75cents or an even 1.00 for the same thing. However, with the support of the majority of black people, who are some of the largest consumers, black businesses could provide the same service and prices as white and other non-black companies.

support black businesses

Poor quality

All blacks businesses do not have poor quality merchandise, but some black people are so conditioned into believing this they do not give black businesses a chance. In economically deprived communities the quality of products are the same across the board, poor or cheap!!!!! It isn’t a black business thing it is a poverty stricken thing but black businesses could purchase better quality merchandise if they gained enough capital or support from black people and better the condition of their communities.


Unemployment and Building Black Businesses

Based on statistics black people accounts for 13% of those unemployed and there is just not enough jobs. Black businesses could prosper like any other companies if blacks supported black companies the same as they do non-black companies.

White-Owned Businesses

  • The number of white-owned businesses increased by 13.6 percent to 22.6 million between 2002 and 2007. Receipts of these businesses totaled $10.3 trillion, up 24.1 percent from 2002.
  • In 2007, 28.5 percent of white-owned businesses were in professional, scientific and technical services and construction.

Black-Owned Businesses

  • There were 1.9 million black-owned businesses in 2007, up 60.5 percent from 2002. Receipts of these businesses totaled $137.4 billion, up 55.1 percent from 2002.
  • In 2007, 37.6 percent of black-owned businesses were in health care and social assistance, repair and maintenance, and personal and laundry services.
  • Black-owned businesses accounted for 28.2 percent of businesses in the District of Columbia, which led the nation, followed by Georgia, where 20.4 percent of businesses were black-owned, and Maryland, where 19.3 percent of businesses were black-owned.

Asian-Owned Businesses

  • There were 1.6 million Asian-owned businesses in 2007, up 40.7 percent from 2002. Receipts of these businesses totaled $513.9 billion, up 57.3 percent from 2002.
  • In 2007, 32.3 percent of Asian-owned businesses were in repair and maintenance; personal and laundry services; and professional, scientific and technical services.
  • Asian-owned businesses accounted for 47.2 percent of businesses in Hawaii, 14.9 percent in California and 10.1 percent in New York.

Hispanic-Owned Businesses

  • The number of Hispanic-owned businesses totaled 2.3 million in 2007, up 43.6 percent from 2002. Receipts of these businesses totaled $345.2 billion, up 55.5 percent from 2002.
  • In 2007, 30.0 percent of Hispanic-owned businesses were in construction, repair and maintenance, and personal and laundry services.
  • Hispanic-owned businesses accounted for 23.6 percent of businesses in New Mexico, 22.4 percent of businesses in Florida and 20.7 percent of businesses in Texas.

Black people are the most divided race and because of this remain at the bottom, and are not respected collectively as a people by other races. Black people unlike other races can’t agree or work with one another on anything and though stated thousands of times are like “Crabs in a bucket”, and will remain this way until they start supporting one another. If black people can’t grow to respect and love their own, why should they expect respect and acceptance most of them so desire from other races.

Greenwood should be an example on how blacks should work together today. Blacks have more opportunities now than the people during the early 20th century and some would think blacks would be more successful than they currently are, and bringing in more revenue than other minority groups. The number of black businesses is growing but not at the rate it could if blacks would start putting their money back in their own communities. It’s not too late to build another “Black Wall Street”.


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