Stop asking black businesses to give everything away for free. : ThyBlackMan

Monday, November 12, 2018

Stop asking black businesses to give everything away for free.

October 13, 2015 by  
Filed under Business, Money, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( One of the greatest challenges of being a black business owner is that there are some people who think that if you charge a fair price for a solid product, that this somehow makes you into a crook.  I’m not sure where we get this from, I can only speculate that there is a tendency to see the black community as a welfare case, or a group of people who are incapable of taking care of themselves.

This lies in contradiction to the billions we give away every single year to white businesses who refuse to give their products away for free. We pay consistently, in large amounts of money, without complaining.  We just love white people that much.

Somone asked me why I don’t give all of our stuff away for free, and instead charge a fee for some of our products and services.  I’m not sure if he thought that our cost of production is zero, or that we somehow magically get free labor from massa’s plantation that allows us to have a staff of people that don’t require compensation.

I shook my head for a second, and then explained why we, like nearly every other business on the planet, have to charge for our services.  I doubt I would have had to provide this explanation if I were the owner of Nike.

I told the person that, even though we give away plenty of free stuff already, we can’t can’t give all of our products away for nothing because:

1) You’re not a welfare recipient, and we’re not a welfare office. You can’t build a strong community solely on charity.  The white liberals have led us to believe that if we sit still, pray and remain patient enough, some white person or corporation will come along and buy us our freedom.  The sad fact is that many of us are still waiting.

2) I’ve got over 30 black people on my staff that we have to pay and they can’t feed their families with oxygen.

3) The prices we charge for education are far lower than any university out here, yet our PhDs are just as valuable.   I’ve always found it interesting that some people will balk at the $299 price for The Black Wealth Bootcamp, yet pay $80,000 to learn similar black-owned-black-businesses-2015-black-business-ownerinformation from white people teaching at a business school that has professors who’ve never even run a business.   Not only has student loan debt reached unsustainable levels, many of these students aren’t even getting jobs that allow them to work in their major.  That’s just weird.

4) Some black people regularly spend thousands of dollars with Walmart, Target, Applebees, Nike and other corporations, but be offended about being asked to spend a few bucks with black-owned businesses.  Go to Wal-mart and ask them to lower their prices and give you free stuff.  I’m sure they’ll have you escorted out of the building almost immediately.

5) 90% of everything we give away is already free, and we can’t give away the entire farm without going bankrupt.  If we kill off black businesses by forcing them to give unreasonable price concessions, we can’t then act confused when no black-owned businesses exist.

6) You go to work everyday and expect to be paid. For some reason, you think the rules should change for us.  This comment actually got the man’s attention.  He admitted that he goes to work for the paycheck and that he shouldn’t expect any different from somebody else.

7) We have no interest in begging white people to take care of us. It would undermine our entire mission.  Part of the reason I went into business for myself was to avoid having to beg for money from white people.  This allows me to have an independent platform that seeks to speak truth no matter where it lies.  Part of the reason that many black public figures say things that don’t make any sense is because their lack of community support leads them to have to depend on white benefactors for their very survival.  In other words, when we don’t support our own institutions, other people come along and buy them out.

A quality product for a fair price is not robbery, deception or some kind of evil manipulation. It’s what they call DOING-BUSINESS and it doesn’t make you into a crook.

Support black-owned businesses whenever you can, or at least give them as much support as you give big, white corporations.   We can’t love other people more than we love each other, and a dollar spent at a black business means feeding black families.  Black business owners can really use our help, because if we don’t care, then nobody else will.

Staff Writer; Dr. Boyce Watkins 

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  For more information, please visit


2 Responses to “Stop asking black businesses to give everything away for free.”
  1. M says:

    This is very interesting. Though, I’d venture to say that for some of our people, there is an inbred mistrust of each other. In my own experience with our business, it typically has very poor customer service. We get enough of the okie doke from our friendly neighborhood white man that we almost expect them to play us or overcharge us and the reason we are prone to spend with others is because it’s almost natural to us.

    One bad experience with one of our own businesses does ruin it for the rest. As unfair as that is, it doesn’t negate the fact that when our own does us wrong it hurts a lot more and has a bigger effect then when the white man and other nations do it to us…we expect them to and chalk it up as part of “the struggle”.

    Fair weights and balances and great customer service, though there is nothing wrong with nepotism and preferring our own and giving our own benefits that no others get.

  2. Marque Anthony says:

    I overstand your point but this area is shades of grey. A major part of marketing is promotional giveaways and incentive giveaways. So we should give things away. If you think we never should, you probably should also tell our people not to accept food stamps, WIC, Section 8 or welfare.

    We should be willing to pay and our businesses should be willing to give some things away. Every other ethnic group on the planet goes to great lengths to help each other. So you see, it’s not just an open and shut issue

    What’s sad is that we African Americans are still calling ourselves BLACK because Caucasian oppressors called us that to contrast their color and to assign to us all the negative things BLACK is equated with in the dictionary. The fact is, like it or not and believe it or not, YOU ARE BROWN and your car tires are black. You can say black is a culture but when they deal with you, they deal with you based on it’s definition – dismal, gloomy, dark, diabolical, treacherous, devoid of light. WAKE UP AFRICAN AMERICANS. We do not call the Asian yellow man because he would not stand for it. We do not call the Native American a red man because he would not stand for it. We do not call the Hispanic man a brown man because he would not stand for it. And many Africans, Haitians and Jamaicans do not accept being called a color they know they are NOT.
    Ironically, African Americans are the only ethnic group/race on the planet which allows ourselves to be called a color we are not, allowing ourselves to be defined by color, by someone else and to allow ourselves to be attached to a color we are not – a color they filled with negative denotations. Then we fight to help keep the lie in place. Is it any wonder that cops treat us as BLACK people by the definition of dismal, gloomy, treacherous, evil etc? We will never rise and overcome as a people if we allow other groups to define us, to define us with a lie and we are sadly willing to help them. AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES MATTER PEOPLE. Black is the color of my car tires, not my skin. I am a family and relationship counselor who specializes in deprogramming African Americans from slavery mindsets.

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