Blacks should create their own empowerment villages.

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( I rarely agree with my father, who is an orthopedic surgeon, but he made a lot of sense when he explained why many urban black neighborhoods have fallen into decay.

He said the federal government’s desegregation of the U.S. population opened the floodgates for black attorneys, teachers, pharmacists, accountants, doctors and others with advanced degrees to move out of black neighborhoods in order to integrate with other races. This has left drug dealers and pimps as the main models of financial success in urban neighborhoods.

I would add that latch key kids, whose parents are busy working at least two low-paying jobs to support the household, also get their values from television images of free-spending, foul-mouth, promiscuous reality stars and hip hop musicians. The result is bad attitudes, money mismanagement, devaluing of education and fighting for limited resources.

The solution is to return to the black mentality during segregation days and even going back to slavery. During those times, we believed it took a village to raise a child. We came together to educate each other, and we looked out for each others families. We used our skills to create businesses and we supported our businesses. Not so much now.

Black people should return to our roots to empower each other. Advanced blacks should adopt urban neighborhoods to find leaders, find talent, find caregivers and then mentor them to create empowerment villages.

It isn’t the government’s responsibility to clean up our neighborhoods. When the government intervenes, it leads to corporate businesses and franchises entering our neighborhoods, and they end up taking more than they give back. Meanwhile, a police presence can lead to more violence and arrests, such as the chain of events in Ferguson from the fatal shooting of Michael Brown to the riots.2015visionsofblackeconomicempowerment

By creating empowerment villages, blacks can feed off each others talents and build something beautiful and true to our values to inspire each other and our youth. Instead of allowing drug dealers and pimps to put our youth to work, urban residents should keep them busy landscaping and babysitting around the neighborhood. There should be neighborhood meetings to uncover each others talents to offer tutoring, self defense and budgeting classes. There should be a neighborhood food pantry, and a neighborhood watch team. Elderly residents can teach our rich history to the youth. Once the community is empowered, they can start their own businesses to create generational wealth.

So I challenge blacks to return to their roots. Discover each other. Band together and empower the whole village. Then, share from community to community, so black people, as a whole, can regain their marvelousness to replace the ignorance depicted on television that is then carried out on urban streets.

Be empowered and be prosperous.

Written by Teneshia LaFaye

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