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“Stop buying shoes for the little grasshopper Negroes.”

That is a quote, almost a direct quote rather, from my Ethics and Society professor here at the ITC, while in the midst of a jeremiad against the black church, young black professionals and the well-to-do members of the hip-hop generation.  This is not uncommon for him to refer to black people as “colored” or “Negro.”  In fact, I don’t recall him at all referring to us as “Blacks” or “African Americans.”  Despite his broad generalizations against the more well-to-do members of the rap and hip-hop community who don’t give back (to which I would direct him to Ludacris’ Foundation http://www.theludacrisfoundation.org/home.php) he actually had something viable to say against the Black Church.

 Now, I know how quick many of us are to criticize the Black Church without much merit, however I believe my professor had in fact stumbled upon something.  He suggested that black churches should invest their moneys, at least some of it, into black banks that are rooted in the communities with which many of the churches still remain.  Truth be told, could you imagine what it would mean if New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, pastored by Bishop Eddie Long, just deposited the tithes and offerings from Sunday morning services into a Citizen’s Trust bank account here in Atlanta rather than Bank of America? 

Realistically, as the Black Church overwhelmingly probably lets millions of dollars nationwide pour into white-owned banks on Monday morning deposits, how many black churches have lobbied for seats on the boards of directors of these white owned banks be they regional or national banks?  We allow these banks to come into our community and yet and still these banks overwhelmingly do not give money back into our own community.  Now yes it is nice to go into a white owned bank and in fact see black bank tellers and managers and loan officers, but again people lets be realistic–it would be nice if we were in control of the money outright.

So instead of “buying shoes for the little grasshopper Negroes” lets reconsider where we spend our money and to what end we spend it.  We have a responsibility to our own community to do better.  Not everything is a result of white power structures forcing us into a position with only a few options.

And while I’m on this subject….

 I’ll never understand why do black folk insist on going to these ghetto strip malls and businesses and buying clothes from Middle Eastern people who were allowed to come into our own community and take our money with no regard for what our community stands for.  They either rent or own clothing stores, gas stations, eateries and other businesses in our community, but yet and still when its time for them to close up shop, they don’t live in our communities and they spend their money elsewhere.  Hell, our money leaves the community before we do!!!

 I guess this is somewhat of a plea for those “little grasshopper Negroes” who are reading this to actually watch where you spend your money and be conscious of it; because the Bible actually does say in Ecclesiates 10:19 “money meets all needs.”  (NRSV)

One can only imagine what it means if you don’t have the money, or rather the ability to meet all of your needs.

Keep it uppity (thanks mom!!), JLL

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3 thoughts on ““Stop buying shoes for the little grasshopper Negroes.”

  1. Please define ‘little grasshopper Negro’ in some context. Does ‘Stop buying shoes for little grasshopper Negroes’ mean that little grasshopper Negroes don’t really need $200 name brand gym shoes and other assorted extraneous ‘bling’ absent any legal, entrepreneurial, and visible means of support by the consumer-only desperate-for-validation purchasers?

  2. Yes, it does dL, but I just was looking for a catchy phrase with which to draw readers into the main point of the story. My professor’s admonishing of young black children buying gym shoes for so much money was just one thing that he was saying in the midst of a whole bunch of other things.

    His mention of the Black Church and how it handled the money was just one in a list of things.

  3. Actually, the Citizens Trust Bank sucks. i have an account with them but love my wachovia more. The founders of that bank were very prominent members of the black community and members of churches here in ATL such as Big Bethel AME and Ebenezer Baptist. What we need to do is make these banks develop better services and engage in 21st century technology to compete with the bank of the Devil. Lastly, the daily audacious, opulent, overstated luxurious lives of these “baller negroes” clearly overshadows the commendable but fractioned efforts of men like ludacris and Outkast etc.

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