The first of many letters
A few years back I started a business. It was born of necessity more than invention, deprivation more than creativity, and a well contemplated recognition that Black Americans, descendants of slaves in particular, would continue to be ranked lowest and least compensated, if – we, Black Americans, continue to rely on an unjust American society to make life more equitable for Black Americans. America’s guarantees of justice and freedom for all invariably omit that the tangible actual remedies that will ensure freedom for Black Americans have all been denied and delayed indefinitely.
I never questioned if we could compete. I am as sharp as a razor, polished as porcelain, articulate, well-read and well-informed. The facts are on my side.
Today, I need this day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to reflect not on what we have lost or been denied (that burden never leaves me), but what we – Black American descendants of U.S. slaves – can accomplish when we work together. I am also reminded that God is on our side: enduring patiently, praying continually, claiming every promise, and awaiting salvation while putting faith to action. He isn’t a respecter of persons, and there isn’t any passage anywhere in the Bible that says He – God – oppressed us, or made us least of all races on earth.
Most of my work and efforts have been focused on women, and issues faced by Black American women in particular. However, it was wrong and a miscalculation on my part to not earlier seek to involve Black men in these efforts. Additionally, I further realize that Black women are necessary to champion causes and issues felt and experienced by Black American men. I hope that my belated realization and inclusion has not irreparably harmed our chances of being allies. I beg your pardon for this unjust lapse and delay.
My organization and various entities champion many causes impacting Black American communities, including racial justice, economic justice and equity, and Black health initiatives. We abide by strict moral, legal, and equitable codes of conduct: we are standard bearers of exemplar moral character, of unblemished and unsullied reputation. We require all business partners to meet and abide by this standard, which we enforce and defend if and when necessary by legal channels.
We ask that individuals who have engaged in illegal or immoral acts, as defined and described by our businesses, avoid contacting us. We state explicitly and clearly that we do not provide refuge, protection, and insulation to those who have been entangled in specified illegal and immoral acts, nor do we partner with such individuals. Our mission and work are compromised if we associate and affiliate with those who choose the acts of our oppressors – which we forcefully condemn.
Also, we do not support, endorse, or recommend businesses that solicit charitable donations from the Black community to aid the Black community. Any charitable business which we own, operate, or partner with must be fully and sustainably funded prior to our endorsement to ensure that any charitable contribution made to a supported charitable enterprise is a sound investment not a wistful hope. Also, we are sadly aware of the numerous unregistered charitable solicitations whose organizers have used funds solicited from the Black community for personal holidays and expenses. Some of these bad-actors are from the Black American community. Awareness without any place to report these criminals for lack of access to competent and unbiased law enforcement leaves us to educate our community to beware of scams which target Black communities – claiming to aid the Black community.
It is my sincerest hope that Black American men and women of good moral character and conscience will unite to create a more equitable and just world.
I stand committed with all who share this vision.
Ally in Equity,