Originally published Aug 16, 1969

The concept of Black capitalism has neatly defined and stifling limits. It has potential to aid certain people within the Black Community and, as long as the dominant society is capitalist, it is necessary to develop capitalism within the Black community in order to grant even a minimum amount of participation in the economy.

If a strong, responsive class of Black capitalists are developed, money and power will be

Brought into the Black Community. But it will not be money and power in significant amount, nor money and power which filters down to the poor Blacks, unless Black community is administered in a way quite different from White capitalism.

The days of the small business are over. Black candy store owners will not save the Black economy — certainly not if they continue to be reliant upon white banks and financial institutions for their money. In any case, the margin for survival for small businesses is small and more businessmen willfail than will succeed. After all, the whole economy is dominated by giant corpora­tions. Tiny individual enterprises can hardly expect to compete with Coca Cola, Dupont or Standard Oil, on any level.

Black corporations must be developed, but they must be corporations which are run by the community and are responsive to the community. They must be administered by Blacks in order to reserve their power for Blacks.

Not even these corporations will guarantee a reasonably high standard of living for all Blacks, even the poor. And the inherent danger in such institutions is that Black capitalists will be utilized by Whites to “keep Black communities cool,” without changing any of the basic conditions which, until now, have kept Black Communities hot.

Too often, the Black middle class has been separated from the masses of Blacks by the devious strategies of the white government and the white corporation presidents. Unless basic and radical changes are made in the way in which affluent Blacks represent the masses of Blacks, Black capitalism will be no salvation at all.

And, perhaps most important, even the success of Black capitalism - which is difficult to envision in a racist society - would not change the basic attitudes and policies of the United States. We would still be a part of a country which oppresses poor and non-white people around the world, but only a more active part.

I believe that the development of responsive Black capitalism is worth the effort. It is worth every effort t stop the day to day suffering and poverty of so many Black Americans It is worth the effort to help even one Black child. But while we work at building a Black capitalist base, we must always keep In mind the limits of this strategy. We must realize that no kind of capitalism, Black or white will ever solve the problems of the poor or guarantee peace — at home or abroad.

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