Black lives matter.

That’s what went through my mind on the anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre that killed an estimated 300 Black people a century ago, that burned down dozens of city blocks, that left thousands of Black people homeless, and stripped the wealth from a neighborhood so prosperous it was known as Black Wall Street.

But Tulsa wasn’t the only place it happened. It happened in Wilmington North Carolina, where a coup ousted Black elected officials, and violence chased out Black residents. And in case you think the political violence of January 6th was a one-time thing, it wasn’t. In the 1860s and 1870s, Black voters were attacked and killed in St Bernard Parish, Louisiana, Vicksburg, Mississippi, Clinton, Mississippi, and even in New York City.

Those political attacks kept us from controlling tax dollars, kept us from getting our share of the pie, kept us from directing government money—our own money—to building Black wealth in our communities.

And still, Black lives matter. But if you learn nothing else today, learn this: Those attacks, over years and decades and centuries; that destruction of Black property and resources; that last resort that was used when racist systems worked too slowly; that is why white families have eight times the wealth of Black families. It’s not because we’re lazy, stupid or criminal. It’s because our labor, and our property, and our wealth was systematically destroyed, stolen, or stripped away.

But now that we know that, it’s time to build. It’s time to support Black businesses. It’s time to make a concerted effort to keep much of our money in our communities. Because we know that Black lives matter, we know Black history matters, we know our future matters, and if all those things are true, then Black dollars must matter, too.

Photo: Colorized image from the Tulsa Race Riot. By. Marc Carlson

Creative Commons License 

Leave a Comment

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Subscribe for More

Join me, Mayor Jim Kenney and Dr. Ala Stanford for, “Unmasking COVID: Where does Philly go from here?” tonight at 7 pm on Classix 107.9 FM
Just saw this brother going door to door talking to voters. He’s running for the Court of Common Pleas. I liked what he had to say!
We believe in giving the mothers in our family their roses while they’re here, so my children and I did just that for my mother, my mother in law, my aunt and my wife. Whole table covered with flowers. LaVeta in the background making up #mothersday songs. Lol! Love my family.
My #Mom and my #Grandmom dancing at my wedding. Love you Mom! Miss you Grandmom! Love you both!
Join ManUpPHL tonight at 6 pm on Facebook live as we discuss mental health, trauma, and how to heal in the age of gun violence with @helena.fontes.73
Join me now at #EatibleDelights Catering at 1540 E. Wadsworth Ave. I’m signing books! Come by and #BuyBlack
My wife’s shirt from Northeast High 1985. If you look carefully you can see both our names— LaVeta Hewlett and Solomon Jones. Who knew that all these years later we would be married with children? God is full of surprises.
The #COVID monster has nothing on me. I got my shot!
At 8 am we talk to @PPDCommish #DanielleOutlaw about the gun violence happening in #Philly on 900 AM/ 96.1 FM  WURD @onwurd
I got my first shot of the Moderna vaccine in January from a Black nurse at a Black church in North Philly. Dr. ⁦‪@alastanford‬⁩ filmed it. Got my second shot in February. I’m glad I did. Do your research and do what’s best for you. But if I did it anyone can.
Join Great Commission Church for our online Good Friday Service today at 6 pm on Facebook. I will be delivering the 7th last word from Luke 23:46
Join @ManUpPHL as we continue our push against gun violence. Go to ManUpPHL.org to join, to donate, or get help.
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments