Now that President Donald Trump has taken office, pan-African scholar and New York-based professor James Small believes now is the time Black people should start investing in their communities and supporting one another economically.
Small, who has gained popularity after appearing in several documentaries, including “Hidden Colors,” said integration has weakened Black people economically and made white people richer.
“What we call integration was white people, so-called white people, primarily Jewish people, who sold us a perspective on life called integration,” he says during an interview with Underground Railroad Wednesday, Jan. 18. “They said, ‘Partner with us white folks and you gonna be all right.’ Having been in a hostile relationship with white folks for so long and suffered at the end of it, we were looking for relief.
“We were willing to partner thinking we were creating a new humanity. But, what happened, we were disarmed in the war.”
The esteemed scholar pointed out that many of those Black people have integrated with have retained control of the upper tiers of society. As integration moved forward, whites and other groups did not relinquish their leadership roles in Black communities and rarely allowed Black people a seat at the economic table.
“Same people who were asking us to do this were the primary retailers in all the Black communities across America,” Small says. “The same people who were asking us to do this were the ones who were running the school boards and the schools in our community.
“So, they’re telling us, ‘Don’t compete with us, integrate with us, but we are running everything.’ They’re making billions off of us.”
While whites were making billions off of Black people, Black people made nothing, Small said. Other ethnic groups like Arabs create businesses, hire Arabs and buy from Arabs, keeping wealth in their community. But, Small explains, “the problem with that picture is the consumer who is giving all those Arab guys work so that they can go make money and go home and take care of their families are all Black folks.
He encouraged Black people to take note and do the same. “I’m not anti-anybody. … We are just pro-Black folks needing to feed, clothe and shelter themselves.”