Problem and Solution Guide to Getting Brothas and Sistas to Work Together as a People

Why do African-Americans have trouble doing business with one another? Why can’t we support Black-owned businesses and why can’t Black-owned businesses treat Black consumers with dignity and respect? Why can’t we progress economically and still stuck at the merchant class level? These are the questions we are still asking in 2013. In this article, you and I are going to look at the real reason why brothas and sistas cannot work together. The reason has nothing to do with slavery time or some past event because right here, right now the majority of Black people just don’t want to support each other in business. The truth is African-American culture has never embraced positive communication techniques and the negative way we talk to each other and treat each other is what holding us back from progress as Black people. We are going to discuss the problem and solution of how Black people talk to each other, how Black businesses advertise to Black people, how our Black media communicate to a Black audience and how Black retailers in the Black community operates to their Black consumers. The goal of this article is to help brothas and sistas confront the reality African-Americans do not treat each other right when it comes to business. Then we need to talk about the solution which is treating each other with dignity and respect to make positive economic growth a reality. How We Talk to Each Other Just a little background - a lot of brothas and sistas are quietly mad knowing we are outsourcing our Black empowerment efforts to Southeast Asia. Everything is actually going better than expected regarding the work and research, oh I just had to rub it in, huh? Just recently, I was reminded why I made that decision to deal with cheap wage Asians over Blacks when it comes to Black empowerment and don’t regret it one bit. I was talking to this brotha online about a topic I know about and he was putting out flawed information. Do you know that brotha got confrontational and was more interested in keeping his pride intact? That’s why I cannot work with my own Black people to make Black people better and have to outsource the work overseas. Black people have two serious communication problems that is holding ourselves back and we cannot work with each other. The first problem is Black people have a personal ego and will defend their personal ego at any cost, even when they wrong. The ego of a Negro is the more self-destructive than anything on this planet to Black people. You cannot advise or consult a person who got an ego and that person will let their ego take over when you try to talk or reason to them – this is the #1 reason cats get shot in the hood because two cats can’t drop their ego. The second problem is Black people have opinions, strong opinions and want you to validate their opinion to stroke their ego. These Black people don’t have facts, these Black people don’t have logic or understanding, these Black people ust have a damn opinion and want you to respect their personal opinion than find common ground based on facts. They don’t care about the fact President Obama ain’t doing much for Black people; these Black people opinion is they love President Obama and you better not disrespect our Black President! This is why we can’t work together as Black people because cats care about their ego and opinion more than what’s real. When someone is busy defending their ego, they only think about themselves and say dumb ish like “do you, I do me” and don’t realize what they are actually saying. Our people are doomed and we will never get better as a people if Black people cannot stop defending their ego and seeking validation of their opinion. The solution is Black people have to separate themselves from the mental basket case Blacks out there seeking validation of their opinion or need to have their ego stroked. We have to focus on STEM discipline and stay loyal to facts and allow the truth to be the mutual ground everybody can agree on. There is no agree or disagree or debating on facts like Black people need our own media networks, the real discussion is what steps to take to make a Black media channel. When it comes to taking action, we always see some Black fool come around saying we need to do this first or do that first before working towards a goal. This cats be saying we cannot build Black businesses in our community until everybody read Dr. Claude Anderson Powernomics or 37 Laws of Power or some BS like that. See these are the cats we need to kick off the bus and instead focus on real action towards our goals and I think that is the real communication we send to each other where actions speak louder than words. How Black Business Advertise Black business owners like to run their business from their personal ego perspective and they also advertise to Black folks in the same way. So it should not be surprising to see Black businesses advertising in a way that is condescending towards their own people. You see a Black-owned car dealership with the Black owner all in the ad acting like they making money and you supposed to admire and kiss up to them and just give them your $30,000 at their car dealership. No, if you spending $30,000 then that Black car dealership supposed to kiss your Black behind and they better work hard for your money to break that kind of bread off with them. Another problem with Black businesses is they really focus hard on non-scientific impression marketing which is basically the same as fronting. In impression marketing, cats think because they got a fancy brand name or a slogan or a cute logo or nice office location that those things will lead to sales. See, cats be thinking all backwards where you look good before you get the money! I really don’t know where the hell anybody Black got the thought that if you got a marketing tagline, brothas and sistas will automatically buy whatever you got to offer. So what Black businesses like to do is talk down to Black customers in their advertising like they stupid and Black people know full well they can get that same product/service from outside the community for cheaper. Black businesses like to advertise some white label reseller crap or some Chinese made stuff and act like they marketing something unique to the Black community. See, they want to think brothas and sistas are stupid when they advertise generic stuff anybody can get wholesale and then these Black businesses get mad when you call them out on it. Another thing is Black businesses probably never advertise any sales or discounts to the Black community. Black businesses act like they should charge full price and Black people should support them and pay full price when the big box store down the way have that same item for at least 35% less. So what happens is Black business don’t advertise effectively and Black consumers do not patronage their business and then Black business want to complain Black consumers do not support them. Black business need to realize they have to compete with everybody else for the Black consumer and is not entitled to the Black consumer. Also, the Black consumer is not stupid and is very savvy and use mobile shopping as well as mobile coupons and other forms of sales like regular coupons to shop. Black people are Groupon biggest group of customers if I remember. So it is absolutely stupid of any Black business to not realize they have to use coupons and other sales technique to get business from the Black consumer. So the solution is for Black business to stop this ignorant ego and impression based advertising and start using marketing techniques that allow metrics to be captured like the number of downloaded coupons, the number of click through and stuff like that. The Black consumer is not some idiot and Black businesses can’t be trying to shuck and jive them because they will spend their $1 trillion in spending power somewhere else. Learn how to create digital coupons, do Groupons, have sales and loyalty coupons that is in the 21st century and use mobile phones. But most important, treat the Black consumer with dignity and respect and show a positive portrayal of Black consumers in advertising and make them the center, not the Black business owner. Also, Black business need to invest real money in advertising and start paying real money giving creative cats in the Black community jobs to create print ads, video advertisement and digital signage display. When Black people see a Black business taking Black advertising seriously, then both Black businesses and Black consumers will be on the same page. How Black Media Communicate Existing Black media is doom for failure the way they market and communicate to Black people. Black media continue to market in an uppity manner towards their own Black audience and expect that same Black audience to pay for their media when there are so much media alternatives out there. All of these elitists lists like the Top 100 Negroes when the editorial staff is a bunch of broke ass content writers who couldn’t make it in any other career field. But there is the other flip of the coin, the so-called Black nationalists or cats talking about Hidden Colors be straight lying and exaggerating about Black people and lying about our Black History! These cats feel they need to lie to Black people to grab their attention and that’s a lot of these fake pro-Black Facebook groups out there. These kooky characters will outright pick up one of these old pseudo-Black History books from the last century and straight post up a lie about Cleopatra being a Black woman and be straight in denial African-Americans don’t have anything to do with East Africa and we from West Africa. So Black media is either condescending or lying to the Black audience and that is how Black media communicate. But again, Black media then show only negativity with the negative Black radio stations that are worse than any BET or other networks. Your local Black radio is the worse because now they are syndicated shows that does not have any local connection to the local community. That means they got a comedian cracking jokes instead of having a morning interview with a local Black author who just released their e-book and want to discuss the topic on the radio, see the opportunities being lost? Then Black media outright tell a bold lie saying negative music sells – no it doesn’t and it never had. The only thing that sells is good music, plain and simple. Either further, positive music sells and have a longer lifespan than all of the negative music and acts out there. Let’s also remember Oprah Winfrey already outdid both BET and TV One for Black ratings by remaining positive while BET and TV One focused on negative media programming. So we already know positive Black media sells and existing Black media that focus on hating their own people for a few bucks. The solution is to create Black media that is both solution-based and designed for brothas and sistas. We have to start creating content that show how to solve problems in the Black community and do it in a way that is entertaining – this is what Oprah Winfrey has done so well with her channel. But we can go a step further and do like the Japanese and Korean media and start showing exactly how to create business models and make things like opening a business exciting, Black people traveling exciting. We don’t have to be all Boule about it – show real Black folks doing it. And start showing real Black folks like they some cats from 36th and Michigan Avenue in Chicago and ish. No more of this light-skinned only crap the Boule Black media is about. We need to show brothas and sistas and make cats look at close to real Black people and doing real Black stuff. Another thing that is a problem is these existing Black media act like things are beneath them like seeing a brotha take out a title loan..I had to take out payday loans and title loans in my lifetime and not ashamed to admit that. So having real Black media showing real Black life and promoting positivity is how we can improve Black media overall and attract customers to watch ads and buy products. What Will It Take to Change Now? Now that we discuss the real reason why brothas and sistas cannot work together and identified it is the way we communicate among ourselves, how do we get better? How do we implement action other than just talking all the time? To make things better and better for our people, we can start taking the following steps: Stand Behind Brothas and Sistas Starting Businesses. We should encourage brothas and sistas with positive messages of support. I would like someone to start a Facebook/Instagram group that announce the launch of real Black businesses (not that MLM/reseller crap) and let brothas and sistas take a picture of it so we all can post positive messages and congratulations. Create Better Marketing. Start creating advertising that is positive and customer-orientated and not ego-driven by the Black business owner. No one cares to hear a business say they are Black-owned, what they care to hear is a person cares to open up shop in the Black community and serve Black people who live there with products/services Black people want and demand. Create Positive Black Media. We have too much negative Black media ran by some so-called elitist Boule or whatever and need to kick those clowns to the curve and create positive portrayal of our people. We need to reject the notion about negative Black media sells and stop letting people tell us that goddamn lie when no one put in the hard work to do right by our people in the media industry. Positive Black media will result in having positive advertising and positive customer reaction and better economic activity. By creating positive, reinforcing communication and media within the Black community, I believe change will come sooner than expected where we learn to start working with each other, have respect for each other and portray ourselves in a more positive light.

One thought on “Problem and Solution Guide to Getting Brothas and Sistas to Work Together as a People

  1. Ed,
    Knocked out the park as usual, I have been saying this for years and recently have been restructuring my work as a freelancer within the graphic design and marketing field to incorporate transmedia storytelling as its focus. It takes a lot to educate folks who just don’t “get it” that you want to help and provide something of value that, in the end, will help them out. But, I can go across town, present the same material and get a willing client/customer without the haggling. It’s a shame, you get what you pay for and ANY media or design work should be able to elicit a ROI. If we get the media and communications down, education and expansion will be that much easier for coming together. Just gotta shake the ones who only think of their money as something to spend instead of financial tools of growth.

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