January 14, 2011 | | Comments 6

$16 Billion Down the Drain

by Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu

NPHCThis summer and throughout the year our largest 150 African American organizations will convene their national conferences. They include the NAACP, Urban League, Operation Push, National Baptist, Omegas, Alphas, Kappas, Sigmas, Deltas, AKAs, Sigma Gamma Rho, and many more. I am honored that I will be speaking at many of them. My only regret is that we will spend $16 billion with Mr. Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott, United ,American, Delta, etc. Can you imagine how much money we have spent with them since 1954? What do we have to show for it? At many of these conferences, speakers will talk about our plight and the impact of racism and White supremacy. I’m sure Mr. Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott, United, American, and Delta are saying “talk about me all you want, but please don’t stop coming!”

Can you imagine if we chose to meet in Black colleges or churches? Can you fathom if we chose not to meet at all, but asked members to send in what they would normally spend? Another option would be to meet over the internet or video conferencing. In my latest book, Solutions for Black America, I discuss the net effect would be $16 billion that we could use to build four regional luxury hotels that would accommodate 2-5,000 guests. I suggest we call them the Rosa Parks Palace, Harriet Tubman Tower, Malcolm X Shabazz Suites, and the Martin Luther King Resorts. I also discuss in the book the purchasing of 10-20 corporate jets. The fleet could be named after the Tuskegee Airmen.

I have heard several problems and challenges. First, many of these organizations have signed contracts for future years. My suggestion is that we either agree to start in some future year outside the contract, or we simply pay the penalty and begin building our hotels and acquiring our Tuskegee jets. Second, middle class negroes who are accustomed to 24 hour room service and luxury accommodations have said they would not attend if they had to meet at a Black college and sleep in a dormitory. I know Harriet Tubman is turning over in her grave. She experienced similar foolishness trying to free 300 Africans in her 19 trips south. Last, organizations need their conference to financially sustain themselves. I suggest we either become better stewards with our budgets or continue to meet, but at a Black college for two years and accrue the savings estimated at $8 billion annually. In two years we would have our $16 billion. I suggest this be coordinated by the Black Leadership Forum. All monies would be sent to the Forum.

In closing, God is asking Black America have we been good stewards with our resources? How can a people who earn $688 billion, possess 9,000 plus elected officials, 4 million college graduates, and 85,00 churches that receive $3 billion annually and have $50 billion in assets be in such terrible shape? Are we suffering from post-traumatic slavery disorder?

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  1. Amiri Asad says:

    This Is Rite on! Its like trusting a fox to protect us from the “Wolf”..

  2. Uhurube says:

    The time has come for blacks to allocate our resources together to improve our own conditions. We must wake up

  3. Jerry Clark says:

    Being born and raised in one of the whitest areas of America – Western Nebraska – the only thing we learned in school about the contributions of Black men and women was Alexander Graham Bell who did more than work with peanuts. Being a student of history, that not told in our schools, I am amazed at the contributions of by Black brother and sisters to the history of America. I also learned that when the chips were down, Black people pulled together and made something happen. At this time in our history, Blacks must again pull together and use their talents to help their brothers and sisters get out of the maze created by white people. One way to do this is to use the power of the almighty dollar to make things happen. (How about a boycott of all goods not made in America? This would get the attention of the wealthy.) I read that our economy is recovering but with jobs created in other countries not here in America. How about getting the National Urban League to meet the mission established by it’s founders? We need no more marches and rallies, we need action to create an alternative financial system for Blacks and other oppressed peoples.

    With all the talent in the Black community, we could have a positive impact on the world, or at least America. AND have a better tomorrow.

  4. MissKriss says:

    Hey Jerry…Thanks for your post…just wanted to point out a slight typo…I think you meant George Washington Carver…not Bell. Its all good though. Its been awhile since school for me too.

  5. Loneranger says:

    As a member of a D9 fraternity I find it unlikely that 501-c3 or c7 organizations would be able to take such a partisan stance without jeopardizing tax benefits and other liabilities. The arguement here is valid, but not strong, Where is the leadership from our elected officials, Specifically Congressional Black Caucus?

    Private organizations are not responsible for the welfare of the whole on their own.

  6. Jaki says:

    This is correct and has been an issue for decades. The last I heard by the amount of money we spend in this country annually on goods and services, that would make African Americans in the top 10 of the wealthiest countries on the planet meaning enough not only have our own transportation & hospitality companies but an Army, Navy and Air Force too if we wanted it, that’s a lot of money and a lot of countries with less money has those things…

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