Black History Culture : Barbados - A Meeting Turn - A Black Tradition

Discussion in 'Black History - Culture - Panafricanism' started by dunwiddat, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. dunwiddat

    dunwiddat Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Growing up as a girl I remember my parents and relatives and neighbours involved in this.
    The older folks stated that this tradition goes back to the time of slavery. Here in Barbados it is called a Meeting Turn, and in the other islands it has a different name.

    This is what black folks did when they did not have access to the white folks banks. This tradition has continued to this present day here in Barbados and the other islands.

    A group of people including grown men and women would decide on the saving of their money.

    1. A responsible person mostly a woman would collect the money.


    If they are twenty people each contributing one hundred dollars ($100) per month. One person would get the $2,000.00 up front...although the person would only have paid in one hundred dollars.

    This money would be collected at the end of each month, then the second person would receive their $2,000.00 until the last person received theirs. Each person must continue "throwing in" their hundred dollars UNTIL each person has received their two thousand dollars. Since the first person would have only put in one hundred dollars and receive two thousand dollars up front it shows how important trust is in this whole venture.

    There is a risk involved since if individuals who are dishonest they can just take their money forget about the others. This has happened for some...and since it is not legally binding, you cannot put them in court. This has been a tradition way life for blacks here in the Caribbean. I wonder if blacks folks could have created this into a black bank I wonder what the results would be today. The thing is unlike the bank there is no interest or usury. My parents would be involved in three at one time... This money was savedfor purchase of materials to repair house etc. Some folks used their for paying of school fees before the government had introduced free secondary education.
    What I say can say concerning this is that black folks will always find a way and you can't keep dem down..
     
  2. bingiedred

    bingiedred Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Yes it is called Sou Sou here, even though it goes by various names. In Ethiopia it is called Equib pronounced Equoob. But we as people of color have always found a way around the obstacles that western society structures have attempted to place on us.
     
  3. Fieldpea

    Fieldpea Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Sou-Sou (Su-Su) Economics. Also, here in Az., occasionally it's called being a member of a Gifting Club. Here in Az., to participate in a Gifting Club is illegal. The STATE (of Az.) declares that it is a pyramid scheme, and that state taxes won't be paid. The last one I was invited to join paid $16,000 each cycle, with 8 participants having 3 months to gather together $2,000 apiece, to be paid to the 9th person (designated recipient who *doesn't* have to ante into the pot). Also, when carefully worded, acceptance of the money IS NOT TO BE ALLOWED unless the *exact* amount of Arizona tax on $16,000 is already deducted and a cashier's check bought for submission to the state tax bureau. Still....


    Out here in Az., ANY Blacks attempting to establish Sou-Sou in any form *are sought out* and charged with a few crimes (white collar). For the organizers, fighting such charges (lawyer's fees) becomes a gigantic deterrent. As for being accused of committing crimes? The same is NOT true for the Chinese and Korean communities here, nor even for any whites in Az. who might do the same thing!


    Just us...


    One Love, and PEACE
     
  4. dunwiddat

    dunwiddat Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    You are so true.
     
  5. dunwiddat

    dunwiddat Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Now we know that people don't want black folks to achieve.
     
  6. Fieldpea

    Fieldpea Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Not just *people*, dunwiddat, but certain WHITE people who selectively use their precious *ARM of the law*.


    I went to my first meeting with other gifters and potential gifters (like me) one Sunday afternoon. The woman who invited me and one of my sisters to this meeting asked us *not* to discuss this meeting with anyone we knew--at least, not yet. My sister and I went to an address downtown (turned out to be the third floor parking garage at the then, MCI corporate campus). We climbed up to the 3rd floor garage space and maybe 1/3 of that space was filled with folding chairs, a lecturn and mic, 3 folding tables, too, with all kinds of paper on it. Nearly all seats were filled.


    My sis and I looped under a rope (the seating was roped off) and sat near the back. We had no idea what was going to happen, but the people all around us were *excited*, even really joyous! It was bizarre, at first. Left me and my sister wondering what in the world was going on, and what in the world we were doing there!


    Anyway, maybe 20 minutes later, the meeting was called to order. If 60% of that group was made up of Black people, then 30% were white people, and the remaining 10% were Mexicans! After some group announcements about where the next meeting was going to be held, one of the organizers (the main one, I think) announced to us all that the Attorney General of Az. (a man named Grant Woods) and a couple of his aides were in the audience! They thought themselves INCOGNITO.


    Well, when she announced this, most of the audience stood up and applauded! Applauded! The atty gen and his aides were invited to stand up so everyone could see them. No response, though. So, from that point, the organizer told these state people that they should observe *carefully* just how a LEGAL gifting meeting worked. She then got right to it.


    Maybe 27 or 28 gifting *squares* had completed. Each square was valued at $16,000 dollars. My sis and I sat and watched more than $400,000 dollars get paid out! We also watched as 20 + new squares got established. With each payout, the recipient was REQUIRED to announce publicly, "I am grateful to accept this gift of $16,000 dollars, AND ALL OF THE STATE TAXES ARE TO BE PAID! That EXACT wording, too. Had to be announced openly before a witness.


    The recipient received their money in hundreds, counted out into their hands. As soon as the audience finished vocally counting up to $16,000 dollars (with alot of joyful shouting and applause), then IMMEDIATELY, they had to hand to the organizers a personal check, or cashier's check valued to the exact amount that the state required for gifts valued to be in excess of $10,000 (base amt) plus % of tax for any amount above $10,000--I hope this makes sense.


    Over and over again, completed squares were announced, people shouted for joy, hundred dollar bills were counted out into peoples' hands, the recipients made their tax pledges, and then paid the tax due--until well in excess of $400,000 dollars had passed hands. If the meeting started at around 5pm, then it didn't finish until after 8:30pm.


    At the end of the meeting, with a reminder of where the next meeting would be held (on a Wednesday night), the organizer announced that it looked like close to a quarter million dollars would be paid out on that Wednesday (15 to 16 squares)!


    Within 3 months of that Sunday meeting, the main woman who'd organized that entire thing had to close it down--meetings with the AG had gone badly, despite his personal witnessing of her group's procedures. Because she and her mother could no longer afford to pay the attorney fees, she had to let it all go.


    I've always wondered if it was a case that she refused to pay kickbacks. The Chinese and Koreans have been operating their private business investment clubs trouble free for too many years--more than 100 years in Az. with the Chinese--and as cultures, they are sanguine when it comes to paying bribes and kickbacks to public officials in their countries--just how it goes, so...


    One Love, and PEACE
     
  7. dunwiddat

    dunwiddat Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I am so glad that people here do not have to go through what you go through in Arizona. Just cannot understand the idea of state taxes. Such a shame.
     
  8. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    http://thegrio.com/2011/05/20/sou-sou-black-immigrants-bring-savings-club-stateside/

    'Sou-sou': Black immigrants bring savings club stateside

    by Marlie Hall | May 20, 2011 at 9:05 AM
    ...Marie Lumen Clersaint is Brooklyn’s reigning queen of sou-sous...
    ....She’s a Haitian immigrant who works for a chain of five independently-owned money transfer stores in Brooklyn, New York called Caribbean Air Mail or CAM. Since most Haitian immigrants send money back home on a regular basis, it’s a strong probability that those in Brooklyn have come through one of her stores at one time or another. “Everybody knows me,” Clersaint said. They also know she runs among the largest and most consistent sou-sous in her community. She’s also known for deciding the order of the recipients’ payout based on specific requests from people who know they will need the money by a certain date.
    Many want to join Clersaint’s unofficial savings club, but the chosen are few. She has to be very selective because it’s all based on the honor system. There is no legal paperwork involved. No credits check or proof of income required. You don’t even have to sign your name. She has to know and trust every participant. There are no laws against sou-sous as long as every member gets exactly what they put into it. However, there is little legal recourse in the event someone is taken advantage of.
    As per the unwritten rules of sou-sous, the organizer is responsible for making up the difference if a member defaults on their contributions. Clersaint has been organizing sou-sous for 13 years now within the Haitian community and so far, she says, she has never been stiffed.
    Because sou-sous are usually comprised of close friends, family members or co-workers, there is an unspoken pressure to honor the commitment. Failure to do so would be tantamount to defaulting on a loan and the one who dodges payment can expect to be ostracized by the rest of the community.
    Sou-sou is a centuries-old practice that originated in West Africa. It gets it’s name from the Yoruban term “esusu” which refers to a fund where several people pool their money. The word is said to be derived from the French word “sou” which means a coin of little value.
    This under-the-radar saving system is also known by many other names. Haitians call it a “min”. People from the Dominican Republic call it “sociedad”. On the island of Dominica it’s called a “sub”. Those from Jamaica and Trinidad often refer to it as “partner”. But they all call it a blessing. ....

    ....CONT.....
     
  9. dunwiddat

    dunwiddat Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    In St. Lucia it is called sous-sous. Cherryblossom I had forgotten all about this post:lol:
     
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