Black People : Prejudiced blacks and prejudices whites keep black businesses down in MS. (Vid incl)

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by dustyelbow, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. dustyelbow

    dustyelbow Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    1,210
    Likes Received:
    21
    Ratings:
    +21
    Vicksburg 03/28/06
    Black Residents Make Discrimination Claim
    Vicksburg Protest


    Vicksberg Protest Video


    By Andrew Hasbun
    [email protected]

    Dozens of black Vicksburg residents believe the city treats them unfairly. On the steps of city hall, they claimed city officials are trying to shut down black owned businesses.

    “We are going to unite our community, and we are going to stand for what is right," said one protester.

    Dozens of Vicksburg 's black residents say the city abuses their rights. They claim old policies are still being used against black businesses.

    "This was done in the Jim Crowe era, there was no consideration for the needs of the people," said Alma Cash, the owner of Alma’s Grocery on Military St. Cash says she has been stuck in court for years, trying to change the zoning on her grocery store.

    "They won't change it because they want you out,” said Cash. “They want to get you out of business. They don't want black businesses down there, which is ridiculous."

    One by one, angry residents addressed the crowd as some officials watched from city hall's windows.

    Rev. Robert Mayfield stood on the same steps in 1964. He believes the black community now is more divided than in the civil rights era. He called on the crowd to unite and push for change.

    "You've got a lot of prejudiced blacks and a lot of prejudiced whites. I think when people get together, work together, and not fight then they can get it done," said Rev. Miller.

    "It deeply saddens me that it came to this point, where people felt they had to come perform a rally on the steps of city hall," said North Ward Alderman Mike Mayfield.

    Mayfield fired back when he addressed the crowd.

    "Sometimes you have more areas that you have to work in and you have to do what is right and what is fair for the citizens of this city," said Mayfield.

    While he thinks some concerns are legitimate, Mayfield believes the city treats everyone fairly.
    --------------------------------------------------------
    Looks like the same dismal attitudes of black and white city officials in Philadelphia, PA of immigrant African and African-American communities for overall betterments from Beating of Liberian teenager.

    Just to think we have our so called "own" in government not wanting to promote "black businesses". They talk about development for "our" communites but this episode dont sure look like it. I believe this is a national problem and should not be considered an "isolated" incident.
     
  2. MississippiRed

    MississippiRed Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Messages:
    1,307
    Likes Received:
    33
    Ratings:
    +34
    That's why my hometown which is about 75 or so miles from Vicksburg is growing rapidly right now while Vicksburg isn't ........we still have our prejudices but we realize that our economic futures are entertwined as one goes so goes the other and even moreso in an area as poor as ours.......it's still not perfect but you gotta start somewhere.........Some of the problem also is a lot of folk there white and Black don't understand things like zoning law and as such the first thing they scream is discrimination and reverse discrimination ......folks if we want to grow economically learn the law learn the system and learn how to work with ,in and around it to get what we need to get....


    MississippiRed
     
  3. Therious

    Therious Banned MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Messages:
    4,109
    Likes Received:
    1,290
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +1,398
    zoning laws are an old practice of racism, just like the re-districting of southern town to keep blacks out of congressional offices. blacks know the law thats why they are protesting! if that was a white store i doubt theyd have problems especially in missisipi!
     
  4. MississippiRed

    MississippiRed Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Messages:
    1,307
    Likes Received:
    33
    Ratings:
    +34

    I wouldn't be so sure........and yes I know about the gerrymander and zoning laws as a tool of racism...but there are a lot of us that truly don't know zoning law.......and maybe I have a different take on it because Natchez is 60 percent Black and we hold most of the City Council spots....we've never had a zoning problem as far as Black businesses go because the white folk and Black folk wanted to be separated....and that's how it was...our businesses on our side of town theirs on their side..... ....we just had an issue in our town where a restaurant owner was trying to get a section rezoned and the city fought it hard but last night it got done.....that restaurant is white though........but it took them almost a year to get that done........it's just funny to me because everybody thinks Mississippi is so bad when it comes to race and racism and it's not.....it's no worse than here in the Bay Area where people are so tolerant (allegedly)...........I'm not saying they had no reason to protest I can't say that because I haven't seen what the law was and what it is, I'd also like to know the reason for the zoning change.....in the case of Natchez there's going to be a lot of re-zoning due to new businesses coming in as well as new housing being built........like I said it's not perfect at all but it's no different from anywhere else...........

    If you want to know the real threat to small business both white and Black is mega corporations not necessarily zoning and racism...the Super Walmarts,Costcos,Lohs,Home Depots,Starbucks,those are what's killing small business......In Ferriday LA before Walmart opened there was many small stores,shops and such Wally opened and the whole downtown emptied...almost the same happened in Natchez......the small business person can't compete...........and the town of Ferriday now is dried up Wally has closed and moved 10 miles east to Vidalia where they're opening a bigger store.......it's not even open and 1 grocery has already closed.........

    Not saying race isn't an issue but without all the facts I refuse to say one way or another.......I will almost bet 1 thing though ...at least for the lady with the grocery .....I'll bet that a Super Wally or a grocery club store or mega grocery is either opening somewhere in her area or has recently opened...........Black and white are important colors but the one that runs ish is GREEN.....ever wondered why GREEN rhymes with GREED.......and both are universal


    Red
     
  5. Therious

    Therious Banned MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Messages:
    4,109
    Likes Received:
    1,290
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +1,398
    No doubt the bay Cali is no joke on the racism. When I lived in L.A. those California whites were some the most hateful devils Ive ever seen. I know the south ain the only place where racism i9s. hell New York is some of the most brutal racists on the planet. I saw on a documentry that New York was the second largest slave opulation next to south carolina! In the days of bondage.

    I can take your word since you are from Missisipi, I know in Birmingham the city council was almost all black. they were just as currupt and dis-honest as as any other politician white or whatver shall I say green?

    good point about corporations..
     
  6. MississippiRed

    MississippiRed Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Messages:
    1,307
    Likes Received:
    33
    Ratings:
    +34

    Man ain't that the truth....when I first got out here white folk was way meaner and more sneaky than the ones I'd left at home ...that's why I call CA ..."The New Mississippi"........hell I see more confederate flags here than I see when I'm at home now it's a real trip.......I alwas figured NY was pretty rough as far as racism .....yeah thats' a trip about the Slaves of NY..I saw that too and it blew my mind man.....
    You're right about corruption in govt even when it's majority Black Natchez has it's first Black mayor since Reconstruction he was one of the kids my Daddy mentored way back in the day but dude is just as dirty as the past white mayors I'll give him one thing though he is bringing in business and development though ......using hook or crook of course but don't matter to me long as it's there and my folk at home can now make decent livings....that's the main reason I'm looking to invest heavily down there in land and such over the next 10 or so years man it's going to bloom at some point........

    MississippiRed
     
  7. dustyelbow

    dustyelbow Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    1,210
    Likes Received:
    21
    Ratings:
    +21
    I do see the suggestion made here but there is another unjust side to this.

    Whether we speak highly or in disgust of "black" businesses, the context always means a local businesses run by black members from their respective communities. Not national and international corporations. That is the picture I get when I hear of "black" businesses. Most of us think in terms of corporations or Main street (stream) businesses which is an unfair comparison to "black" businesses in my opinion.

    This case just highlights a greater movement in the country namely local black people being not consider in making any contribution to the growth of their communities, their state and this nation. Only corporations and elected government officials are allowed to have full access to that. We should recognize this woman and others spent years in court trying to get attention from ELECTED city council members who FAILED in their DUTY to inform residents of the laws on zoning of the town in the first place. These council members of this town already exhibit and DO NOT BELEIVE local "homegrown" residents can make any difference in their situation and of that in the town. Our elected officials have lost faith in their own local citizen to bring prosperity back to their town.

    When I was growing up, the first place where I understood "IOU" notes was in our local "black" communities. My mother would send me to a local "black" family grocery establishment with a "IOU" note to get some needed items. The family would take this and "allow" me to take items off the shelf. They had faith that my mother would pay it back. They did not have it made up in their minds to keep myself and my family in BONDAGE with high interest and debt for the rest of our poor lives. And we return this token and it really helped me to understand what a community really means. The GOOD (not just money profits) our community can PRODUCE. This lady reminds me of the same family who would allow her customers "IOU" notes without the glitz and glamour of credit card companies etc who wish to keep the community in BONDAGE any way they can. And the customers seem to understand what is at stake better than any outside corporation or developer realizes.

    Second she serves as a role model to make an impression on the next generation of black residents. Seeing an adult (not government or big business) concerned about your plight in the community leaves a firm impression on the young. I certainly got that impression and it made me appreciate the great or small CONTRIBUTIONS that our community can and continue doing. Do you really think big money mover Northerners of any degree and others (corporations) who come with their made up impressions of Southerners whether good or bad will recognize our situation we face and face them with us by leaving similar impressions. I have not seen it happen yet.

    I really hope this story get bigger and bigger and this whole nation would wake up to realize that corporations and local politicians should not think that the people local state and nationally are not in the position to make any contribution to the well being of this country. Paying taxes should not be the only contribution a person can make.

    Do we really want black people to be known in greater society as artistic contributors alone or we can contribute in other ways to this nation also?
     
  8. dustyelbow

    dustyelbow Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    1,210
    Likes Received:
    21
    Ratings:
    +21
    Another example of what I am referring to

    New Orleans' black funeral tradition dying out
    Funeral directors worried after mass departure of African-American residents
    By Kamika Dunlap, STAFF WRITER
    Inside Bay Area
    NEW ORLEANS — Louis Charbonnet's mortuary business focuses on high drama and style, operating one of the only antique horse-drawn hearse services in town. It's what adds flavor to the New Orleans tradition of jazz-style funerals filled with street parades and brass bands.

    "People join in (jazz funerals) spontaneously," said Charbonnet, who has worked in the funeral trade more than 50 years and owns Charbonnet-Labat Funeral Home. "... You have the handkerchief flyin', butt shakin' and everything else that goes on, including pouring a little liquor on top of the casket."

    But these days the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Katrina and the departure of the city's majority African-American residents has raised concerns for Charbonnet and other black funeral home owners like him.

    Many black funeral directors and morticians who struggle to hang on say they were shut out of the recovery effort due to the limited subcontract work for the recovery and burial of bodies after Katrina. The state contracted directly with Kenyon International Emergency Services in planning the recovery effort. Kenyon coordinated the response teams, many of which handled the

    1,080 bodies counted in Katrina's death toll.

    None of the 14 black funeral homes in New Orleans received any subcontracts from Kenyon to bury storm victims. The only business they got was through families they had serviced prior to Katrina or by word of mouth.

    In addition, the trend of corporate acquisitions pre- and post-Katrina continues to present a growing threat for many small independent black funeral home owners. Service Corporation International, parent company to Kenyon, is one of the largest funeral home chains in the country.

    Hall Davis, president-elect of the National Association of Funeral Directors and Morticians, said the tradition of jazz-style funerals in a Mardi Gras atmosphere is one of a kind. The association represents about 2,300 black funeral homes across the country.

    "New Orleans is probably the most unique place in the world with (black funeral) customs passed on from generation to generation," he said. "It is going to take a lot of money to reproduce something that was naturally there."

    Many black funeral parlors are family owned and provide a sense of history and personal touch to their generations of customers. They are among the last types of social institutions, including black churches, beauty salons and barber shops, that cater to the African-American community.

    "If you go to a white funeral home, you will have a funeral service and you will be treated fairly and properly, hopefully," said Renard Boissiere, who has worked in the business 30 years and owns Boissiere-Labat Family Funeral Services in New Orleans. "But when we (black funeral directors) do our funerals, we become part of the family. It's hard to explain when you have a feel and a culture for it."

    Boissiere's two funeral homes were flooded by Katrina, and he lost more than $100,000 in equipment. Now he is operating out of Louisiana Undertaking, one of the few black funeral homes in New Orleans to survive the hurricane. Boissiere hopes to resume business again independently.

    But many black funeral directors and morticians said they are disappointed they were not more involved with the recovery effort.

    "It was a done deal with Kenyon," said Sandra Rhodes, president of the Crescent City Funeral Directors and Morticians Association, which represents New Orleans and the surrounding area.

    The state hired Kenyon to organize the recovery and burial of bodies after Katrina. The company also provided services at the World Trade Center in New York and after the tsunami in Thailand.

    Bob Johannessen, a spokesperson for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, said Kenyon was ultimately responsible for hiring subcontractors.

    Rhodes, whose family owns Rhodes Funeral Home, one of New Orleans' oldest and largest black-owned funeral homes, was not contacted by Kenyon for subcontract work, she said.

    Officials at the state's office of minority affairs said they were unaware of any concerns of black funeral directors.

    Robert Jensen, president and CEO of Kenyon International, said the company subcontracted with about 300 funeral directors and morticians and does not keep a record of their racial or other demographic information.

    "We have over 1,000 people in our data base that come from all over the world with different walks of life. ..." Jensen said. "We hire people based on skills."

    In the months after Katrina, many black funeral parlors had served a smaller customer base because so many black New Orleans residents evacuated and scattered across the country.

    New Orleans' pre-Katrina population stood around 500,000, and city officials estimate only 189,000 have returned.

    For Arthur Hickerson, owner of Heritage Funeral Service, business has increased. He makes several trips a week to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport to pick up "ship-ins," bodies sent back home by loved ones to be buried. Many have died from Katrina-related stress and health problems.

    Hickerson said his volume of business is up 20 percent and the majority of ship-ins arrive from Atlanta, Houston and Florida.

    The bodies he picks up from the airport's cargo area are loaded into his high-end hearse. At the end of his funeral services, Hickerson releases white doves into the sky. These kinds of personal touches separate him from the pack of other black funeral homes and white conglomerates, he said.

    "People want a show, and they are looking for the best show," Hickerson said. "They want to be represented, and that's what I have to offer."

    But industry officials caution funeral home owners from relying on ship-ins to sustain overall business. They say the spike is temporary and will drop in 9 months to a year.

    The business from Katrina ship-ins is similar to the period in history when blacks living in the north at the end of World War II had died. Many of their relatives shipped the bodies of their loved ones back home to the South to be buried.

    According to industry officials, people who experience tragedy take time to relocate but eventually prefer their loved ones to be buried near their new places of residence.

    Karla Holloway, author of "Passed On: African American Mourning Stories" and a professor at Duke University, said Katrina has changed the African-American undertaking industry. There are fewer full-service funerals and more grave-site burials.

    "Grave-site services are done generally for someone with no relatives and has not been characteristic of funerals in the African-American community," she said.

    Black funeral home owners have lost what Holloway calls "neighborhood memories of a clientele," or serving rosters of families.

    The uncertainty about what the city's population will look like in the next three to five years concerns many black funeral home owners who will have to win over new families.

    Industry officials say the majority of blacks are still buried by black funeral directors. But as generations change, so does their loyalty to black funeral homes.

    Many blacks are attracted to corporate-owned funeral homes because they are more modern and offer credit to families who cannot afford funerals.

    "Younger black folks seem to have no problems breaking traditions because it can be more convenient," Holloway said.

    But Charbonnet hopes his old-fashioned, horse-drawn hearse carriages — the white for women and children and the black for men and dignitaries — will be the vehicle to help carry on the unique culture of jazz-style funerals in New Orleans.

    Kenneth Mallory, staff writer for The Afro American Newspaper, contributed to this report.
     
Loading...