Pan Africanism : Selling Black Companies to White Corporations

Discussion in 'Black History - Culture - Panafricanism' started by panafrica, Jan 23, 2004.

  1. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I have often discussed in previous threads and in chat that if the African American community is going to progress then we have to start developing our own businesses. However, upon looking at the black landscape I began to realize that we have businesses. Not just Mom & Pop stores (which are very important), but multi-million dollar corporations.
    The African American community is gifted with some brilliant business minds like Earl Graves, We have Entrepreneurs like the Johnsons (Ebony & Jet Magazines), Russell Simmons (Def Jam, Phat Farm), Robert Johnson (BET), Catherine Hughes & her son Alfred Liggins (Radio-One), not to mention the numerous CEOs and Executives.

    We as a people can be brilliant when it comes to generating ideas, and making money. However, we often fail when it comes to developing empires, which produce long term success. In other words we are often short sighted, only thinking about the here & now, and not the future. I look at the white landscape and see corporations which have lasted for a hundred years or more. I see family dynasties like the Kennedys, Hiltons, Turners, Rockerfellers, Waltons, etc. These people are living off the inventions of their fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers, and in some cases great-great grandfathers. I observe this and wonder why we don't have the same? African Americans are rarely able to pass down wealth from generation to generation. At best we can handdown wealth to our children, but by the time our grandchildren come, the well has been tapped dry.

    After thinking about why this is, I have finally come up with an answer: Black People Suffer From Get Rich Quick-itis!!! Impatience is the principle quality in get rich quick plans, the desire to make money fast, then bail before the plan explodes. And we as a people are impatient, from our most common minds to our most brilliant. Their is no better example of our impatience as a people than our habit or selling successful businesses to white corporations. Russell Simmons selling Phat Farm for 140 million is the latest example of this. To Mr. Simmons (who as I already stated is a brilliant business mind), this sale was a win because he has more money to do other business with. Also he retains "some" control over what is done (he remains an executive). However, what Mr. Simmons fails to realize is that top executives can be and are often fired. Kellwood wanted to buy Phat Farm for 140 million, because they felt Phat Farm is worth much more. Kellwood saw the goldmine Simons was sitting on, so why didn't he? Phat Farm is only a few years old!! It eventually could have eventually reached a billion dollar level if Simmons continued to use sound business deals (and continued to have patience). Kellwood will no doubt have the patience to take Phat Farm to its full potential.

    The Phat Farm deal is not an isolated incident. Russell did the same thing with Def Jam Records. Another brilliant, successful, and sorely needed idea. The music industry is white dominated (on the ownership level), and has a history of financially exploiting black artists. Def Jam was an opportunity to turn the table, and provide an alternative. Yet dispite its success (financially and culturally), Simmons sold it in a multi-million dollar deal. Simmons has the talent to recognize prosperous seeds, and the ability to plant these seeds into fertile soil, yet he lacks the patience to see these seeds grow into maturity. This is a habit which Simmons doesn't do alone, the same can be said for Robert Johnson of BET & the NBA's Bobcats (NC). The sale of BET to Viacom in 2001 for 3 billion dollars, made Johnson the world's first black billionaire. While it is hard to argue that obtaining billions of dollars is a bad business move. I'd again like to point out that if BET was worth 3 Billion to Viacom, it was because they viewed its potential to be worth much more. At the time of this sale BET was already approaching the billion dollar mark. Why not continue to develop it on its own, the company was only 20 years old! Bob Johnson has a son. If he was tired of running BET, if he wanted to purchase an NBA team, why not hand over BET to his son (and keep the business in the family)? While I don't agree with all of its programs and views, the fact is BET employed hundreds of black people, which is good for the community. Will this still be true 10 years from now, with BET being run by Viacom?

    Now Catherine Hughes of Radio One is the latest black entrepreneur looking to sell her business in a multi-million dollar deal. This would again rob the community of a source of wealth and employment. In truth, buyouts only make sense (from the sellers perspective) when a business is struggling. Selling a business when it's successful shows a lack of confidence in one's abilities. In a community which sorely needs employers.like the African American community, it is almost a crime. It assures that the African American community will remain a community of consumers and employees.
     
  2. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Revisited

    An letter to the editor in today's NY Daily News speaks on this very topic, and how it effects the employment of the black community:

    White Plains: As an African-American, I am constantly bombarded by the unemployment statistics of young African- American males in New York. So I went into Macy's and looked at where the hip-hop clothes are made. Phat Farm and Roc a Fella are made in China, Sean Jean in the Philippines, Jumpman sneakers in Vietnam. Why? With so many young and talented black men out of work, you'd think that the clothes they wear, and in many cases are killed for, should have a "Made in Harlem" label on them.

    While the African-American community waits for yet another jobs program to come along, we are not producing the means for own self-sufficiency and survival. Sean Combs, Russell Simmons, Sean Carter and the others should pull their factories out of these sweatshop countries, relocate to the

    U.S. and hire African-Americans at living wages.
    It's a sad state of affairs that the people who cry the loudest about slavery are now the slavemasters.

    Ernest Brown
     
  3. MANASIAC

    MANASIAC Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    There is one sentence that will sum up this entire thread.

    When seeking capital people forgot about pan-africanism or never intend to use it in the beginning.

    These buisness in my opinion had no sense of pan-africanism in the beginning, because if they did, they would be supported strongly by our communties via the investor and capital echelons of Black America, in other words, if they were really true to the Idea of Panafricanism they would have Black Venture Capitalists and Investors supporting them.

    IT is sad to say but it is true, other races buy and support their own, but when you look at the overall picture, every race sells out to Corporate America.
     
  4. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    What's the name of that movie with Ice Cube, "All About the Benjamins?"

    That's exactly what this situation describes. There's no loyalty to a particular community involved. In America, it's about making money and getting rich.

    Queenie :spinstar:
     
  5. kente417mojo

    kente417mojo Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I think this is one of the biggest problems we as black people have. The fact that when a black person is successful others tend to get left behind. Everyone forgets about the struggles when you have money in your pocket. No one ever looks back until they need support from their brothas and sistas when they get jammed up. The O.J. syndrome. O.J. played the white role until he got jammed up then he played the race card. He forgot about the brothas and sistas until he needed their support. Same thing with these companies. They want the black dollars but they don't want to do anything to help uplift or better the community. They just want you to buy their
    over-priced gear...not provide you with employment. They are no better than these other companies. Actually they are worse because we should do better by eachother. Instead we sell-out.
     
  6. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    This is the obvious reality Brother Manasiac, and this being the case, there is no need us to support these companies. If FUBU, Sean John, Phat Farm, and all these other "black owned" companies, which have the capability of employing hundreds of black people, yet instead choose to send their operations overseas....they are no different than Tommy Hilfinger.

    While it makes sense to save on production & labor cost from a business standpoint, the savings are not being passed to the consumer (these clothes are the most expensive on the rack). They call on black pride to sell their products, and to make themselves rich; yet they offer nothing in return to the community. This is akin to putting money in a black owned bank, which only gives loans to asians....what's the point?

    I don't own any Sean John, Rocca Wear, Phat Farm, or FUBU....and I won't anytime soon. Since we are talking about "smart" business, it is more intelligient for me to buy a shirt from JC Penny for $20 than to buy a Sean John shirt for $120. The $100 I save can go in my savings....not in some opportunist pockets. I believe in supporting black....but I'm no fool
     
  7. kente417mojo

    kente417mojo Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Brother panafrica and MANASIAC.........you guys hit it right on the head.
    :spank:
     
  8. Therious

    Therious Banned MEMBER

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    fam-lee

    FIRST OF ALL UR ASUMING THESE PEOPLE ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT ANYTHING OTHER THAN MONEY. TAKE DEF-JAM, ROKAFELLA, AND BAD BOY FOR INSTANCE(AND BET FOR THAT MATTER). LISTEN TO THE MUSIC THEY PRODUCE, IN THE HIP HOP COMMUNITY IT HAS LONG BEEN A SOURCE OF AGRIVATION FOR TRUE FANS AND EMCEES THAT THESE LABELS PROMOTE WEAK,UNCREATIVE SELF GENOCYDAL HIP HOP.

    JUST TAKE THE NAME ROKFELLA RECORD FOR EXAMPLE-THE ROCKERFELLER FAMILY IS REPORTED TO BE ON THE LEVEL OF THE BUSH FAMILY WHEN IT COMES TO EVIL WORLDLY DEEDS. THE MUSICIANS THEY PROMOTE HAVE NO PROBLEM, CLOWNING THERE SELVES, SPREADING HATE, AND PIMPING THEIR OWN PEOPLE......(HOW MANY OF THESE "HARDCORE GANGSTERS" HAVE PUBLICILY DISSED EMINEM AFTER IT WAS REPORTED THAT HE CALLED BLACKS SPEAR CHUCKERS, PORCH MONKEYS AND MOON CRICKETS? AND IT WAS CONFIRMED THAT HE USED THE N WORD AND TOTALLY DISSED BLK FEMALES)............

    .....I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT TO EXAMINE THE PSCHE OF THESE PEOPLE......

    HOW
    MANY RAPPERS (AND CEO/OWNERS) AFILIATED WITH THESE LABELS KILL OR ATTACK AND INJURE THEIR OWN PEOPLE, THEN BRAG ABOUT IT(AND YES THEY REALLY ARE TRUE TO THERE MURDURESS WORDS). I BELIEVE THIS FALLS UNDER THE BRAIN WASHED SLAVE THEORY. AS FAR AS BET LOOK AT THEIR PROGRAMING (W/ SOME EXCEPTIONS BET NEWS BEING 1), DO U THINK THE OWNER REALLY CARED ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE BUT THE BOTTOM LINE?


    THIS IS A TRUTHFUL POST,

    PEACE ON THE PLANET
     
  9. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Your right, it is a truthful post.
     
  10. KWABENA

    KWABENA STAFF STAFF

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    You said it right.........This is a truthful post.

    The only way that I can think of to end the hate-spreading so to speak is to do this:

    STOP purchasing the Albums.
    STOP buying their fan gear and clothing.
    STOP encouraging them in the Hip-Hop magazines.
    THEN we all could confront them on it.

    After disrespecting women and children on a 5:00 song, you have 1,000 people screaming "ENCORE ENCORE!!!!! not only do they continue to produce negativity, they continue to be malevolent.

    When you are ready for confrontation, I am family.

    Cedric Denson
     
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