I am a Black dollar. I am the most disrespected piece of currency on the planet Earth. My potential is limitless, but my own people treat me like I’m completely worthless. They hand me over to people who care nothing about them in exchange for superficial things like cars, overpriced clothes with European name brands, jewelry, alcohol and drugs. As soon as they hand me over and leave me, I hear these same people refer to them as dumb n***as and thots. As much as I want to work for my own community I am forced to work for the benefit of others. Every time I am placed in a Korean Hair Care Store cash register I feel like a slave. My people don’t realize that I am a major key to the freedom they claim to desire. I am tired, depressed and feeling suicidal today. Nobody seems to care about the short life span of a Black dollar. Sometimes I feel like a motherless child.
When I come into the Black community they only allow me to stay for six hours. That’s it! I see a lot in those six hours, believe me. Instead of saving and investing me they put me on the auction block and trade me for worthless pleasures. I get thrown in the air at strip clubs like I’m worth nothing. They say inconceivable things like “money ain’t a thing.” Well if money ain’t a thing why are there still so many hungry children in the neighborhood? Why are there so many elders with no air conditioning or heat in their homes? Every now and then, I’ll end up in a Black-owned business or Black-owned bank that appreciates me, but most of the time I get run out of the hood as fast I come in. It’s not the same for my counterparts. The Asian dollar gets to stays in that community for a whole month before it leaves. The Jewish community keeps its dollar 20 days and White communities 17 days. I just don’t understand. The less my people see value in me the worse their condition becomes. Anyway, who am I to complain? I’m just a Black dollar. Nobody listens to me. I come through the hood 1.2 trillion strong annually and still nobody listens.
I see it all. My people are finessed 24/7. I was once put into the hands of fast food workers on payday. He was so happy to see me, but couldn’t wait to spend me. He went next door and cashed his check and paid a 5% fee. He paid another 5 bucks for a money order to pay his rent. He, then, walked across the street to pay 25% of his entire check to settle a high-interest payday loan. Afterward, he stopped by the convenience store and bought snacks, diapers and a lottery ticket. By the time he made it home he only had 15 bucks to his name. What he doesn’t realize is that the fast food restaurant (where he works), check cashing center, payday loan agency and convenience store are owned by the same non-Black family. He slaved all week on the job and got paid only to give it all right back to the same person who handed him his check. It is my people’s disrespect for me, the Black dollar, that keeps us in this condition. If Black people are serious about being free, they are going to have to “do right by me.”
It seems like when Black people had less I was treated better. Black dollars circulated with great strength during the days of segregation. Yeah, those were the good ole’ days. I would have given anything to be a piece of currency on Black Wall Street; working for my own people. Then came integration. All of a sudden, we were transferred in mass from Black-owned cash registers to White folks’ cash registers. It’s been downhill since then. I think about those days and it gives me hope that someday somebody will see some value in me. Then I look around and get depressed and suicidal again. If you Black people are serious about being free y’all gonna have to “do right by me.”
This is a cry for help. I don’t have the power to save myself, but you do. I don’t need your sympathy. I need you to save me, invest me and treat me like I’m worth just as much as the dollar in those other communities. Stop arguing, fighting and killing over me and come together collectively to build something with me. Stop working hard to earn me only to turn around and give me right back to your oppressor. Empower yourselves by spending me in Black-owned business. Stop being a consumer community and unite to become a community of producers. You don’t need to win the lottery, rob a bank or sell drugs. All you need to do is unite and show some respect for the motherless child of the Black community, the Black dollar. If you don’t do right by me you can never truly do right by yourself. If you don’t discipline yourself to do right by me you are saying you don’t really want to be free.
The Black Dollar