September 28, 2004

The Promise Africa Town Represents...


No one knows what Black folk like or want better than Black folk. This has been demonstrated several times by Black business men and women and the various businesses they run. Magic Johnson had to convince Starbucks that Black folk drink coffee, and then he went to TGIFridays and had to convince them Black folk will eat at restaurants like theirs. Magic Johnson TGIFridays are not decorated like the regular TGIFridays, his TGIFridays in Los Angels “incorporated the local culture and history of Los Angeles into the traditional TGIFridays look.” What does that mean? It means that this TGIFridays that is patronized by mostly Black folk does not have the look or feel you find in the TGIFridays frequented by mostly white folk. Here is the lesson in catering to Black folk, give us something we can relate to and we will support it, no one knows this better than us and this is why Africa Town will work and this is why many will oppose it.


In Harlem a new IHOP has opened and this IHOP is not like any of the other IHOP’s you find all over the country. This IHOP has items on the menu you will only find at this IHOP based who patronizes this IHOP the most. “There is a fried-chicken-and-waffles entrée” and the grits are made with sausage and cheese - not served plain.” After only being opened since late July this IHOP is already number fourteen in sales out of all 1,167 IHOP’s in the Nation. This is the promise that Africa Town Represent and this is why it is a great idea and one every Black man and women should support. I am certain after the establishment of Africa Town in Detroit, Africa Town's will pop up all over the country and this is what the establishment fears most, a place where Black folk can go and spend all of our money with each other.


At 11:44 AM, Blogger Noah TA said...

The thing is that white racism is controlled to a degree by the damming of laws. Unfortunately, those same laws work to hold back the needed irrigation to our parched land. Whites have the fertile plains from years of the use of race to their advantage. As a consequence, it created a disadvantage to the bounty of black harvest. Now blacks need to use race to properly irrigate their land, so as to produce a bountiful harvest as did whites. However, whites want the race dam to block the flow of black discrimination, as well as white discrimination. Thus, if blacks attempt to use race to our advantage, whites will then want to be able to use race to preserve their advantage.

In light of this, it is obvious that whites want to preserve a position of status and advantage over blacks. It is obvious that there situation and needs are different from ours, given the cumulative affects of history. Yet, they purposely ignore this and want both races held to the same standards. We all know that such simply preserves the advantage and the effects of the past.

Black people need to have the freedom to use race to its advantage, to offset the effects of whites using race to their advantage for over 4 centuries. Why cannot they understand this….because they want to preserve a status and advantage over us…it’s the only explanation.

At 2:33 PM, Blogger Scott said...

Unfortunetly your example of IHOP proves the opposite of

"No one knows what Black folk like or want better than Black folk. This has been demonstrated several times by Black business men and women and the various businesses they run."

The location of that IHOP had a black owned and run waffle place that went out of business because black people didn't patronize it. But put a white branded store there and they flock to it.

The most famous harlem restaurant is sylvias and even that one has a large percentage of its sales from white tourist.

There are few black restaurants like Perk's that cater to upscale blacks so they stay in business. But the majority like to spend their money at white stores.

Please don't give me shit about being negative about my race, I am just saying that your example proves the opposite of the point that you choose to make.

At 3:10 PM, Blogger Faheem said...

"The location of that IHOP had a black owned and run waffle place that went out of business because black people didn't patronize it. But put a white branded store there and they flock to it."

Is that the truth Scott? First you should know that this IHOP is franchised to eight Black physicians, furthermore the people in Harlem did not want the IHOP there because (drum roll) this IHOP is "built on the former site of Small's Paradise, a famous Harlem nightclub." Are you lying to us Scott about the waffle house going out of business or are you mistaken?

You should work on cleaning up that Potty mouth of yours as well. I wonder do you use profanity on your blog as much as you do here.

At 7:06 PM, Blogger Scott said...

If you don't want profanity i will do my best to repect that. Your house and all.

Ask your Harlem contacts about whimpes soul food restaurant that went out of business a few years ago. I recall it being at the same place as the current IHOP, that was my first thought when I saw the place. When I was last uptown.

There was also a well restaurant - chicken and waffles between 133 and 132 that went out of busiess to.

Do you think the black entrapenues who made the francise don't know the draw of white brands. The macdonalds on 132 and lenox has been in business most of my life.

At 7:46 PM, Blogger Noah TA said...

Are you suggesting, Scott, that white franchise resteraunts are a sure bet to flourish in black communities? If so, I know of plenty of cases where white run popular chains failed in black communities. Often times a business fails due to poor managment, poor customer service, lack of cash flow, being unresponsive to the community, ect. I think name recognition does work in the favor of some establishments, however, eventually they will have to prove themselves with their product and service.

At 7:56 PM, Blogger Faheem said...

Scott, Sylvia's have survived, Copelands have survived, if there were eateries that failed as you say they were, I am sure they failed for the reason noted above by Noah and many other reasons. This IHOP may enjoy name recognition but if their service fall off, you can rest assure this IHOP will not last. Either way Scott, the point of my post was to show you that Black owned and operated business name brand or not that set their businesses up to cater to Black folk can succeed and Black folk will patronize it. I am sure that when Africa Town is established their will be business that come and go and businesses that will flourish the key of course if for us to have a choice to spend our money with other Black folk in one centralized area.

At 8:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Brothers,
What did I tell you. You will get NOTHING but negativism from Scott. He will always find SOMETHING WRONG if Blacks are involved. Self hatred takes many forms. I could rattle off at least twenty successful Black owned restaurants in Los Angeles but why bother trying to deal with a self hating Black conservative negro.


At 9:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey you guys! My husband ran a business for over 20 years and it was very successful. MANY of the workers and managers were of different races: black, asian, hispanic.

Shockingly, the people who treated the customers well, did their work properly and were honest were the ones who did the best! It didn't MATTER what their race was!

I'll bet that all the people eating pizza - or going to a restaurant in Harlem - care most about if their food is good and if the place is the type that they enjoy coming to .... and that's it!

Peg K

At 9:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You just focused my point. Restaurants run by Blacks fail for the same reasons that restaurnats run by whites fail. They do not fail because they are run by Blacks or run by whites. Scott does not recognize this. He is too busy being anti-Black.

At 10:04 PM, Blogger Scott said...

This was Faheem's thesis: "No one knows what Black folk like or want better than Black folk." We have disproven that thesis, some black businesses in black neighoorhoods survive other die and like most businesses its due to the quality of service they provide and not wether the owner is black and the customers are black. Thus we all now accept that Faheem's thesis is in error.

That was my point in commenting on this thread and my only point. (also I mentioned silvia's in an earlier post : how white tourists are a large percentage of its customers, and how places like Perks which are black run business succeed).

In thinking more about your thesis if blacks knew how to sell to blacks better then they would have a comparative advantage and they wouldn't need the hand up that an Africa-Town would provide.

At 10:45 PM, Blogger Faheem said...

So there we have it, your Negro-Con thinking sees this as a hand up? Why would you oppose a hand up for Black folk? It is because have accepted a mentality foreign to the uplift of Black folk. Let’s just be real, many Black businesses fail in part because the bigger companies adopt their business practice and can sell the products for cheaper. We saw this happen with Black children’s books. Our small up starts can not compete when the big boys steal our ideas and or those who have a good thing going sell out. I stand by my position that no one know what black folk like better than Black folk, other people specifically white folk just do market research and see what we like and cater too it. Black folk already know based on being a part of the culture.

At 11:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott said:
"Thus we all now accept that Faheem's thesis is in error."
What convoluted misapplication of logic did you employ to come up with this twisted conclusion? You still have not posted anything that would support that statement. You have not provided any evidence that anyone else "...knows what Black folk like or want better than Black folk." Faheem supported his statement by pointing out what Magic Johnson had to do to get the white minds right and out of their racist stereotype beliefs about Blacks. You come back with a derogatory and negative "... handup..." comment to infer that is what a Black business needs to succeed when competing in the business world.


At 1:17 PM, Blogger Scott said...

You are unfamilar with logic.

Thesis statement:
"No one knows what Black folk like or want better than Black folk"
If the Evidence was: "Black customers flock to black businesses"
Then the Conclusion: "thesis is true"

Error in Logic: The evidence says that black business fail and black customers shop at stores run by other minorities as well as white stores. The fact that they want to create Africa town shows that black businesses DO NOT have a comparative advantage when selling to black Customers. Thus the thesis is disprove by facts on the ground.

At 4:14 PM, Blogger Noah TA said...

Brother Faheem statement is factual. This is why Marketing agencies study black consumer studying blacks! They do not study black consumer behavior by studying white or other folks, if they are trying to market to the black consumer. What you are saying makes no sense sense at need to quite while your ahead...oh...I were NEVER AHEAD.

At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You took the words right out of my mouth. Scott nas no common sense and thus, does not know when to quit. Throw what is left of him to the negro cons.


At 7:17 AM, Blogger Constructive Feedback said...

I believe that you all are missing the point on Detroit's "Africa Town" project.

I, no less than anyone else would like to see economic development in Black communities such as Detroit.

However in this case you all are using the government money as collected in taxes to fund this project which has outcomes related to a specific race when you should be using private funds, ie: a bank that they have set up to fund this venture.

Taxes are compulsory. The investors/tax payers have no choice of putting their money in or standing on the side lines.

In using a bank to perform the roll of financing you avoid the calls of using government money for "racially discriminator" outcomes. I would have no problem if a Black bank chose to focus on projects that fit a certain profile, even if race was a criteria for the funding selection. It has been done for centuries why stop now?

Government funds, however, seem to be a slap in the fact against what Black people have fought for so long for with the Civil Rights movement.

We also need to realize that though taking the banking route will be more difficult as you don't have the threat of jail and forfeiture for not paying your taxes - the use of these descritionary funds via a bank will allow Black people who will benefit from this development to be more conscious that they sacrificed their money that could have been applied somewhere else and put it toward something of greater value thus the perception of ownership will be fostered. This is something that is not present in other government ventures such as housing projects.

(P.S.: Noah and Faheem - This is Renaldo from the Redding News Review and The Black World Today. Here to give you a piece of my mind and show you a different perspective. Peace).

At 10:12 AM, Blogger Faheem said...

Conservo aka Renaldo, is that you! It is always good to run into old rivals especially ones that were and is as passionate about their position as we are and one at least capable of articulating their position although I still disagree with it. Maybe you can teach Scott a thing or two, while you know I think the Negro-Con is a mockery, he is a mockery of Negro-Cons. One question thought, how did you find this Blog?

Now to what you have written, I do not disagree with what you have written and see it as an alternative more than I do a valid reason not to have government funding for this project. It would be great if Black banks funded this project, but I do not think the government funding this program in part or in full is a slap in the face of the Civil Rights movement. This could be simply the government targeting the Black entrepreneurial spirit in Detroit and helping Black business men and women get their businesses up and running. The government gives out business loans all the time; this would be no different except in this instance it will be targeted specifically at Black men and women.

At 12:20 PM, Blogger Noah TA said...

Welcome Renaldo. Glad you are here with your counter thesis. Did you come here to check out the “co-conspirators” of black oppression? There is something about you, as represented by your communications, that I like Renaldo. I cannot put my finger on it, but even though we have heated disagreements, I like conversing with you, notwithstanding your proclivity to obfuscate, misdirect or completed miss the point all together…LOL. Akwaaba Ndugu..

The government imposes minority set asides all the time, which is evidence that the government can and does discriminate racially or a morally justified cause. If the Mexicans and Arabs and Whites of Detroit feel slighted, then I suggest a proportional (to their population) allocation of funds for those groups as well. Since Hispanics are only 5% of Detroit’s population, then they should get 5% of such funds. Since Blacks are, in 2004, 90% of Detroit’s population, then they should get 90% of such funding. That sounds fair to me and still preserves the creation of Africa Town. The Hispanics can then use their monies in Mexicantown if they so choose.

If they does not work, the city council could declare this to be “reparation” funding, which other ethnic groups have no claim to, given that they were not slaves in America.

At 6:54 PM, Blogger Constructive Feedback said...


You violate your own principle of "every action causes an equal and opposite reaction...."

Detroit does not reside in a vacuum. The actions by the Black majority to direct funds in a racially discriminatory manner will only allow those Whites who have been vigilant against ever allowing control to pass out of their hands lest some other group do to them what they have done to say "See. Racism is a fact of life". This move negates the calls of these other Whites who have pressed for constraint of the majority imposition against the minority.

There are more Black people who live in 90% non-Black towns than there are Blacks who live in 90% Black towns. The consequences of having the racial majority of each of these towns to do such things falls dispropotionally against Black people.

In the worst case - DON'T TELEGRAPH publically what you are doing with regard to descrimination in the use of tax if you are going to do it.

I have all of the books of Dr. Claude Anderson and I have heard him speak at least twice. I am generally supportive of his plan for a directed effort for Blacks to take control of certain key indusries (he says the seafood industry from net to storeshelf space is the one to go after).

I think that the flaw of using tax money for this plan and direct it toward people of a given race is a showstopper.

Just a few weeks ago there was a big thing about a suburban mall seeking an image change and the manager wanted to thin the ranks of Black people who shopped there with the tactic of not having "Soul food" restaurants in the food court. The claim against this plan was that it was discriminatory and exclusionary in nature based on race.

How is this Africa Town project any different?

If these were private funds as distributed from a bank that used funds from individual investors and everything else being the same about the plan you would have my full support.

Even the "Hip Hop" Mayor of Detroit is at a distance from the plan. He knows what is at stake.

Opposition to the use of tax dollars in this way is not opposition to the plan as a whole. The concept is worthy. We had such centers of excellence during the days when we were barred from going to other places and had to build our own.

At 5:11 AM, Blogger Noah TA said...

You make a valid point Renaldo. I never waiver from the belief that every action produces a reaction. I am aware that the nature of white racism and ignorance will always manifest a negative counter reaction to blacks seeking to lift themselves up. That has always been the case throughout our history Renaldo and my support of the Africa Town plan has not lost sight of that.

Look…the government is already engaged in the allowing of racial preferences. They allow discrimination based upon, race and gender in the form of Affirmative Action and racial set asides. These are indeed discriminatory practices at their core. However, as I noted, it is wrong to create a moral equivalency between discrimination that serves to promote racial equality as apposed to discrimination designed to promote racial superiority.

In light of this, the Detroit city council needs to phrase the verbiage and proposal in a way to link it with the legacy of slavery, jim crow and the effects it has had upon the descendants of the victims of those government allowed practices. As I said also, black people are fighting for external reparations from the US government and companies, that created the disrepair of the black community. However, there are also internal reparations that are needed. Thus, Detroit should fight for this proposal on the grounds that it is fair to discriminate based upon the reparations arguments.

If blacks were to ever receive reparations, no other group has claims against this history of ours. Thus, the repairing is discriminatory due to its targeting of blacks, which makes sense because the disrepair was the resultant of discrimination and oppression target against blacks. If need be, Detroit should fight for this and have it taken to the Supreme court. If nothing else, it would draw attention to the reparation movement and the history of this nations mistreatment of blacks.

At 9:35 AM, Blogger Constructive Feedback said...

[quote]the government is already engaged in the allowing of racial preferences. They allow discrimination based upon, race and gender in the form of Affirmative Action and racial set asides.[/quote]


You have just argued the case for the Right-wing Conservatives who stood against Affirmative Action during it's inception. They would now argue - OK AA was one mistake of formal racial discrimination after we have outlawed this with the Civil Rights Acts, let's reverse course and not continue making the mistake. (Where as your claim is we are already making this mistake let's do it again).

Again I say - Private funds. Your money - you do what you want with it.

I again point to the Buford Highway corridor in Atlanta. The northern end if full of Asian stores, the southern end has Hispanic shops. They are a self taxing district where they are using these funds for investment in the general upkeep of the area and they plan to install a trolley system that runs the length of the strip.

While clearly there is a certain specific race of people who benefit from these directed funds they have not put any formal exclusionary words in their plans. At the end of the day who is going to tell them how to use their own money when they don't count on any external funds outside of general police protection, etc that everyone else depends on. Detroit's actions risks the state and federal funds that it receives for other projects.


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