Monday, July 9, 2007

The Business of Black Businesses

The economic growth of Black America is something I take seriously...BUY BLACK!!! BUY BLACK, BUY BLACK, but what if black ain't quit right?

I attemped to get a platter from a black owned resturant yesterday evening...the place was about to close and the food was down to NOTHING, literally. I asked the young man at the counter what did they have, because the visible food trays were practically empty.There was also an older man fixing other's pretty much how things went down.

Me: Do you guys have any more sweet potatoes

Y.M: yes...right there (pointing to empty tray) we don't give that much anyway.

Me: There's nothing in there

O.M: "jokingly" why you tryna start trouble

Me: I'm not starting trouble...I'm just trying to make sure I get what I'm paying's an exchange.

O.M: well everybody you saying you don't trust us?

Me: It's not about's about business.

WHY, do black business owners automatically think black people have to take CRAP from them JUST because we're ALL black. They feel like Black businesses don't flourish because black people are unsupportive of their own. CORRECT, that's so true in most cases, but how about this:

- Make sure you run your business in the proper manner
- Make sure the prices are comparable to that of neighboring minority businesses
- Make sure your products are fresh
- Make sure your establishment is clean
- Make sure your attitude is pleasent.

The house negro mentality exist far too often in most black owned business, where they treat their own with disdain, while rushing to the aid of 'others'. They expect the most from us, while giving us the least and when we complain we're being 'unsupportive.' PLEASE... JUST GET IT RIGHT!!!


FERGIE said...

OMG!!! I totally agree with you on this issue. I try my best to support black owned businesses, but unfortunately (in my experience) I have been treated the worst, while I am going out of my way to support. Not a good look...

Opinionated Diva said...

"The house negro mentality exist far too often in most black owned business, where they treat their own with disdain, while rushing to the aid of 'others'."

Couldn't agree with this more and it bothers me too that our own talk down to us, but let YT be in their face and it's a whole nother story. It's sad to say, but I find this in a lot of Black owned restaurants...almost to the point that I expect it.

Ms. Behaving said...

You are so on point with this post... :-D
Like everyone else, I couldn't agree with you more.

We have got to do better people....seriously!

Opinionated Diva said...

OK...this is completely off topic but I am lmao@MsB and the ole granny avatar!

You need to stop Grandma!

Shai said...

Woohoo! Yes, that is so true. Yet, these are some of the same folks clowning if you don't give them proper service. smh.

JustMeWriting said...

fergie: YES!!! I even have the BlackPage, which I go to before the Yellow Pages, but everytime...the numbers wrong or the line doubles as a house line and I get..."WHO DIS"... then..."OH...YEAH THIS IS A BUSINESS".

op.d: RIGHT...girl, they barely help you but put that smile on and gleam for yt, but expect us to just take it.

ms.b: LOL...YOU'RE KILLING ME. I went to you page yesterday and was like..."WHAT DA HECK IS GOING ON"...that old lady cracks me up. awww... poor boo-boo, never mind what I said on your're not old. lol and YOU'RE so right, we've got to get it together.

shai: YES... IT'S AN EXCHANGE!!! they seem to forget that...I don't care WHO you should do your BEST when tending to your customers.

DJ Black Adam said...


You wrote: "The house negro mentality exist far too often in most black owned business, where they treat their own with disdain, while rushing to the aid of 'others'. They expect the most from us, while giving us the least and when we complain we're being 'unsupportive."

Damn, I couldn't have qunatified this better, this is EXACTLY The problem.

Anointed1ne said...

I agree with you. There are some black establishments that expect people to adhere to their faults just because both parties are black. We as a black community need to do better. We are already killing each other. Please do not let our business connections go down a similar path.

anonymousnupe said...

Sadly, I've given up on purposely sussing out and patronizing black businesses as a practice. My experiences with them have simply been too disappointing, and often costly. I now always seek out personal recommendations first, then secondly, if needed, I go to The Shepherd's Guide. If I don't find what I need from those two sources then everybody is equal game at that point.

The worst was when I hired a black contractor to pretty much renovate about 1/2 of our house. I ended up having to fire the scoundrel for shoddy, fraudulent, late work...and he ended up successfully suing us, believe it or not!!! He lied through his teef in court, too. AND THIS WAS A BLACK BUSINESS I LOCATED VIA THE SHEPHERD'S GUIDE. Just goes to show, you gotta be especially leery of the ostensibly Christian-owned joints...especially if dey black!!!

You know this entry is right in my wheelhouse, right, since consumer advocacy and customer service are the staples of my blog? But what was the final outcome in this case? Did you end up buying food, or did you tell OM he could keep his scraps?!

I recommend that every black person, especially business owners, read the book Powernomics by Dr. Claud Anderson.


KIKI said...

BRAVO...BRAVO!(giving you standing-o)

While I try my damndest to support black owned bussiness, way to often the service is terrible, employees have jacked-up attitudes, and they act like they're doing YOU a favor. I like to remind them that it is actually I who is doing them the favor by supporting their establishment, but if they don't want my money, I'll gladly go spend it wit the white man.

Unfortunately, I think alot of it stems from the fact that there are still many blacks who think somebody owes them something, instead of working for it, are angry because they DO have to work for it, and take it out on the consumer. It's a sad thing, but hopefully one day we'll get it together.

Excellent post, just!

Missed ya...smooches!

Ticia said...

I agree......I agree...... I agree.......................................................................................................................................

nikki said...

this entry is on point, although you know i gotta ask what the 'house negro' mentality is. reason i ask is cuz the house negroes were some of the most vengeful and rebellious against the massa and his fam (albeit on the quiet tip in the form of crushed glass in the food and urine in the tea, along with passing pertinent information to the field folk regarding escape and such, so i'm trying to figure out what you mean by the statement.

in fact, the cat most likely to sell out folk was the overseer brotha, and he was in the field.

nikki said...

all that said though, i gotta stress that i agree with your points about black businesses. we as black consumers shouldn't settle, regardless of who owns the spot.

malieta said...

You "hit the nail on the head" with your post! I am all for black business also, but I feel that some black people just aren't "cut-out" to run a business properly which is so sad because it hurts all of us! My husband hired a "painter" to paint our living room and hall way...the guy comes to our house and didn't have one tool! He wanted my husband to buys the brushes, scrappers etc. How are you gonna run a painting business like that!

malieta said...

*should read scrapers :)

mark said...

"WHY, do black business owners automatically think black people have to take CRAP from them JUST because we're ALL black."

mark bey: I agree with a lot of what the commentators have said but I would like to add that a big reason why our business are jacked up and treat us like crap is because everyone think its alright to treat us like crap including ourselves.

JMW successful business is based on the principle of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, this as you know is a biblical priciple which in my opinon is really talking about showing respect for all of human beings based simply on the fact that they are human beings and all human beings deserve respect. Including black people

From my observation, generally speaking their is a lack of respect for self and others in our communties, this lack of respect carries over into adulthood when we open up businessess.

Basically what I am saying is, the way we are treated by our own business owners is only a reflection of how we as a black treat each other. It is also a reflection of the disrespect we as a community are willing to tolerate from each other.

Good afternoon JMW I hope your weekend was great.

P.S have you gotten that tooth fixed yet that has been causing you pain, if you havent I may have to roll up to phil town and preach a little to ya.Because I do not like to see black women in pain of any sorts. good post

Opinionated Diva said...

wow @ the painter with no brush, paint, tape, drop clothes, etc.!


deepnthought said...

wow. wow. wow.

Tasha said...

I completely agree with you. I've stopped going out of my way to support many black businesses. It's been my experience that I get treated worse by "us" than "them". All too often, the quality of the goods is lacking or the customer service is so poor that I feel like I'm throwing my money away. It's a shame that our foreparents sacrificed so much so that we can own our own businesses, but sacrifice and legacy gets insulted every time we treat our own so badly.

JustMeWriting said...

I've got to play catchup, but right off the bat...
Nikki: "the house negroes were some of the most vengeful and rebellious against the massa and his fam (albeit on the quiet tip in the form of crushed glass in the food and urine in the tea, along with passing pertinent information to the field folk regarding escape and fact, the cat most likely to sell out folk was the overseer brotha, and he was in the field."

Of course there are "house negroes" in the fields and "field negroes" in the house, but in my opinion things would be in the reverse,from what you've stated above.

@ nupe: NO...I bought nothing.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with this post.

Even though I have received bad service from a black owned business that doesn't stop me from supporting other black owned businesses.

Anonymous said...

You have a talent for helping me focus on keeping the main thing the main thing.

It is truly sad when we fail to rise to our potential. It's truly sad when we live down to what is expected of us. It's truly sad when we take each other for granted.

Economic equality?


Respect is earned,not given.

JustMeWriting said...

dj: yes... that ole..."What's wrong boss...WE sick"..."massa treat me real good" type of stuff.

anointed: AMEN

nupe: WOW... that's terrible that they won.

kiki: "like they doing you a favor" YES...that's just how some of them act, instead of we're doing EACH other a favor. (yeah, I missed you too...where u been)

ticia: lol...girl I'm glad you know what I mean.

nikki: (I answered that first)

malita: LOL... girl, that's really not funny but WOW, I just can't believe it.

mark: YOU ARE SO RIGHT ABOUT ALL OF THAT. LOL... no, I've yet to get this tooth fixed, but SOON... the end of the month actually.

op.d: LOL... right, wasn't that too funny.

deep: and wow again.

tasha: AMEN... I second all of that.

southern: Oh yeah...I'll never stop TRYING to support my own, but I'll not settle for less then RIGHT.

soj: "Reparations, Economic Equality, Justice...Respect is earned, not given." YES... THANK YOU!

Terry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terry said...

Okay, you know I gotta story right?

Years ago my Ex used to take my Son to this hair place owned by two African-American women. She complained about the treatment constantly. So I asked, "Why you wanna go there then?" Which she relied, "Because they do good work and it is a "Black"

So the next time my Son needed his hair cut I took him. I had no problems at all. I was so impressed that I still get MY hair cut there to this day.

My Son however does not.

A few years back I asked one of the former owners why I received better treatment than my Ex did. She said, "Because White Folks know how to tip."

I'm not sure if that qualifies as "House Negro Mentality", but to me that single statement spoke volumes about how she felt about her patrons.

Sad really.

CapCity said...

well, everybody said it ALL - so, i'm just gonna say, HEY! Always good to know folx are still discussing issues. I just hope all of U entrepreneurs and biz owners are not guilty of the shoddiness u speak on. LOL!

JustMeWriting said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JustMeWriting said...

terry: WOW... now see! Brandon (intelligent ignorance) did a post about "Black tippers," which basically asked the question: Should Black people tip to break this stereotype EVEN when the service is bad?

Even black people are racist...we see our own enter the door and allow our negative opinion of them to take over, and when they don't tip it's because they're black...MAN, society doesn't have to judge us...we do enough of that ourselves...who needs to klan when we've got menticide.

I can hear our oppressors saying "WELL DONE OUR GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANTS"

cap: girl...I can't even talk about this anymore.

Michael Fisher said...

It ain't about black businesses which treat you bad, it's about businesses that happen to be black. When you get a job done by a contractor or anyone else, you should be checking out several different businesses anyhow.

If you find a black business which delivers service just as well as a non-black business, go with the black one. If the non-black one is better, go with them, and tell the black one why you didn't use them.

If they care about their business, they'll shape up. If not they'll go outta business as they shoud.

In any case, whether morning, noon or, night, the staff should always be unfailingly courteous to whoever comes to patronize them. Even if it's a sistah who runs in a minute before closing time (colored people time?) ;)

IcemanBaldy said...

Great post. Anyone operating a black business should take note and make sure that we are providing excellence to all of our customers; it's perhaps even more important that we take advantage of word of mouth opportunities provided by giving our best to our community patrons.

Iceman Baldy

Matthew said...

This sounds like the theory related to something I read about Black on Black Racism. I believe it exists. I believe that blacks do anticipate a certain tolerance of disrespect, and blantant discard in some cases for each others rights, and patronage. I do believe there's not enough support amongst African Americans shared to stop this problem, and yes I do agree, every customer should be treated as equally important as any other. No race should mistreat it's own kind or others, and it's sad to see, that a small number of black owned businesses, don't go overboard to show a true sense of appreciation for Black on Black patronage. Yet, in time, I do believe things will change for the better, and the African American agenda of growth, development, and advance will exceed all odds.

JustMeWriting said...

michael: YES...I totally agree. Proper customer service is mandatory to matter who own's the business, but it's even more offensive when the maltreatment comes from my own race.

iceman: that's a great suggestion..."TAKE NOTE" have a suggestion box or about what your patrons think of your establishment and services. (thanks for the visit)

matthew: you are so's a circle effect, like a dog chasing its tale: there's not enough support because there's not enough respect, but there's not enough respect because there's not enough support. Hopefully, you're right about the change coming soon...thanks for the visit, please do come again.

Mademoiselle M said...

SPEAK IT girl!