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$16 Billion Down the Drain

by Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu

NPHCThis summer and throughout the year our largest 150 African American organizations will convene their national conferences. They include the NAACP, Urban League, Operation Push, National Baptist, Omegas, Alphas, Kappas, Sigmas, Deltas, AKAs, Sigma Gamma Rho, and many more. I am honored that I will be speaking at many of them. My only regret is that we will spend $16 billion with Mr. Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott, United ,American, Delta, etc. Can you imagine how much money we have spent with them since 1954? What do we have to show for it? At many of these conferences, speakers will talk about our plight and the impact of racism and White supremacy. I'm sure Mr. Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott, United, American, and Delta are saying "talk about me all you want, but please don't stop coming!"

Can you imagine if we chose to meet in Black colleges or churches? Can you fathom if we chose not to meet at all, but asked members to send in what they would normally spend? Another option would be to meet over the internet or video conferencing. In my latest book, Solutions for Black America, I discuss the net effect would be $16 billion that we could use to build four regional luxury hotels that would accommodate 2-5,000 guests. I suggest we call them the Rosa Parks Palace, Harriet Tubman Tower, Malcolm X Shabazz Suites, and the Martin Luther King Resorts. I also discuss in the book the purchasing of 10-20 corporate jets. The fleet could be named after the Tuskegee Airmen.

I have heard several problems and challenges. First, many of these organizations have signed contracts for future years. My suggestion is that we either agree to start in some future year outside the contract, or we simply pay the penalty and begin building our hotels and acquiring our Tuskegee jets. Second, middle class negroes who are accustomed to 24 hour room service and luxury accommodations have said they would not attend if they had to meet at a Black college and sleep in a dormitory. I know Harriet Tubman is turning over in her grave. She experienced similar foolishness trying to free 300 Africans in her 19 trips south. Last, organizations need their conference to financially sustain themselves. I suggest we either become better stewards with our budgets or continue to meet, but at a Black college for two years and accrue the savings estimated at $8 billion annually. In two years we would have our $16 billion. I suggest this be coordinated by the Black Leadership Forum. All monies would be sent to the Forum.

In closing, God is asking Black America have we been good stewards with our resources? How can a people who earn $688 billion, possess 9,000 plus elected officials, 4 million college graduates, and 85,00 churches that receive $3 billion annually and have $50 billion in assets be in such terrible shape? Are we suffering from post-traumatic slavery disorder?

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