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Black Cooperative Economics

Black Cooperative Economics

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Published by Destiny Iwuoma
A discussion that displays motives for Black People to be sustainable as a people.
A discussion that displays motives for Black People to be sustainable as a people.

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Published by: Destiny Iwuoma on Jun 13, 2012
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Iwuoma 1Iwuoma, DestinyAfro 5bMay 9, 2012Prof. Robert AllenGSI Charrisse Burden-Stelly
Cooperative Economics: The Road to Black Independence
Over the course of this semester, we have covered many topics relating to the life andculture of African Americans in the United States. For example, a recurrent theme in our classdiscussions has been the phenomena of African Americans blaming white people for the problemsof Black America. It was pointed out that Black people have been historically subjugated by thewhite power structure in America. Specifically, a large part of the blame has been directed to howthe actions of the white community during slavery have led to the proliferation of contemporaryissues. These issues include high incarceration rates for Black men and poor public schooleducation for African American children. I will further investigate the economics of black people because “black people are undergoing a process akin to that experienced by many colonialcountries” (14). The efficient way for the colony of Black America to thrive is to separate from thewhite power structure.In
Black Awakening in Capitalist America
1
, Professor Robert Allen argues thatcooperative economics will help move towards Black independence. He attempts to validate thisassertion by analyzing the social and political context of neocolonialism. Moreover, by reassessingthe ideologies of political leaders, programs, and movements such as Harold Cruse and WEB1 Allen, Robert L. Black Awakening in Capitalist America: an analytic history. Trenton, N.J.:Africa World Press, 1990. Print
 
Iwuoma 1Dubois with his program of “Cooperative Commonwealth,” Allen makes an effort to prove that hehas taken a comprehensive look at the established ideas of this discipline prior to discussing hisunique perspective. The discussion in this paper will add on to from Allen’s conclusion,
TowardA Transitional Program,
where he introduces Dubois’ program of Cooperative Common Wealth.Before moving forward with this analysis we must establish a definition for cooperativeeconomics. This will help decide if 
Black Awakening in Capitalist America
serves its purpose to show that cooperative economics can help Black America move towards Black independence. So for this paper we shall adopt the definition for “Cooperative Commonwealth”created by WEB Dubois in his autobiographical essay,
Dusk of Dawn.
In
Dusk of Dawn
2
,
Dubois defines “Cooperative Economics” as the “careful planning of the inner economy and socialstructure of the black community so as to promote maximum development of that community”(276). So with this definition we are now equipped to see if 
Black Awakening in CapitalistAmerica
serves its purpose. Neocolonialism has infected Black America, and has caused black people to becomesubservient to the dominant white culture. Neocolonialism can be defined as “the direct and overallsubordination of one people, nation, or country, to another with state power in the hands of dominating power” (13). In a political sense it refers to the domination of a subordinate group byrepresentatives of the superior group. Allen claims that black people “cannot afford some half hearted compromise which would make the black community in general, and its educated classesin particular, subservient to the expansionist needs of corporate capitalism” (274). This explanation by Allen speaks to the point of neocolonialism in the colony of Black America. Once Black people begin making compromises they fall directly under the control of neocolonialism. As Allen claims,2
DuBois, W. E. B.. Dusk of dawn; an essay toward an autobiography of a race concept.. New York: SchockenBooks, 1968. Print.
 
Iwuoma 1“Under neocolonialism an emerging country is granted formal political independence but in fact itremains a victim of an indirect and subtle form of domination” (14).The emerging country in this case is Black America, Black America is standing as a separatecolony within the United States. By Black America continuing to compromise with the dominantwhite power structure they will inevitably lose control of their respective handles on their owneconomic, social and cultural issues that will directly affect the stability of Black America.Allen uses Dubois’ ideologies to explain the affect of neocolonialism on the colony of Black people in America. Allen claims, “The black community does not have control over all of the essential goods and services which it requires for survival” (278). Allen is referencing this because Black people have lost control of the black community due to the success of the white power structure using neocolonialism. Neocolonialism has caused black people to have no controlof their communities or economic success. Allen goes on to say the more we participate in thiscapitalist society the more we stray away of the goal of black economic independence.On a radical note, one would think the quickest way to Black independence would be toleave America. The back to Africa campaign would certainly remove Black America from beingdirectly exploited by the white power structure, there is no choice but to become independent anddo for self because working cooperatively becomes an act of survival. Although Garvey’s back toAfrica plan is viable, Allen poses an opposition with an interview with Huey P. Newton.
“We believe that it’s important for us to recognize our origins and toidentify with the revolutionary black people of Africa and people of colorthroughout the world. But as far as returning, per se, to the ancient customs,we don’t see any necessity in this. And also, we say that the only culture thatis worth holding on to is revolutionary culture, for change, for the better”.
3
3 Huey P. Newton Interview, March 1968

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