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Black Wall Street 2000: The Destruction of Black United Fund New York

[One of the biggest lies told on Black folk is that we cannot handle our business. Chattel slavery ended in the 1860s. By the dawn of the 20th century there were several cities around the U.S. each with its own thriving Black Wall Street. We were building a new society and culture on the ashes of slavery. We were doing what we do...building civilizations. In the early 1900s, many of our thriving communities were destroyed. Jealousy, envy, hatred, greed, and fear led white folk to brutally murder Black women, men and children. Homes, businesses, churches, schools and other buildings were burned to the ground. Whenever we could, we re-built. Of course, whenever we rebuilt what we created was bigger and better than what had been destroyed. The call for de-segregation in the middle 1900s was a mop up action. It was just another in a series of attempts to destroy us on an economic level. And not just on an economic level. The cohesiveness and sense of race identity that allowed us to keep coming back stronger every time we were knocked down had to be destroyed. We have now entered the 21st century. A new day calls for a new way to achieve the same destruction. Regardless of how Black folk are presented in the media, it is clear to those who like to think of themselves as being in power that they must use every dirty trick in their old dusty book to keep us from getting even one good toe hold. Let what happened to Black United Fund New York serve as a reminder to all of us who think that our survival and liberation lie in first getting political empowerment, economic empowerment or any of that other foolishness we have been muttering. Sistah Q]

by Kermit Eady
with contributions from Larry Barton July 17, 2007
With the rift between New York Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Brunoand Governor Eliot Spitzer (the former Attorney General), I want to believe that Black people, and now everyone else except the dead, fully understand the two-faced evil and vicious person that now operates from the highest office

in this state. This is the true Eliot Spitzer that revealed his deceit and arrogance starting in 2002 when he began the planned destruction of the Black United Fund of New York. The unethical dirty work was carried out in collaboration with enemy 'Negroes' and silent support of compliant, party-loyal 'epoliticians' within, as usual, the Black community. A few weeks ago I stopped by the office of Mr. Kenyatta Punta, the listed owner of the former BUFNY Harlem headquarters property at 2271 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd., to ask when I could retrieve my personal belongings that I have not been allowed to get for almost four years. When I was terminated from BUFNY by the Spitzer board of five handpicked Black Republicans in August 2003, I was out of the office and never allowed back in until this day. I had written to Mr. Spitzer, Lt. Governor David Paterson, the appointed has-been board members and the executive director, and also spoke several times with Mr. Punta who always said, I can't talk about you getting your things now. Neither Mr. Paterson nor the disdainful Mr. Spitzer ever responded. Sadly, Mr. Paterson, who was once believed to be a representative for Black people, has now showed his true politician colors, another traitor to Black people. As Mr. Punta was not in his office at the time, I left word with his secretary asking him to call me. Interestingly, he called that same afternoon and I inquired about my belongings. He said, Your belongings are no longer here. They have been moved. I asked, Where were they moved to? He replied, Your things have been placed in the GARBAGE (my emphasis added). I then asked, Why' Punta replied, They told me to do it. The obvious question, Who are 'they'? His answer, Can't talk about that. Good bye! This is a RED flag folks! There's something seriously wrong going on and even more suspect than previously thought. The discarding of our, mine and former vice president Larry Barton's, belongings included 25 years of personal items; hundreds of plaques, awards, citations, mementos; scores of CDs and VHS tapes; antique furniture; hundreds of classic LP albums; clothes, some even brand new; and more. After all of the inquiries about our personal belongings, the Spitzer board and executive director, with the sanction of or directions from legal counsel, committed, in writing, to send our things to wherever we wanted, but we, me and Barton, could not come into BUFNY's office even to identify those items. They had also refused to even give Barton his logs and tax records or even comply with an IRS subpoena, thereby causing him great hardship. The holdover Spitzer appointees and their current replacements not only threw out our belongings, but, according to witnesses, discarded -in a dumpster- all of BUFNY's historical records, BUFNY and Harvest files, personnel files, donor and supporters files, legal and court case documents, project research files, photographs, housing development plans, computer and office equipment, fixtures and furniture, and more. There is also the question of the donated IBM stocks and valuable jewelry. Why? Why the scorched earth policy, especially after Spitzer had promised to help BUFNY flourish with his handpicked board? There is something very sinister about all of this and how it relates to the ultimate destruction of BUFNY, as a pioneering, independent economic development institution and the number one self-help organization in New York State. Its history was being erased right in front of our eyes; and its planned replacement was already in the works, with the coincidental help of BUFNY's nemesis, the United Way. There are potentially multiple state laws that have been violated, with the illegal disposition of personal and real property assets belonging to a not-for-profit without proper legal dissolution processes being followed. Basically, New York State Non-Profit Corporation Law requires specific forms to be filed with the state and court and specific actions to be taken by the board. Formal requests for those documents are being formulated.

Not-for-profit assets are supposed to be given to other not-for-profits, not via a giveaway to people in the street, as reported by eyewitnesses in the community. This writer and others saw a dumpster in front of the old BUFNY offices and property being thrown into it, as Mr. Punta prepared the space to become another Bar in Harlem. Imagine, BUFNY's old space is now a drinking hole, and, as expected, not a peep from, our elected politicians not daring to be our representatives. Ironically, BUFNY's God gets the glory slogan hangs above the entrance to the new Bar. There is no misunderstanding by Senator Bruno. He is absolutely correct in his description of Governor Spitzer's dark side personality. Spitzer is, as has been stated many times, a spoiled rich kid that rules by bully tactics and abuse of power, as Attorney General and also now, as Governor. He is mean-spirited, deceitful and shows an open disdain and hatred for Black people. There was no justifiable reason for BUFNY to be destroyed. Mr. Spitzer saw and knew the power that Blacks would have, as they practiced self-help economics, as BUFNY did, which was started by Kermit Eady with $8.000 and in today's market would have an asset value of over $100 million dollars. Attorney General Spitzer, along with some Black politicians, made sure this newest and successful form of self-help independence had to die to maintain the status quo. Are our politicians still in bed with the foul-mouthed, self-proclaimed Steamroller? Is Spitzer, who has no respect for the Black community, our institutions or any one of us or our children, has been revealed as a terrible example for a leader. His behavior is reminiscent of a J. Edgar Hoover - a deceiving liar and manipulator - and with an attitude and foul mouth that even surpasses Don Imus's in his racist description of the Black female basketball players from Rutgers University. We don't need or want our children hearing this foul language from this governor. One of BUFNY' original board members, a minister now deceased, that met with then Attorney General Spitzer regarding his unprecedented takeover BUFNY and coerced resignations, said that he was the most rude and arrogant person that he had ever met. Spitzer was also described as outright nasty. Does this sound familiar and consistent? He (Spitzer) said, I will tear up BUFNY or anything that I damn well please! Sound like a tyrant? We are also very pleased to hear that New York State Assemblyman Keith Wright has strongly expressed his dissatisfaction with Mr. Spitzer, and has become the first Democrat in the State Legislature to publicly withdraw his support, according to the New York Post. The Post quoted the assemblyman as saying of Spitzer, "He's acting like a Giuliani Democrat. It's either his way or no way." Why have we become so complacent and at ease with rotten, corrupt politics? When many of us were growing up, our parents expressed outrage when adults used profanity in front of children. This kind of behavior was totally unacceptable. Now leaders, more akin to rulers, in government, like Vice president Chaney ("Go f--- yourself!"), Governor Eliot Spitzer (I'm a f---ing steamroller, etc.) and others, for sure, use profanity lambasting people and there is no outcry from Black leadership. Why not? We just get the usual silent go-along-to-get-along acquiescence. This is another example of degraded or even useless leadership to match Spitzer's. It is also very interesting that Spitzer's Black United Fund political hacks like to discard things. Remember, they had all the BUFNY radio station (WCKL) equipment thrown out of its Catskill, NY broadcast studio unceremoniously on the ground and in the rain. We have the photos! Was this legally authorized? Who got the equipment? Were the appropriate dissolution papers filed with the State Attorney General and the Courts?

Are Spitzer and his Negroes saying, we want everyone to forget that there ever was this major, selfhelp organization that didn't beg Caucasians? A unique Black United Fund based in Harlem New York and in the midst of Gotham (New York) City itself; therefore, they had to destroy all of its files, history and evidence of its accomplishments and the ongoing challenges and intrigues it faced from United Way, Corporate America and collaborating enemies within. It's unreal that all of BUF's and executive staff's belongings, including a very, very important communication medium, a "radio station", would be destroyed. These violations cry out for an investigation and the role that Spitzer and the collaborating board members played in the destruction of BUFNY. This is especially needed since there is a growing body of evidence that Spitzer, in all his blustering, barking and promises, never intended to help BUFNY. He did not treat other organization the way he attacked and dismantled BUFNY and other Black institutions. Just look at the World Jewish Congress, the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club and Air America, and the suspiciously timed grants he facilitated and directed to non-profits across the State just for starters. The trail is there and some of us are on it. Spitzer made sure that established Jewish institutions and those in leadership positions who actually committed crimes were treated with extreme leniency and allowed to continue functioning and fundraising, with little or no impact on those directly involved and caught red handed. This was clearly Jews helping and protecting Jews and their institutions. It was also the taking advantage of available opportunities for quid pro quo deals by Spitzer, as an aspiring candidate for Governor. This is COINTELPRO at its zenith and in a more sophisticated form. The Hoover Torch has been passed; therefore, we must again rise up and build institutional power.

Always remember: Blacks were brought to this country for one purpose and one purpose only, and that was to build an economy for Europeans, i.e., white people. We must do as other ethnic groups have done and are doing, and that is: build our own internal economy once again, but his time, protect it with any and every means necessary. Above Article Is By Kermit Eady We are still at War! Kermit Eady is president and CEO of Eady Associates and the former president and CEO of Black United Fund of New York. He can be reached at or Contributions to and editing of this article were made by Larry A Barton, IBM

retiree and former vice president and general manager at Black United Fund of New York. He can be reached via email at To learn more about Eady Associates please visit: or call 1-888-538-9803

State Attorney General Spitzer today announced that he has reached an out-of-court agreement with the Black United Fund of New York ("BUFNY") that gives the charity a new interim board of directors. "Our goal here is to help BUFNY flourish. The interim board -- comprising talented individuals with proven records of service -- will breathe new life into BUFNY, and help shepherd its finances and programs," Spitzer said. Black United Fund was founded in New York in 1979. BUFNY's initial mission was to provide financial assistance and support services to Black community-based organizations. In recent years, the charity has shifted its focus to housing and land development. Its investments in real estate have caused it to fall behind in honoring its financial commitments to designated grantees that are directly supported by payroll contributions from federal, state, municipal, city and corporate employees. In addition, the charity was chronically delinquent in filing documents required by law with the Attorney General's office. The AG's investigation of the charity's activities pre-dating the interim board is continuing with the cooperation of the new board. The five new board members are: Lance D. Clarke - Founding partner of the law firm Cooke and Clarke. Member of board of directors of the Nassau County Bar Association and Chair of the Membership Task Force of the Nassau County Bar Association. He is a Justice of the Village of Hempstead and provides legal assistance to several notfor-profit organizations including 100 Black Men of Long Island. Delores Cooper Kershaw - Immediate Past President of 100 Black Women of Long Island. Has served in a wide variety of roles with the American Red Cross of Nassau County, among many other community organizations. Chairperson of the board of trustees of the Hempstead Public Library, board member of the Hempstead Historical Society and member of the Long Island Women's Agenda. A graduate of Morgan State University and New York University, Ms. Cooper Kershaw retired as a senior marketing specialist / senior systems engineer after 32 years with IBM. William E. Davis, Jr. - William Davis has 25 years of architectural, program management and construction management experience. He opened his architectural and construction management practice in Manhattan five years ago. Prior to establishing his own firm, he was Executive VicePresident and Director of the New York Office of the Fleming Corporation. His professional affiliations include: member - NY Preservation League, former President and member of the New York Coalition of Black Architects, Chairperson of the African Burial Ground Memorial International Competition, former Commissioner of the NYC-Landmarks Preservation Commission, member of the Board of Advisors NYC Historic Districts Council and member of the State Board of Architects. Mr. Davis was also past President of the National organization of Minority Architects.

Briding Newell - Prior posts include: Commissioner of Nassau County Department of Drug and Alcohol Addiction, Executive Director of Nassau County Office of Minority Affairs and Deputy Executive Director - Long Island Area Development Agency. She has served on the board of the Center for Family Youth Resources as Finance Chairperson. Ms. Newell is a graduate of San Jose State University. Bettye Anderson Easley - Assistant Dean of Career Placement and Cooperative Education and Associate Professor at Suffolk County Community College. Ms. Easley was Manager of Training and Development with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for seven years before joining Suffolk Community College. President of the board of directors of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Long Island Chapter, former Chair of the United Way - Project Blueprint and board member of Meharry Medical College. She currently sits on the board of the Long Island Women's Agenda and previously served on the boards of the New York City Housing Partnership, Visiting Nurse Association of Long Island and the City of Memphis Blood Services. Her written work has been widely published. The Attorney General's investigation is being conducted by Assistant Attorneys General Dorothy Oehler Nese and Juan Merchan of the AG's Nassau Regional Office, Senior Investigator Angel Rivera, and Charities Bureau Principal Accountant Lori Balaklaw.

" Black United FUN!: Spitzer Gentrified Black Charity's Landmark Headquarters Into A Yuppy Buppy Bar"
By James C. McIntosh, M.D.
The building at 2271 Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard is now a Bar called Shrine. This same building that was once the stylish landmark headquarters of Harlem's largest Black charity, Black United Fund, is now the haunt of thoroughly gentrified Blacks and bored young whites out for a good time or a night of adventure.. The sign on the front of the building that used to read Black United Fund Plaza God Gets The Glory, now reads "Black United Fun Plaza. God Gets The Glory." (A picture of the sign is the tongue in cheek centerpiece of Shrine's website and can be seen at The sign, the name and location of the bar all seem to mock the events which have led to this shrine to Black Dis-empowerment. How did all this happen, when in 2003, Eliot Spitzer the man who was the NYS Attorney General and now sits as governor, promised that he was appointing a new board of directors of Black United Fund to "breath new life into BUFNY and help shepherd its finances?." This is how! Real estate records reveal that in October of 2005 a little more than Two years after Spitzer ripped the charity from the control of its founder, Kermit Eady and made his pledge of breathing "new life into BUFNY," the BUFNY HQ building was sold right under the noses of a sleeping Black electorate for $3,435,854.00, by an entity called BUFNY Houses Associates. The property was transferred via a Grant deed to an entity called 2273 Realty LLC. The mailing address of the owner was listed as 1987 7th Avenue. Records show that address is owned by Neighborhood Partnership Housing Development Fund Company with a mailing address of 80 5th Avenue. Records also show that The Neighborhood Partnership Housing Development Fund Company has over the last few years been involved in over three hundred landlord tenant cases most of them eviction cases. Breathe new life? Partnership? Housing Development? Confused ? Don't be. The answer lies in the wisdom of our ancestors.

The late Black psychologist, Amos Wilson, taught that in a system of white supremacy, in order to find out an entity's purpose and meaning, simply reverse the name of the entity. The system responsible for mis-educating Black children is called the Education System, the system responsible for inflicting injustice on Black people is called the Justice System, etc. Likewise, under Governor Spitzer's reorganization of Black United Fund of New York (BUFNY), William E. (Bill ) Davis" a former Commissioner of Landmark Preservation, was appointed to BUFNY's Board of Directors. Armed with this wisdom of Amos Wilson it should have been easy to figure out what Landmark Preservation would mean for Black United Fund. If politicians and community residents were confused at the time, things should be crystal clear in 2007 when the following facts are reviewed... 1. In 2003 Black United Fund was the largest charity in Harlem and was chaired by its founder Kermit Eady. It was involved in 40 million dollars of development, operated 400 units of affordable housing for Black folks as well as a radio station, two ATM machines and two technical centers with services similar to Kinko's. 2. In 2007 both Black United Fund Technical Centers are closed. 3. In 2007 the radio broadcasting station purchased by BUFNY is now dismantled and silent

4. In 2007 the two ATM machines operated by BUFNY are gone. 5. In 2007 the stylish landmark headquarters building of Black United Fund that was on Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard is now a bar. 6. As of the time of the publication of this article there has been no mention by Spitzer or any of the Harlem Politicians to the public of what happened to that 3.4 million dollars that exchanged hands in the sale of the 2271 Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard Building. 7. Kermit Eady, the man who founded the Black United Fund of New York, is out in the cold discharged without a dime of severance pay, never charged or convicted of anything yet never even permitted to return to the headquarters to retrieve priceless possessions saved over 25 years of his stewardship. All this makes sense only if one applies Wilson's principle to the entire original statement of Eliot Spitzer's announcement of his takeover of Black United Fund. Said Spitzer, "Our goal here is to help BUFNY flourish. The interim board -- comprising talented individuals with proven records of service -will breathe new life into BUFNY, and help shepherd its finances and programs." Applying Wilson's principle, it is clear to see that Spitzer's word life means death, flourish means perish and shepherd means fleece or rip off.

The [Black man] will not know himself until his back is against the wall. ~Marcus Mosiah Garvey Can't you feel the coldness of those bricks? ~Del Jones