For Immediate Release
Contact: Maxine Hunter, (212) 862-9120
October 19, 1998
A New African American Leadership Alliance Calls for Dollar Out Day As Economic Sanctions Against Racism And Intolerance
A new National leadership Alliance is calling on African Americans in New York City, Detroit, Michigan, and St. Louis, Missouri to launch a new national movement for self-reliance, by participation in "Dollar Out Day" on November 28th, 1998. In the spirit of The Million Man March, African Americans are asked to withhold a million dollars from then economy 9n those cities, to protest the failure of white and Black leadership to effectively address the needs of the Black community. The day after Thanksgiving is the biggest retail shopping day of the year. Bob Law, Chairman of the New York City Leadership Alliance, points out that "We want to make it clear that people who hold us in contempt can no longer take our dollars for granted, and this initiative can also teach Black people how powerful we actually are on an economic as well as a political level."
A new national leadership alliance that met in September in Detroit, Michigan is calling on African Americans to make a major shift in overall political and economic strategies. Black Americans are being asked to adopt strategies that utilize the economic and educational resources, as well as the enormous talent in the Black community in ways that will benefit the Black community. Rev. Lee Trollinger Co-Chair of the New York Alliance says "This is a call for do for self, to become more than a slogan, and to become instead, a concrete strategy for self reliance."
Bob Law of New York, who called the national meeting in Detroit said "while there are those who point to progress being made by Black Americans, there is in fact, a very sophisticated and systematic effort underway to close off every corridor of economic and political opportunity for African American." Law sites the removal of Black businesses from 125th Street in Harlem, to make room for major white corporations, such as Disney, Time Warner, The Gap, Staples, etc. as well as the denial of opportunity to Black entrepreneurs in Detroit, Michigan as examples of the aggression against Blacks that comes masquerading as progress.
The National Leadership Alliance, a group made up of community based organizations from around the country, also points to the violent anti Black climate created by Majors like Guiliani of New York, where police violence against Blacks has steadily increased since the Americans must tap into our own best resources, economically, politically and spiritually in order to stabilize and protect our own communities." The National Leadership Alliance is calling on Black Americans to take a stand against this ongoing aggression against Black people and to stop cooperating with the very forces that are disrespecting as well as denying African Americans equal opportunity. Bob Law says "that not much has changed since a 1988 Mayors commission on Black New Yorkers reported that New York City is one of the most vibrant economics in the nation but that the Black business community was being denied an equal opportunity to participate in that economy. The report pointed to, among other things, the benign arrogance of many city agency heads, an overall city policy to discourage Black business growth, as well as what the report called "hidden discrimination."
In New York City, Blacks spend $61 Billion dollars annually with over $400 Million being spent in Harlem, which is the smallest Black community in the City. In 1997, Black youth, who are regularly accused of shoplifting and theft, actually spent $19 Billion dollars. However, only 7% of Black spending is done with Black businesses. 93% is spent primarily with people who not only do not reinvest in the Black community, but seem to hold Black consumers in contempt.