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An Elder Must Teach by Mike Ramey

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TOOLS FOR BUILDING AN ECONOMIC SUCCESS LIBRARY

     I recently ran into a young brother who had brought an interesting problem my way!  As we were talking about business building and Black economic success, he seemed a little frustrated in the fact that he could not find any books written by African Americans on business success.

      You know me.  Once the opportunity to share wisdom which I had been blessed to gather over the years, I was ready for service.  I quickly provided him with a few books that I could spare from my personal library (I make it a point to keep some extras around).  Later, I named off a few titles and authors which still provide great wisdom and encouragement…authors of which he had NOT been familiar.

      I dedicate this column to him, and other brothers out there—young and old—who have the tenacity to reach past the 30 second soundbites or the blue social media screen and actually take the time to want to improve themselves and READ!  In books is where you find knowledge and wisdom. Books don’t need batteries.  Books are not bound by the Internet.  Now that the Wuhan Virus pestilence seems to be winding down, there are going to be new business opportunities available on the horizon.

      Your job…FIND them, brothers!

      Young brothers, NOW is the time to do the bookwork to make yourself an overcomer, instead of a ‘toe tag’ for the undertaker. Older brothers, NOW is the time to ‘clean out’ some of those books that have inspired you over the years and pass them on to a new generation.  After all, a Black man who has become an elder in the village has not got those ‘grey hairs’ on his head by accident.  He’s crossed a lot of rivers, fought a lot of battles and come out to fight another day—regardless of victory or defeat.

      The young Black man who is NOT part of the Social Justice Warrior, Black Lives Matter, Antifa ‘alphabet soup’ siren song of deception, destruction and excuses must be reached! The young Black man who believes in rolling up his sleeves and getting to work in this system of free market ideology and capitalism which composes America is going to be an achiever—not a mental hostage controlled by modern liberals who talk socialism…but are quick to send THEIR OWN kids to private schools and buy pricey homes on other people’s money.

      All the while…trying to talk about ‘racist’ America is.  Balderdash!  They just don’t want to compete!  The ‘alphabet soup’ crowd want to get any potential threats OFF the field so THEY can ‘get the goodies’ before you get out of the starting blocks.

      Brothers—intimidation is NOT a sincere form of flattery.

 SUCCESS HAS PRINCIPLES—AND IS COLOR BLIND:

     A dollar is color blind to the hand where it resides.  As I learned years ago—from some older brothers who have put pen to paper and encased their wisdom into book form—IF you understand the rules and spend your money in your OWN community THEN you will make the life chances better for YOUR people.  Black folk—in our so-called ‘justice warrior age’—in spite of all the hype of the entertainment/sports/education/media coven STILL do not have major-league economic thinking OR doing.

      Here are a few Black economic realities:

            *There are FEWER Blacks in meaningful media positions NOW than 20 years ago.

            *There are FEWER Black-owned businesses in our OWN neighborhoods.

            *Blacks STILL have not mastered the concept of keeping more of OUR money circulating in our own neighborhoods, while OTHER races have AND continue to!

            *There are NO Blacks who are sole owners/family owners of ANY professional sports franchises in the NBA, MLB, NFL, or NHL.

            *While surveys indicate Blacks are the #1 consumers of mainstream media, we STILL do not choose to exercise the economic clout to control the images on the screen.

      I realize that these items may upset some people…but the truth is the truth!

      It may be easy to ‘blame’ the pandemic and the Wuhan Virus for our losses, but we were losing economic ground BEFORE the economy shut down.  Here’s a news flash:  ONCE the economy gets fully up and running—in spite of the coming tax hikes by Congressional Democrats (spurred on by the Biden administration)—the need for Black entrepreneurs with a sound understanding of business principles and willing to ‘get their hands dirty’ to build something that will provide wealth and opportunity amongst ourselves will be huge.  Thus, we don’t have to go out with hat-in-hand, but with economic clout like the other people-of-color who live in this land.

      Economic success has rules, and the rules need to be obeyed in order for one to become prosperous.  One of the main rules is that one has to have their relationships right, beginning with their relationship with God, through Jesus Christ.  In many of the books on my list, the successful have defined their spiritual relationship ahead of their economic relationship.

      IF you get the spiritual right, the economic falls right into line—even when things get rough.  God can give you a business dream that could provide a service to thousands—but He want to do ‘urban renewal’ on you, FIRST!

      Why is this so strange?  The KJV Bible contains a LOT about spiritual and economic success.  In The Book of Proverbs, there are a HOST of items dealing with economic success, business failure, the types of people to stay in touch with—and the types of people to stay away FROM!  The Book of Job—held to be the oldest book in the Bible—centers upon a man who had it all, lost it all, and got it back.  It did not come easy, but in the end, Job had to tighten up his relationship with God, and understand that God calls the shots—for His glory.

      One of the other foundation principles of economic and business success is giving God His–RIGHT off the top!  This might not be a popular concept but is truth worth sharing.  The concept of Tithing—for the Christian—is as important as breathing.  IF God is in charge of your finances, a tenth share of what comes into your bank account belongs to Him.  It’s called ‘Tithing’.  When God prospers you, giving back to Him through your local church is your way of demonstrating your partnership with Him.  One other thing—NO ONE can cancel your relationship with God, for He is in charge (Romans, Chapter 8 KJV).  You find out how He works in His Bible.  IF you don’t want to Tithe, my response is a simple one: “Go on and stay broke and busted.”

 MOVING ALONG TO THE BOOKSHELF—THE RAMEY STARTER LIST:

     Keep in mind that this is NOT an ‘exhaustive list’ of books and authors.  Many of these books I have owned, reviewed, given away, or have wanted to get ahold of because I am familiar with the work of the author.  For my older brothers, this is a great ‘starter list’ to begin in sharing your economic and business success with some young brothers just ‘starting out’ onto the field of competition.

      Every player needs a coach, and every young man needs an elder in his corner.  The RIGHT book will provide one with the ‘up close coaching’ that one needs.  A good author can have his words last for centuries—or longer!

      With some of the schools ‘still’ closed or in limited service, the emphasis is placed on the parent and student to keep their ‘schooling’ going and growing.  If we take a look at history, an education is built upon not only ‘classroom’ experience, but READING and STUDYING by the individual.  This list of books, aimed at the young—or not so young—can serve as a foundation of learning to get many of our young men to the next economic level.

      I’ve already mentioned the KJV Bible.  One key fact: one who masters the KJV Bible can read and comprehend at the 12th grade level or higher?  Thus, this is the reason why many of our Black grandparents and ancestors WANTED to learn how to read from the Bible.  They were wise beyond their years thanks to the Word of God.

      This still holds true today!

      Here are some OTHER business and economic books by mainly Black authors that have stood the test of time:

  •  “Basic Economics” by Thomas Sowell.
  • “Empower The People” by Tony Brown.
  • “Uncommon” by Tony Dungy.
  • “Character Building” by Booker T. Washington.
  • “What Color Is A Conservative?” by J. C. Watts.
  • “Please Stop Helping Us” by Jason Riley.
  • “Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice” by Dennis Kimbro & Napoleon Hill.
  • “Black and Free” by Tom Skinner.
  • “Debt Free Degree” by Anthony O’Neal.
  • “Everyday Millionaires” by Chris Hogan.
  • “God is Bigger than a Game” by Charles Washington, Jr.
  • “Retire Inspired” by Chris Hogan.
  • “The Thomas Sowell Reader” by Thomas Sowell.
  • “Fight The Good Fight” by Reggie White.
  • “In The Trenches” by Reggie White.
  • “Why Should White Guys Have All The Fun?” by Reginald F. Lewis.
  • “God In My Corner” by George Foreman.
  • “Going The Extra Smile” by George Foreman.
  • “Victory In Jesus” by E. V. Hill.
  • “American Contempt for Liberty” by Walter E. Williams.
  • “In The Black: History of African Americans on Wall Street” by Gregory S. Bell.
  • “Doing Business by the Good Book” by David Steward.
  • “Leadership by the Good Book” by David Steward.

      Some of these books may be hard to find.  Others, you may find at a local book sale, or half-priced bookstore.  Still others may exist on-line.  These works will form a solid foundation for business and economic success.

      To the young men in the house: PLEASE don’t fall for the lie that there are NO ‘Black’ authors on business or economic success on the market.  There are plenty of brothers out there.  Your job now?  Find them and heed their wisdom and advice.  As one African proverb notes: “Give advice:  IF they won’t listen, let adversity teach them!”

      Mike Ramey is a Minister, syndicated columnist and Modern Street Gangs Consultant who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.  “An Elder Must Teach” is one of a variety of his written works appearing in cyberspace.  To drop a line—or a whine—the address is still the same: manhoodline@yahoo.com.  ©2021 Barnstorm Communications International.

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