As you may have noticed, or maybe you haven’t (which is the purpose of this letter). And in the words of a well-known comedian “you gon’ learn today!”

The experiment called integration did/is not working! It killed Black business, schools and has helped facilitate or accelerate redlining and now gentrification. As a person who grew up during the segregation era, I am aware of the benefits of segregation.

In fact, I believe we should have listened to and followed the teachings of Marcus Garvey, Elijah Mohammed, Malcolm X, Farrakhan and the Black Panthers and learned to do for self and not given up our power to integrate and live among, go to school and work with people who don’t want to be around us Black people.

On the other hand, I had experience with integration too; from the first to the third grade I went to an integrated school and for my junior and senior high years the high school I went to had only me and one other Black girl.

More importantly, the Civil Rights legislation changed laws; but, it didn’t change the hearts of many Europeans in this country. And this is becoming more evident every day as these people (white) call the police on Black people who try to live their lives doing what everyone else does without some crazy white person calling the police on them.

For example, the Starbucks incident, Waffle house, barbecuing in the park, real estate agent showing a house, Black women playing golf, Hobby Lobby, Black graduates in Florida pushed off the stage for dancing etc.

So, in the words of Farrakhan “Don’t go where you’re not wanted” and Elijah Mohammed “Do for Self” by supporting Black businesses or other people of color’s businesses; for instance, Jamaican and Ethiopian, Mexican and Chinese restaurants and stores.

However, do not support those businesses owned by people who do not respect you. Integration killed Black newspapers, baseball teams and Black people’s whole economic base.

Why did we want to integrate with people who didn’t respect us, lynched us and whose ancestors enslaved our ancestors?

At one time, here in Atlanta, there were Black hotels, clubs, ballrooms, bus companies, contractors, drug stores and all the businesses we needed to live our daily lives.

Do you see Chinese people integrating with white people? Why would they want to integrate with people who lynched them, cut off their braids and also passed exclusion laws against them?

Instead, they built Chinatowns to live and sustain their people. Do you see Mexicans trying to integrate with white people who killed and discriminated against them? (Also, they know that part of this country was once Mexico and was stolen from them).

No, they built their own part of town and opened businesses. Every ethnic group wants to live among their own people and support their own businesses.

Why must Black people try to assimilate with people who don’t want to be around them and only wants their money?

So, Black people to stop the trend of white people calling the police on Black people just because they can, let’s support all the Black businesses we can and open new ones; so, that we will become self-sufficient like other ethnic groups.

For example, Cubans in Miami control a part of that city and it’s called “Little Havana” because they have businesses, live and sustain each other and Ethiopia’s control a part of Washington D. C. for the same reason.

Also, in Seattle where my cousin lives there is a street where there are five Ethiopian restaurants and they all are staying in business.

In addition, other Africans and people from the Caribbean practice this too. Plus, this didn’t occur by trying to integrate with white people this happened because they opened businesses and supported those businesses and worked at those businesses and “did for self” and gained economic independence.

So, Black people open an account at a Black bank, go to a Black doctor and lawyer, shop at Black stores, advertise your events and businesses in a Black newspaper and we will gain dignity and respect and become independent like all the other ethnic groups.

I know there are those Black people that love white people and maybe are part white; but, this is not a new phenomenon, it’s been happening since Black people and white people first encountered one another.

Also, I know there are some good white people; however, it’s time for us, Black people to look out for one another and support one another. In my opinion, it is necessary for our survival all over the world.

Note: This op-ed by Mary D. Jackson was submitted for consideration on June 7, 2018. It appeared in the June 8, 2018 printed edition of The Atlanta Voice.

Photo submitted by Mary D. Jackson