The Ujamaa Philosophy
Ujamaa is a Swahili word that has several inter-related meanings: family, family ties, relationship, brotherhood, and sisterhood. It also means cooperative economics. The idea behind Ujamaa is that family naturally supports one another. Our ancient ancestors formed communal societies in which each member contributed to the common good. During such times, the community was your family. In fact, your entire tribe was blood related and could trace its origins to a common ancestor. UFD uses Ujamaa in the first part of Our name to signify its importance in Our practice. Ujamaa is the only solution to the growing wealth and power gap between Our people and Whites. According to a recent study published by the Institute for Policy Studies and the Corporation for Economic Development entitled ‘The Ever-Growing Gap: Without Change, African-American and Latino Families Won‘t Match White Health for Centuries," the 400 richest Americans own more wealth than the entire Black population plus one-third of the Latino population combined! The study goes on to say that it would take Black families 228 years to amass the wealth White families have today! For years there have been calls for Black economic development to address the massive wealth gap and persistent economic inequality Black people are faced with. There has been a number of studies, plans, and policy proposals. People have called for federal job programs and private sector investments in communities of color; there have been calls for awarding more government contracts and for government backed loan programs for minority owned businesses; and there are efforts by Black entrepreneurs and professionals to organize Black market places like WeBuyBlack.com. These things have worked for a few, but the majority of Black people are being left far behind, and many Black families are struggling financially.
There are three fundamental reasons why this is the status quo and why Black people are having a hard time catching up. For one, as a result of hundreds of years of slavery, Black Codes, and Jim Crow, that is, the historical legalized oppression and exploitation of Black people, the White community has amassed substantial wealth stolen from Our people. There's never been an equitable re-distribution of wealth and power nor payment of reparations to Us. so this stolen wealth was passed down to the descendants of the White supremacists who enslaved end terrorized Our people. This has given generations of White people an unfair economic advantage over Our people. Two, America is a capitalist society is which competition and inequality are inherit. White people have a competitive advantage due to the massive wealth at their command. Individual Black businesses can't compete. And Buy Black campaigns, which have been around for decades, have largely failed to stimulate massive Consolidation of Black wealth. So, White owned businesses today benefit more from black lever, skills, talents, genius, and dollars than We do.
And three, Black people as a whole have embraced a culture of consumerism and individualism, and others of us have developed a welfare mentality. We rather spend then invest. Many of Us want something for nothing. And out those of Us who are enterprising enough to become entrepreneurs and professionals, many of them develop an elitist, attitude and a condescend toward their own communities. Essentially, the Black community as a whole has lost its group consciousness and has this integrated into a disconnected group of mostly self-centered individuals. This makes it very difficult for Our people to unite.
Ujamaa is a philosophy of cooperative economics. it advocates for uniting people on a grassroots level as brothers and sisters and getting them to pool together their money,knowledge, and efforts to help one another and to invest in each other. Ujamaa is the only solution that can effectively stem the imbalance of wealth and power between Blacks and Whites. It is the one thing Our people have not seriously tried on a national level due to Our consumer, indiviudualistic, welfare mentalities. So, until UFD, nobody has really made a grassroots effort to spread Ujamaa among the Black community nationally.
How exactly does Ujamaa work? Firstly, it must be understood that there is no greater resource than people. As the ancient Chinese proverb goes, "If you want 5 years of prosperity,grow grain. If you want 50 years of prosperity, grow tress. If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people.‘ Black people in particular are worth an estimated $1 trillion dollars, and We have an estimated population of about 40 million people in this country. If only 5% of Us were to unite and contribute $50 a month to a common treasury, We would generate $1.2 billion dollars a year. By investing that money back into Our own membership, particularly those with lucrative business plans and marketable skills and talents, and by leveraging that money to invest in large scale financial and business ventures, We can double and triple that $1.2 billion dollars in a very short time,thereby increasing Our individual wealth substantially.
This is the one secret to wealth building that Our people have failed to learn. The more capital We consolidate and then invest, the faster it grows. This is because the return on a larger investment will always be far greater than the return on a smaller investment. So when We decide to go at it alone, We actually hinder Our own ability to accomplish more. Like the Afrikan proverb says, "If you want to go fast, go by yourself. If you want to go further, go in a group." The problem with Our people is We think that We go faster doing things on Our own.This may be true for Us individually because We don't have to consider others when making decisions, but this doesn't necessarily translate into faster results. And well organized group will always out produce individuals. The reason Ujamaa is the only solution to stemming the imbalance of wealth and power between us and whites is because there is no other way we can compete against their massive capital and power structure. When considering the 400 rich white folk own more wealth than Our entire population, to think that we can't compete with them individually or in a small economic blocks, like WeBuyBlack.com, is naïve. Just one of those white folk would swallow any of us hole and spit Us back out. And to think that they'll set idly by as we enroach upon their economic dominance is foolish. If we haven't learned nothing from the past, we should learn how insidious the White power structure could be when it is threatened. Without a strong unity movement that can marshal massive capital and labor power, then we'll be crushed. UFD Is the only black organization in America with the ideological vision and platform upon which our people can build a national grassroots movement on a fraternal basis for Black socio-economic empowerment; a movement that I can effectively counter the white power structure and create real equality between blacks and whites. Of course, anybody else could duplicate our vision and platform, but it requires a deep sense of. Obligation to our people. This is why we are that Conscious Money Movement. At the core of our fraternity is our commitment to true brotherhood and sisterhood. For us, it's not all about the money; Or all about success and prosperity. It's more about being able to honor our freedom fighting ancestors by continuing on their legacy of collective struggle and elevating our people to a higher state of existence. It's about future generations of black children who will have their limitations defined by a deceptive American dream which favors whites over them. It's about ensuring the place of our people in America's future as equals and respected partners and not as an appendage of Whites.