Race seems to be the controlling criterion in contemporary dialogue when it comes to evaluating relationships among black and white Americans. Nothing is more harmful to the brainpower of black people than the elevation of the myth that one cannot thrive due to racism. Undeniably, racism is a reality, but it has never been sufficient enough to prevent black Americans from gaining an economic advantage in a struggle to better ourselves.
In 1834, a group of Connecticut businessmen declared that the “white man cannot labor upon equal terms with the negro….the black can afford to offer his services at lower prices than the white man.” Fugitive slaves had escaped there and opened businesses. When slavery ended in 1865, blacks carried their work ethic into the free market. Their white counterparts legislatively enacted discriminatory laws in an effort to stifle the competition from blacks.
Many 19th century…
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