I hear this all the time. “black people don’t support black people”. “This is why we can’t ever move up.”And yes, I can agree to a certain extent. I understand how we as black people don’t support each other and live in this “crabs in a bucket type of world”. However, I’ve also experienced what black people supporting black people looks like. And I’m here to tell you the support is so abundant it it’s unreal.
Me personally I believe I’m a magnet to supportive black people. I always find a community of black people working together to find a common goal. I do recognize that there are crabs in a barrel still pulling each other down and not trying to see the other gain a leg up. But that is also a deeply ingrained conversation that is a product of a system designed to do so. see my other article Crabs in a Barrel?.
I understand that my experience is not the same as everyone and that not everyone will find the same support system. But I also know how to weave my way through communities To find the support system designed to allow me to Excell. The question is, have you? How do you find your support? What have you done to have your people support you?
What have you done?
With that being said, I wish to address both sides of the spectrum, starting with the support black people have that we don’t see. First I’m going to address the reader, what is your support system like? What are your interactions to the black people that don’t support you? Are you seeking them out? Or are you avoiding them and focusing on your craft? Do you allow them to disappoint and agitate you consistently or do you ignore them and focus your fervor on your goals? Do you constantly call them crabs in a bucket or barrel?
Me personally, I sincerely dislike the negative connotation of “crabs in a barrel”. This is because I understand the history of the concept and why we are “crabs in a barrel”.
Black people are victims of a system that is designed to keep us poor and hungry. We live in an ultra-violent country that endorses capitalism, a flawed concept to keep the poor poor and the rich richer. This horrible polymerization creates environments where people will pull each other down to get a leg up. This creates this falsified vision of non-unity within the black community. I’ve seen unity and non-unification within the black community.
With that being said, it is paramount that with everything we do as black people we must understand that when we try to move forward we will always feel push back. Especially from those that look like us and come from the impoverished communities a majority of us emerge from. This is where the crabs in a bucket concept is derived from. We as black people in America, especially in urban and impoverished communities struggle and when we someone else succeeding naturally we’ll try to bring them down. This is the nature of the beast. But this is not a concept that is exclusively present in just the black community.
Crabs under a microscope
I’ve seen crabs in a bucket in other communities. I see it in the white community, the Latino community, the Asian community. I’ve seen it in all communities. The problem for the black community is that we are under a microscope that is amplified by propaganda.
Whenever we fail it’s like a meteorite struck the earth and caused mass famine. There are so many negative connotations with black progress it sickens me. So when I see black people putting black people down for regular human incidents, I get upset.
This is not to say we don’t have a self-responsibility to raise our standards of living. It doesn’t mean we don’t need to hold ourselves accountable. But I ask you as black folk not to condemn each other so harshly as the world does. Before you continue to address us as monkeys in a barrel, or crabs in a bucket, please understand that there are systems in place that have designed these buckets as I stated in my Crabs in a barrel article.
we must understand how these systems are designed and how they impact us, therefore learning to navigate and if possible rework or destroy these systems to free us all.
What are these systems? Look up the criminal justice system for starters. Look up capitalism and how it works. Research history as well as a plethora of systems designed for us to fail.
after that take the time to manage the support you do have.
How do you manage your support
Now, with all of that, the question is, are you concerned about the right support? Constantly we demean those that don’t support us and we admonish them. How often do we praise and take care of those that do support us? Who are the black people that do support you? I have a network of support that I always go to, I rarely see black people not supporting each other in the network I’ve built for myself. Why? because I don’t allow those that don’t support to consume me with my desire to sell my product. I’m more worried about creating a better product. They will come around eventually.
It is important for us to understand that Rome wasn’t built in a day. And those that don’t see out vision will immediately dimish it. Especially those that are around us. For us, it’s black people. We are around black people, people who have nothing so when they see someone with something, they want it too. This is where the lack of support comes from.
It’s like being a child and seeing another child having ice cream but you have no money. Youre most likely going to try to take it. This concept is not limited to black people. It is the unfortunate reality that we take from others when we have nothing, but that’s what happens. The best solution is to do your best to protect your product without harming others. secondly, when starting anything, or doing anything, people are not going to initially support it. This is the nature of the beast.
Black people are not some alien species, they’re humans and they act like humans. We want what’s in fashion or entertaining, just like other people. If what you’re producing isn’t enticing them, find other ways to do so. Marketing is always important. Gaining people’s attention to garner their support. You sell what you attract. your support follows and grows.
Learn your support system, manage yourself, understand black people are people too.
The devil’s advocate
In contrast to everything, I’ve just said. We as a community have a collective responsibility to work together and support each other. Now, there are factors that have limited that progression. However, if we are anything we are resilient people, and if we needed each other at all we need each other now more than ever.
Why don’t we own anything? Why haven’t our community leaders come together and bought property to sell to us? These are questions necessary to ask why black people don’t support black people. Why are we always looking for something commercial instead of the local shops? Why do we buy from these expensive designer shops instead of these local clothing companies trying to jumpstart?
We can’t use the excuse that they are too expensive when we spend hundreds on designer clothes, or other articles. We as people have a self-responsibility to invest in our local community members and begin to establish ownership over our own communities. It is only then that we’ll see black economic growth. However, that is tougher than it seems. Simply because of the system designed for us to fail. I do not have all of the answers to that but there is research that can pinpoint you to the factors that limit us significantly.
Before we continue to bash black people for not supporting black people we must understand the inner workings of a system designed for us to stay poor. Once we deconstruct that we can be able to build support freely without restraints.
With that being said, support black people y’all, I’m rooting
for everyone black or whatever Issa Rae said.