AFRICATOWN COMMUNIVERSITY ‘ECONOMIC SUPPLY AND DEMAND’ SESSION.

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AFRICATOWN COMMUNIVERSITY ‘ECONOMIC SUPPLY AND DEMAND’ SESSION.



Africatown presented an Economic Supply and Demand symposium about understanding the local and global Black communities’ economic collective power, Saturday at Africatown Communiversity.   Promoted as a learning session and ‘Village Gathering’ for all Pan-African thinkers, cultural workers, learners, and the village-at-large to engage in dialogue and action-strategies for building economic-capacities locally and globally, it was a productive session.  Facilitators from Africa and the local community, together, presented strategies for individual and collective financial health.

The presentation, at the Africatown Center for Education and Innovation, was opened with a communal holding of hands and an introspective meditation led by Infinity (she will be Director of the new CHERISH - Art, Culture & Science Academy, Early Childhood Development and Preschool Center there, see: www.thecherishacademy.com).

Introductions by Kwame Morrow, who has a background in Engineering and a M.Ed. in Education (and who is also director at his family-owned 32-year-old KIDUS Montessori school), set the tone of Economics Supply and Demand saying it was a matter of “scarcity, sufficiency and sovereignty,” adding, “When we are talking about economics we are also talking politics,” - implying that politics is land.  He said, “All power comes from the land. Anything about economics can be learned in farming.” 

Supporting her part of Supply and Demand, Understanding Our Cultural Power, Taneasha Roberts, a young electrical engineer by trade, also used “capacity” and electrical terminology of “ohms, amps and volts” to illustrate the economic principle of supply and demand.  She added that “the difference between African capitalism and African American capitalism” would be illuminated in this presentation and discussion.   

Kwame, turning back to using the analogy of a simple battery-operated light bulb electrical circuit diagram with wires connected to the positive and negative terminals of the battery to a light bulb (if you can visualize that).  He’d projected onto the video screen noting that, using electrical terminology like ‘ohms, amps and volts’ (dropping science that the terminology originated in African languages) in following the electronic diagram, said, “Think of every community as a ‘capacitor’,” adding, “The ‘capacitance’ is something we need to work on.  How do we build ‘capacitance’ to build economies in our communities?” — Capacitor ‘capacitance’ is our community’s capability to store and to produce energy; in this case economic energy. 

In the diagram used to demonstrate the science of economics, from the top of the battery wire attachment “ohms’ represented; resistance and flow, harvest and scarcity.  The wire attached at the other end of the battery, the “amps” represented “substance, force, and efficiency” — our collective economic volume. And “volts” in Kwame’s “scarcity, sufficiency and sovereignty” formula represented our communities’ sovereignty: Power and Authority.
“As of today there has never been a level playing field for our economic gain,” said Cynthia Winters, who spoke to the historical impacts of slavery, Jim Crow and the destruction of our Black Wall Streets.  She acknowledged there have been advances in the housing, voting, education and voting arenas, but hardly in economics. 

That there is post-slavery inter-community distrust is evident; thus this symposium.

The fourth presenter, Ahmed N.K.D. Agyeman, wrote the word “Probabilities” on the chalkboard as an economics term of “analyzing how things occur regularly and [making] informed decisions.”  He said that he stayed quiet in college to learn things just like that. Ahmed, who’s father is from Ghana, where he returns to annually, said, “My father determined to come all the way over here — to deal with his enemies— just to make sure for prosperity for his kids!”  Contrasting that, Ahmed emphasized the great land value of (The Gold Coast) Ghana. “The oldest free African country [from colonial rule]” [that would be 6 March 1957 from Britain] – begged the proverbial question:  “Where is our [Ghana’s] wealth?”

He brought his wife and new baby to the presentation and has his own African-American Youth Affairs organization (www.adyoaffects.org) that emphasizes math, science and cognitive learning, and raises money for their future education.  “I personally challenged Bill Gates to his programs directed to people of color that our programs would be more efficient; but he never got back with us.”

Ahmed advises American companies on “access to Ghana,”  He talked about global relationships and declared, “There is no system designed to reflect African-decent people to compete at this global level,” adding, “We can restructure our community in less than a decade by building an economic platform.”  He ended his part of the presentation with, “Land is everything!” 
And me?  I’d suppose: divide and conquer — the “Probability.”
Long-time community activist Harriet Walden chimed in that, “China is economically invading Africa because they can’t employee all those Chinese.”  Adding a clear thought-piece of immediate concern for current and future discussions at The Communiversity.  

Then there was a catered lunch break followed by a break-out session.  Groupings of the more than twenty attendees to drill down and strategize solutions.  This symposium, all of which was masterfully coordinated by Dr. Marcia Tate Arunga, then regrouped to present strategic solutions, which included reconnecting with Africa, pooling our community resources, interacting with local Africans, determine definite goals and scale-up what Black services we offer in our economic community like childcare, beauty shops, and products. 

“What does this mean for Africatown?” asked Dr. Arunga, before inviting guests to accompany her to the Center’s garden to literally plant the seeds that had been distributed to them. “A metaphor for what we are looking at into the future,” she proclaimed.

The session concluded with a follow up Village gathering scheduled for April 13 at 4:00.