Thematic Thursdays: The Hook Up – Is It Worth It?

No, I won’t place neat rows of gently planted braids in your hair, I’m not teaching your rugrat to dance on my freshly glazed hardwood floor, I won’t edit your paper, and please don’t send me the details to design your fortieth birthday party invitations all for FREE. The point of being in business is to make money. How can black entrepreneurs and business owners thrive if everyone wants the hookup?

Products and services cost money to create, develop, market and deliver. If black business owners are expected to give said products and services away for free-ninety-nine, they will have no dough to put back in the pot. I can’t buy your peach cobblers if you don’t pay me to design your logo. Your barber cannot give you a free fade for the club if you expect him to be able to patronize your car wash before his trip to Vegas.

When I find a black professional that I like, I pay them for their goods and services — period. I don’t want them to hook me up. I want to hook them up with my spending, because then they can really hook me up by growing the local tax base, creating jobs, supporting community organizations — or just having enough cheese and a predisposition to reciprocate. Money must circulate for economic empowerment to happen. That’s why it’s called currency — “The act of being passed from person to person.” A great example: the owner of Earle’s Grille on Crenshaw paid me to teach his daughter to dance back in the day, I now take my daughter to buy veggie links at Earle’s Grille once per week. Keep the money cycling.

Let’s support each other. Even bartering is better than offering nothing at all. I’d like to see as many wealthy black families and communities as possible. Something from nothing equals Tyrone struggling to pay his light bill while you dance at the club with the fresh new weave he put in for free. The hook up is played out. Stop hitting up the homies for freebies! If you really believe in the products and services they have to offer, then pay for them as you would pay for the products and services of any other business.


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