Jazz Thompson/The Bristol Cable

By Kayla Dorancy • 

In an effort to achieve what some may call “the American Dream”, “reparations”, or just “getting theirs” — far too often do we see the main perpetrators and victims sharing the skin color and experiences. While the Black experience is not a monolithic one, the obstacles and difficulties we face are shared in one way or another. Yet, many Black people rise up to the challenges of systemic racism, poverty, and trauma by utilizing the same practices of exploitation and profit against their own — to achieve power and wealth in the White dominated capitalist system we know of today. 

From the non-profit organizations to the growing Black owned corporations, to the social services industrial complex to the school-to-prison pipeline, and to the A-list celebrities to the everyday people who compartmentalize their respect on the basis of wealth — there is a clear willfulness of every member of the system to prepare and deliver services to Black people with the primary intentions of self-servitude, then doing the work needed to transform people’s lives. While it’s not the responsibility of the Black community to rectify the actions of America nor is it our job to cure America of its racism — there is an obligation by our community not to contribute to the oppression and miseducation of our people in exchange for wealth. In many ways do we see these working parts of these systems that continue to oppress the Black community remain complicit or do not follow through on their promise while collecting funds from the government and our communities. 

The meaningless, thoughtless work that is masked as well-intentioned work by these members are often blamed on the community for not utilizing such services or attempting to blame the ineffectiveness of their work. Whether it’s not truly understanding the needs of the community they are serving, to simply looking for financial handouts with connections they’ve built with people in powerful places — for far too long have people of color been exploited by their own to create financial security. 

Wealth at the expense of Black poverty, trauma, and miseducation is a dangerous vulnerability in Black capitalist thought. The dependency on poverty, homelessness, miseducation, incarceration, immigration, trauma, mental illness and more to create wealth only contributes to the existence of these very problems. By creating a demand for people to supply in exchange for wealth, the establishment of these concerns deepen themselves into our communities, doing more harm than good. These services need to be taken seriously for the betterment of our communities. With well-intentions, experiential knowledge, and respect — the unification and prosperity of Black community is inevitable. Their promises must take priority over the penny.

Kayla Alexandria Dorancy is a recent graduate from Brooklyn College with a dual major BA in Philosophy and Political Science. Her focus study and researching consists of Black feminist theory, Black queer theory, Power Movements of the late 20th century, and more. As she anticipates beginning her PhD and JD in 2022, she hopes to utilized her education and experience to dismantle systems of inequity in education, civil rights, and human rights.