On April 12, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson sat in a Philadelphia Starbucks for a business meeting, but due to not ordering anything, the police were called and both were arrested.

Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson on Good Morning America.

Similarly to being Black during slavery and Jim-Crow season, sitting down to a chai latte or cappuccino with almond milk will also get you in trouble. The rules never changed so you’re only playing Russian roulette expecting and/or demanding equal treatment.

For these reasons and more, perhaps it’s time to opt for friendlier franchises. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad in his book “Message to the Blackman” gave us a complete guide to providing and sustaining business and prosperity in our own communities.

  1. Recognize the necessity for unity and group operation (activities).
  2. Pool your resources, physically as well as financially.
  3. Stop wanton criticisms of everything that is Black-owned and Black-operated.
  4. Keep in mind — jealousy destroys from within.
  5. Observe the operations of the White man. He is successful. He makes no excuses for his failures. He works hard in a collective manner. You do the same.

Imagine walking into a coffee shop where you can conduct your business meetings without the fear of discrimination and/or getting arrested. Imagine supporting your own for the same product (or better) you get from commercial franchises. Imagine a place where you can invest and improve to your liking with your fellow brother/sister. Isn’t that a better reality? Don’t we deserve peace of mind? Of course we do, and it’s ripe for the taking.

Databases such as theblackmall.com and blackownedchicago.com give you the tools necessary to find Black-owned coffee shops and many other businesses and services around your area. It only takes a few searches but those businesses are here, awaiting the support of our own to flourish among our own.

“A true Muslim would never boycott the place of business of his fellow Muslim or Black brother. A true Muslim is proud of the success of his Black sisters and brothers. He recognizes that their success is his success. He recognizes the law of Islam. If one brother has a bowl of soup you have half of that soup.” (“Message to the Blackman”, 1965)


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