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There is no question that the African Guyanese community endures severe pressure under this new government. Even though African Guyanese citizens overwhelmingly work for the public service, and therefore are major contributors to the country’s tax base, they still continue to suffer low wages, are last to be considered for wage increases and often work in environments where some political hack who has no understanding of the job is thrust upon them to oversee their work.
Because of this ongoing abuse, notwithstanding the president’s silly walkabout campaigns in Black communities, it is imperative for African Guyanese to support each other. If we do not uplift and support each other, why would we expect support from any other ethnic group? Editor, I posit that African Guyanese circulate funds in their own community less than any other ethnic group in Guyana.
African Guyanese bank with financial institutions that do not give us loans. African Guyanese frequent hotels and restaurants and bars owned by people who are racism deniers. African Guyanese do not support their own media. In fact editor, we are now hearing that the sacrosanct space that historically belonged exclusively to Black barbers and hairstylists is being exploited by non African private ‘investors’.
Wealthy Black business owners and professionals have a responsibility to contribute to the development of African communities, not just as owners, but as partners, and investors who mentor and develop other Black businesses. Black lawyers should offer to support more struggles of the small man. How could the BV land grab issue be ignored?
Editor, I am not calling for the boycott of any business, but I think that African Guyanese should prioritize spending their dollars within the African Guyanese community. Support small businesses. Spread the word about a new business. We are in perilous times. Our businesses will die if we do not support them. African Guyanese must summon the courage of our ancestors who survived egregious evil and yet emerged organized and able to purchase land and villages, which we still possess today. Editor, we must not sell our lands. We must partner and create thriving businesses. We have to build and strengthen our communities or they will be swallowed up by the greedy barons of industry. Editor, there is no hope for us in this land if we do not support each other.