With apologies to those of the Cloth!
When I hear the classic line “Am I My Brother’s Keeper” my mind immediately leaps frog past Genesis 4:19 (you know, the Cain and Abel Story) and shamelessly races to my all time favorite gangsta movie, “New Jack City” . . . you know the hood flick starring street pharmacist, Nino Brown and G-Money!
With respect to Ice Cube, and Boyz N The Hood, New Jack City, is the holy grail of black gangsta flicks!
It’s our Scarface, Good fellas, and Godfather 1, 2, and 3, all rolled up into one.
We boldly recite Chris Rock’s character – Pookie’s – classic line “It Be Calling Me” like others celebrate Al Pacino’s poignant “Say Hello To My Little Friend”
Oh, right! I guess it’s just me then?
Who among us didn’t cringe when Nino Brown played by Wesley Snipes (the dude who made dark skin the flavor of the 80‘s) violently drove a bronze 4-foot sword through R & B singer Christopher Williams’s right hand and proclaimed I never liked you any way you pretty mama’s boy!
(Okay, it’s slightly sanitized for Facebook, but you clearly recall the final phrase Nino uttered)
If you’re anything like me a (studio gangsta) you were moved to tears, when Nino caught up to G-Money at the top of the Carter; pulled out a silver .38 special and callously pulled the trigger as a frighten G-Money tried to stave off the inevitable by shouting . . . CMB, CMB – Cash Money Brothers! We All We Got!
Like many of YOU, that was the last I heard of G-Money until I received a call last week from a good friend of mine record producer / network marketing extraordinaire Merecco Turner – who said, I’ve got G-Money on the line and he’d like to speak to YOU about a book project and a movie deal.My nose was opened wide!
Make no mistake – I thought G-Money was a fictional character – who met with a brutal ending – in a made up hood classic!
To my surprise, I had a surreal conversation with one of Harlem’s finest!
While the real Nino is fulfilling his double life sentence, it blew my mind to know G-Money is actually a bonafide hood superstar, having hosted the Apollo for dozens of headline events, a guy who made a small fortune as a world class voice impersonator, and spends weekends as a man of the cloth!
As we wrapped up our amazing talk – G-Money jubilantly shouted, Am I My Brother’s Keeper? Temporarily at a lost for words I answered like Nino Brown would . . . with my chin up, I boldly proclaimed “Yes, I Am”
There was a quirky silence, followed by G-Money’s buoyant laughter.
He said, I’d passed the test and excitedly invited me to be part of his film project, the launching of his memoir and most importantly, the reigniting of the CMB – Cash Money Brother’s an Inner City initiative to parlay wealth in the African American community by introducing disenfranchised Youth to Wall Street.
Although, initially caught off guard, what G-Money asked, struck a cord with me.
Am I My Brothers Keeper?
It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was eating good, but was I really my Brother’s Keeper?
Where was my reciprocity?
Say for the time we balled out on PATTI PIES or the weekend spent battling “Winter Storm Jonas” you know delivering warm meals to the elderly, rescuing kittens, and digging out neighbors who we rarely speak to . . . Are we really our Brother’s Keeper?
Based on the numbers, I submit, WE are more like crabs in the barrel, squirreling away our coins, talents and mentorships, rather than building a pool of entrepreneurs that are on fire!
I’m told by reliable sources that Asian Americans circulates money in their community (banks, local retailers, and business professionals) up to 28 days, before it is spent outside of their community
* In the Jewish community, the circulation period is 19 days.
* In predominantly white areas, the number is 17 days.
* Hispanics keep their dollar a paltry 7 days.
* Embarrassingly, in the black community, the dollar circulates just 6 lousy hours!!!
I submit, many of us have forgotten that we are in FACT biblicaly and literally our Brothers Keepers.
As we approach February – “Black History Month” – Let’s do more than sport a kente cloth, complain about how we’re given the shortest month to celebrate our historical significance, or quote I have a Dream.
Why not do something radical like patronize a series of black owned restaurants, mentor an aspiring entrepreneur, retain an African American realtor or begin hosting events where you highlight rising African American clothing designers, filmmakers, manufacturers, and dare I say AUTHORS?
If we are successful in this endeavor, I believe Solopreneurs will see exponential growth, The Have Nots, will morph into the Haves, and the choir, well they’ll begin mimicking G-Money shouting, I Am My Brother’s Keeper. “WE ALL WE GOT”
Edward E. Felder, Jr. MBA, is a burgeoning Small Business Financier, a 3 time Bestselling Author, and creator of The Funding Guy Cartoon Series.
His most recent book “Let Them Eat Cake: Haters Gonna Hate, Bankers Gonna Deny – YOU BUILD WEALTH!” is available at www.TheFundingGuy.com
For growth capital, or to learn strategies on building community wealth email HERE.