Black Capitalists Used Markets to Fight Racism

Liberty Nation: In the 1959 Broadway play, A Raisin in the Sun, an impoverished black family uses a substantial insurance payment to purchase a home in an affluent and white neighborhood. Perturbed by the fact that black people would move into their community, a white representative from the area offers to buy the home to prevent them from planting roots. In the end, the family resists the offer and moves in anyway.

The odious and shameful circumstances in the play, which was turned into a stupendous 1961 motion picture starring legendary thespian Sidney Poitier, was quite common for black American families for much of the 20th century. There were generally two decisions for these households to make: Combat discrimination or concede defeat.

For J. Dallas Bowser and Philip Payton Jr., there was another option: Take advantage of people’s racial prejudice and use basic economics to profit from it.

‘Negro Finds Way to Wealth’

On August 18, 1900, The New York Times published a short but fascinating article, titled “Negro Finds Way to Wealth,” that described a black man who got rich through his neighbors’ racist ways.

Bowser, a teacher, poet, and newspaper publisher, acquired homes next to white people in wealthy neighborhoods and moved in. Homeowners in the neighborhood were so outraged by his presence that they were willing to purchase his home at an above-market price just to kick him out. This resulted in Bowser earning an “exorbitant profit.”

Unfortunately, a lot of irked people started finding out about this ingenious practice and proceeded to take action. According to The Times, attorneys Joseph Rust and Ross Latchaw pressed ridiculous charges against the man before the Board of Education, causing Bowser to stand trial.

How did Bowser defend himself? From the newspaper:

“Bowser read a long paper in his own defense, standing on his right as a free-born American citizen to live where he pleases and to sell his property at whatever price he can find a purchaser willing to pay.”

Thankfully, others followed in Bowser’s footsteps – and they heeded his advice of self-improvement.

Black Capitalist Crusaders

In basic economics, there is something called the “racist premium.” This means customers will pay more and receive less for their racial prejudice and business owners will lose money for either being racist or caving into the demands of their racist customers. What’s more important? Staying in business or closing down?

Philip Payton Jr., known as “the father of Harlem,” will not be taught in schools, mentioned by MSNBC, or be commemorated by Black Lives Matter. But he was an important figure in the early 20th century.  MORE HERE

7 Comments on Black Capitalists Used Markets to Fight Racism

  1. If a white applied the same scheme in a area predominately black you’d be murdered and house burned to the ground in a matter of days.
    And the left would cheer!

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  2. This is attitude now against pro-American Trump supporters.

    All the hatred and intolerance the Democrats had toward blacks are now trained on us.

    Imagine if we had violent protests and set the government against anyone associated with Obama when he was elected. Why does the media feel smugly superior reporting these attacks when directed against the current president’s supporters?

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  3. This practice used to be called block busting. Use a black family as a beard while realtors bought up the homes of fleeing whites at depressed prices to sell them at inflated prices to blacks.

    Turned solid neighborhoods into slums. Just look at Harlem, Bedford Stuyvesant, Chicago, Philly, St Louis.

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  4. I thought the whites got together and decided to let a few blacks be successful. So they took risks like the rest of us? How equal.

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  5. Got a show coming up in the fall called “The Neighborhood” **starring** Cedric the E>>>>>>>>> about a white family moving in to a black neighborhood. Take the jokes and make them about a black family with the same scenario and — wow that show is racist.

    Wait until you see who “Grover” Johnson is.

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  6. In my old neighborhood, if the houses typically sell for $200k, the blacks live in the $250k houses.

    It’s simple economics. Most of the higher priced houses were foreclosed by 2010. The foreclosure process is brutal on a house. It sits dirty, unrepaired and with no utilities for about 12-18 months. Vandals sometimes have their way with the property. Then when the bank regains possession, they either sell it or repair it. The new investor or the bank takes on the added repair cost and when the dust settles, the property is still severely overvalued. The problem is, nobody with normal means who needs a loan to buy it can convince the lender that it’s worth its asking price.

    So what happens? Well, the property is either managed by the new investor as a rental, or the bank gets a management company to rent the property.

    But how do you justify $1800/month in rent while most houses in the area are mortgaged for $1100/month?

    Black people!

    Housing vouchers, section 8, whatever you want to call it. When someone else is paying for it, you will gladly live in a white neighborhood in the most expensive house on the block!

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