Interview with Dr. John O. Brown

So self determination in an economic vein is part of the answer--


It is a large part of the answer. I mean you see the groups coming in, even the Haitians, the Jamaicans, all those groups are coming in from the islands and they are really participating in the economics of this community and businesses enterprises to a much greater degree than the Blacks of this area. Now, I talked with Alex Haley many years ago. And, ah, he tried to explain to me one of the reasons why the American Black of the South, the Black of the South was so far behind the Blacks from the Islands. And he said when we talk about the big plantations of the South and everything like Tara in Gone With The Wind, that that is really a myth. He said, the slaves that were sold in the South were sold one by one or two by two or maybe threes or something like that, to sharecroppers. These slaves came from different tribes. They didn't know each other. They couldn't communicate, spoke different languages. They were against each other. The only thing they could do was vie for the favors from the master, telling on each other. So they were against each other from the very beginning. See, in Jamaica and Barbados and places like that, when ships would come in with slaves, they were all from the same tribe, the same families and they were sold in large numbers. So they communicated. They were together there. When they come over here they had still had a togetherness. They had been oriented to business. They know what this capitalistic system is all about.