September 5th, 2013 Thursday
From: Brother Tracy Gibson
Activist / Uncle / Educator / Lecturer / Writer / Fund Raiser / Philanthropist / Worker
Founder, President and CEO OF:
The Black Millionaire’s Network
Post Office Box 42878
Philadelphia, Pa 19101-2878
Important Letter From The What Must Be Done Series # 1.
To: Mr. Michael Jeffrey Jordan
333 East Trade Str.
Charlotte, North Carolina 28202
Dear Mr. Jordan:
I hope this letter finds you and your family well. I am writing you with some economic concerns I have centering on some of your business practices and some suggestions for improvements. First, I want to commend you on reaching such a high point in business. This is no small feat for a Black man, even for a major athlete such as yourself. Congratulations!!! Second of ALL I refuse to believe that a man, such as yourself, who supported the making of the highly important historical and cultural document called ``Malcolm X,’’ a vital, courageous and exciting film made by Mr. Spike Lee back in the 1980’s can be all bad. I know that you and other supporters of the making of that film such as Ms. Janet Jackson and Mr. William Cosby, had to think that decision over because of the political volatility inherent in Mr. Malcolm X’s life and how that volatility would certainly HAVE to spill over into the film about Malcolm. I know this was not an easy decision and you had to think about the economic hit you three might take as a result of the film being released with your names associated with it. It took guts, courage and fortitude to give that film the go-ahead and to shell out the money for Mr. Lee’s project. I never formally thanked you or the other two investors, so I want to take the time now and to that. Thank you so much for supporting the Malcolm X Film. I recently watched it once again and continue to find it not only important, but a dramatic, Well-made, Well-thought-out, Well-directed, Well-acted and entertaining film. Denzel Washington, I know, should have received the Academy Award for his portrayal of the Black Nationalist leader for the Malcolm X film along with the other awards He received.
But, as my very much alive and Well Sister, MRs. Claudia Aziza Gibson Hunter, an artist and activist in Her own right, has pointed out, the missing equation in the Malcolm X film was the economic component that The Nation of Islam brought to the table for the Black community. The NOI was very instrumental in bringing fresh fish, baked goods and such items as the famous bean pie to many, many Black families in North America and other parts of the world during the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s. This FACT was never mentioned in the film or ever even shown in any Way. The NOI played and still continues to play an important economic role in our communities.
In Philadelphia, along 52nd Str, from Baltimore Avenue in the South and from Lancaster Avenue in the North I have proposed this district be called Africa Town and that many, many BLACK stores and businesses be given all due possibilities to flourish and grow there. I am by no means the first person or the only person to work on and or promote the Pro-Africa Town issue in Philadelphia or in other areas of the country…. There are probably a good 2000 people who have worked on or are working on this issue besides me in Philadelphia and in other cities.
There is a thriving China Town in Philadelphia and an historically established Italian Market. The Pennsylvania Dutch are also allowed to work in various sections of the city and sell their fresh fruits, vegetables and baked goods, most notable at 30th Street Station. Other ethnic groups are also allowed and encouraged to sell their items in certain parts of town. However, there is no such section set up for people of African descent to sell their items in an on-going, consistent and successful manner that is fully supported in any multitude of Ways by the City of Philadelphia, the Visitor’s Bureau, The Mayor’s Office, The State of Pa, The Federal Government and the City Council of Philadelphia. There is certainly a level of anger and resentment among Blacks in Philadelphia at being left as consumers only, and not being allotted a specifically designated space or spaces to flourish along business lines so our community can become viable, stable and so money can have a chance to breath needed economic life back into our community.
The city of Detroit’s City Council denied that Michigan town’s Black community the right to forge ahead with the development and formation of their own Africa Town. The result 10 years later has been the default of that city economically. We can only imagine what Detroit would have been like – [a City with less crime, a thriving city economically, a HUB in the Upper Mid-West, a place where Black people could have gone to successfully find employment and economic opportunities]—had their Africa Town been given the go-ahead to develop and thrive. We know what trouble Detroit is in now due in large part to the aborted efforts of Her people to develop Africa Town. We don’t want that to happen here in Philadelphia. So, I’m asking you and your wealthy friends such as LeBron James, William Cosby, Janet Jackson, Aretha Franklyn, Jay-Z and Beyonce, John Legend, Angela Bassett, Danny Glover, Oprah Winfree and whoever else who might want to get involved in the project to come to Philadelphia and take part in a meeting with, some select Black Churches such as: The Church of the Advocate, Zion Baptist Church, Enon Baptist Church, The Unity Fellowship Christ Church of Philadelphia, Arch Street United Methodist Church and New Vision Church at Broad and Westminster Avenue, OIC and the Urban League and some more Grass Roots concerns here to talk about and help convince our City Council that what we need is a diverse, thriving and developing section designated as Africa Town so Black People can feel, once again, safe and proud to shop among our own People right here in the City of Brotherly LOVe…
Some of the Benefits of an Africa Town Will Provide include:
· The Creation of a source of consistent economic support for the Black Community in Philadelphia which will help stabilize said community.
· A Place from which pride and a feeling of inclusiveness can spring for the Black community here.
· A viable place for the City of Philadelphia to collect taxes from.
· A place where Black youthful business people Will gather grass-roots experience in the Business community that will translate into very useful business experience in general..
· A Place where we can generate and support positive Black cultural events [such as dance, poetry readings, traditional studio art and photography, film, theater, and music] that will be a HUB for many other events in the City.
· A help in cutting back on the local unemployment rate [especially for Black males.].
I am afraid that because of the history of the country we live in, Africa Town Will have to be protected and I mean Well-protected. Just look at the events that occurred in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the 1920 when The Black Wall Street was torn down and burned and over 300 Black people were killed in a race riot sparked by an incident involving White Supremists -- and you know what I’m talking about. We have to be sure that this does NOT happen again. We have to be realistic and ever vigilant in protecting our rights as Well as our property and people. I would be more than willing to help set up such a meeting for late October of this year  because this matter is timely and crucial for our development as a City. Please contact me in as many Ways as you can concerning this matter and as soon as possible...
On another matter, I know full Well of your economic involvement with the Nike Company. I am sure it has been a lucrative and rewarding relationship for you that has resulted in the sale of hundreds of pairs of sneakers for Nike Company. However, as I am sure has been pointed out to you in the past, Nike Company has been consistently criticized for their continued use of slave wages; sweat shops; and questionable and often illegal practices in the treatment and wage levels of their employees in place like New York City, South Korea, Kenya and Mozambique. While I applaud your economic advancement as a Black man, I am very critical of and concerned about your acceptance of Nike Company policies that have a real tendency to be exploitative, unconcerned about human rights, and generally non-compliant with the suggestions and policy improvements that progressive political groups concerned with economic exploitation at the Nike Company have suggested for Nike. Such Progressive Political groups, if they have a track record and have been working on this issue for some time, MUST be considered seriously and their demands and suggestions MUST be incorporated into Nike policy. Otherwise, I am asking that Your company sever ties with Nike. It is my deepest hope and wish that you step up to the plate and hit a home run on this one the Way Jackie Robinson Did for the Brooklyn Dodgers back in the Ole DAYS and say no to such disappointing corporate policies that allow such exploitation and economic degradation to exist. Every time I see Black and poor people wearing Nike sneakers I think how they are actually supporting their own oppression and are unaware of the negative track record of Nike Company in regards to human rights and worker’s rights. There are even homeless people who I talk to and relate with everyday who wear Nike Company sneakers and they continue to be unaware of how they are supporting policies, through Nike, that are keeping them down, poor, disenfranchised and homeless. I very much wish to hear from you on this matter as Well. It is gravely important.
I look forward to hearing from you very soon. There are thousands of business people in Philadelphia who need to hear from you and who want to meet you—a true SuperStar!!!!.
Peace and Blessings,
Brother Tracy Gibson…