Payday has rolled in. The budget is set for the week but coming up short. This scenario has played out for many of us, especially during these lean pandemic and recessionary times. However, there has been a shift in how Black folks handle this.
Capitalist societies scream, “cash is king!” but it wasn’t always. Many of the expansive and formidable African empires that ruled the ancient world were built on bartering. They traded everything from fabrics to furs to livestock, shells, and feathers.
Our ancestors’ kingdoms viewed value through goods and services. Perhaps, it’s been ingrained into our DNA because we’ve begun doing the same thing. Our talents, goods, and time all hold value, and now, we’re using that to build something better.
From hair stylists to local grocers, some in the Black community have begun turning to bartering goods and services and relying less on monetary value. We’re doing what our ancestors have done before us: building wealth, strength, unity, and power in our community.
African empires existed hundreds of years before and held more wealth than the Greek and Roman civilizations we’ve been taught to idolize. More importantly, these nations have left us the blueprint that can help us liberate ourselves from feeling the weight of hard economic times.