Nipsey Hussle lived an exemplary life as a living blueprint for what it looks like to be an active participant in the betterment of one’s own community. His death sparked inspiration globally, but most specifically, amongst the neighborhoods of Black America. The conversation around “buying back the block” and being the change we want to see in our own backyards took a shot of adrenaline. Of course, it’s not enough just to talk about it. We have to be about it with tangible actions that will result in the very things we’re hoping to see. In the name of the late great Nipsey Hussle, here are three ways you can be hands-on in developing your neighborhood and support your neighborhood Nip right around the corner.
Buy Black Locally
The first and easiest step to investing in your neighborhood is to buy from your neighborhood. Get your hair and nails done at Black beauty salons. Purchase your clothing from Black-owned retail stores. Services like carpeting, plumbing, landscaping, and more should all be purchased from Black-owned businesses. There’s a reason why everything from beauty supply stores to local convenient stores are placed all throughout Black neighborhoods but are seldom Black-owned. They know the value of the Black dollar. Instead of allowing other nationalities to come into our communities and take our money with no plans of reinvesting back into our local needs, put your money in the hands of the people who look like you. Pay the people who will take that money and invest it into the same resources all of your children will reap the benefits of.
Get Involved in Local Government and School Boards
Local governments are forms of public administration that establish laws, rules, and regulations in cities and towns. These are your mayors, police chiefs, and housing administrators who determine what everyday life is like. Many of your city’s rules and the people who make them are not working in your favor. Key decision makers hold regular meetings to decide what those rules are and how they will be administered. The school board operates by the same function, carving out your child’s educational experience. Invest the necessary time to make sure your city or town is operating in your favor.
Purchase Commercial and Residential Real Estate
Finally, buy back the block. Forget the luxury cars, clothes, jewelry, and everything else that depreciates in value the moment you buy it. You and your friends can pool that same money together to purchase real estate that generates profit. As an owner, it makes sense to offer storefronts and homes that are affordable for your community. As a renter, you wouldn’t mind paying rent that’s putting money into circulation to keep your neighborhood healthy and generating income. It’s time we stop thinking like consumers. It’s time we start behaving like the communal village that our bloodline hails from. With these three steps, we can get there in due time.