Self-help and self-determintion has been a hot topic amoung African-Americans since the end of Slavery.

As a people, African-Americans have been denied self-determination by social edict. There movements, ways of dress, ways of speech, and even ways of worship have been dictated to them by social edict.

During the 1960¹s Black became beautiful, and African-Americans began to take charge of their appearence, minds and thoughts and decided that they could do things for themselves for a change.

Recent evidence indicates that more and more African-Americans are taking charge of their lives in various ways. One way is starting their own businesses.

It is a little known fact that African-American¹s had more community- based businesses before integration than after.

Today, thanks to the internet, Many African-Americans are no longer counting on a simple ? to 5?to get them by They are throwing up Afrocentric websites and selling their wares on line.

When I first arrived in San Francisco, California I was leaving the grocery store when a Gay man of about 60 yelled at me, ³You won¹t get very far with your Black shit!!?br>
At first I was offended. But as the years passed, I realized in a certain way, he was right.

The sight of a tall Black man in Afro-Indian clothing with dreadlocks seems to make people in the corporate world very uncomfortable.

It¹s all about image. And that image is one that Corporate America has been trying t erradicate for some time.

However, as I¹ve always said, ³The Internet don¹t care if your colored!?br>
Acess to the internet for African-Americans becomes easier every day. Here are a few low-cost tips for starting your own business on-line with very little money.

FREE E-MAIL: There are no end of websites (some Black-owned) where you can get a 100% free e-mail account. All you have to do is sign up!

FREE WEB PAGES: Just like free E-mail there are many companies that offer a small amount of web space for absolutely free!

LOW COST WEBSITES: Can¹t afford a website? There are actual websites you can run your business from with all types of features for anywhere from $5 to $50 a month!

FREE ADVERTISING: This is one I make liberal use of myself. Until you can afford to advertise your business in a big way, make use of all the free resources out there. There are tons of them to be found on any search engine!

USED COMPUTERS: One of the biggest stumbling blocks to African-Americans getting on the web has been the price of a computer. My advice would be to scour the classifieds for used computer ads. I actually got mine when my best friends company auctioned off their old models. I got a keyboard, moniter, and cpu, for $35! I bought a brand new modem for $90. AOL was free for the first month, and I was in business!

African-Americans face extra hurdles to sucess that others do not. Self-doubt. Self-hate. An over-riding fear that ³the white man?won¹t let you have anything. Lack of access to information, and financing.

But information is only a click away on the internet, and public libraries now have internet access! And as for financing; well let¹s just say that the $150 you spent on those new ³AIR JORDANS?could have been spent on a new bsuiness for yourself!


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