African-Americans were able to build communities such as Black Wall Street & Rosewood; as well as make great strides in industry and state-craft in the Reconstruction Era because we were engage in many of those actives during the Era of Chattel Slavery.
Africans didn’t just pick cotton, we engaged in all forms of agriculture and pre-industrial industry. Africans also (to our discredit) manged the processing, distribution, labor management, and other administrative duties on the Plantation and throughout the Colonial and US economy.
So, upon Emancipation we were well positioned to out pace the White masses in economics, governance, and culture.
Del Jones frequenly stated: “We came here educated!” So, it’s not surprise when give the space and opportunity we’d thrive in all areas of human interaction, dispute the trauma of enslavement; this same is true for today BTW.
I don’t really like the comparisons between Africans enslaved in the US vs. those enslaved in the Islands; I think we need to give both populations respect, we are the same damn people, just under different material and environmental circumstances.
In the Islands and South America Africans were able to establish free and independent nations like the Maroon Settlements and the Quilombos, while African enslaved in the US were never able to do so; there were wide scale Slave Revolts in the Islands while there were no sustained revolts in the US; there were large and wealthy Black Economic Enclaves established by Emancipated Africans in the US, but none of such a scale in the Islands or Latin America; the list goes on.
These differences are the result to the climate and nature of the Systems of Oppression, and have nothing to do with African-Americans being better or worse than Afro-Caribbeans, or Afro-Latinos.
White the US was industrialized the Islands remained essentially agrarian cultures, while the US was a “free” Republic, the Islands remained under direct colonial rule for decades after emancipation, the US was awash with arable & “undeveloped” land, while the Islands had just a fraction of land to expand on and develop; this is why our AC Brothers and Sisters don’t have their own versions of Black Wall Street.
Also, I think it was a mistake for us to build our own Wall Street, or to engage in Black Capitalism; and it frustrates me that we have New Negros today calling for us to replicate the mistakes of our honored ancestors.