PHILADELPHIA – December 4, 2011 – The past two weeks have been like heaven for the black business advocate buried deep in my bones. As the son of two entrepreneurial parents, sometimes I find this journey of chronicling black business progress so amazing.
From 116th Street in Harlem to the CEO Business Cafe in Prince George’s County, the wealthiest black jurisdiction in the country – to Philadelphia, black businesses rock! Always significant to me, I just think black businesses are a potent part of the solution to many of the challenges facing the black community. As the economic engine of the community, when they thrive – everything else falls into place.
From Annapolis to Baltimore’s City Hall, touting black businesses has long been a hallmark of www.BMORENEWS.com. Hence, if some progress is happening on the black business front, we want to know about it. More importantly, we want to tell the world.
So, from our Harlem visit two weeks ago to subsequent visits to Prince George’s County and most recently Philadelphia, I am proud to report that black business in America is alive and kicking! Despite the ills of this current economy, and despite any and every other challenge a black entrepreneur could face, the past two weeks have provided ample evidence that black businesses are cropping up all over the place.
And we, at BMORENEWS.com, are proud of them!
Yesterday, for instance, was so inspirational. Norm Bond and the National Alliance of Market Developers (NAMD) Philly (www.namdphiladelphia.com) put on their 10th Annual “Buy Black” Holiday Shopping Expo at First District Plaza (Market and 38th). Drawing local CBS attention, Bond continues his lifelong passion of helping us help us. You know, that whole ‘do for self’ model demonstrated by the likes of Marcus Garvey!
Five minutes alone with Norm Bond and one quickly realizes a serious individual, rooted in Afrocentrism, yet open to the need to explore global markets. Always moving forward, Bond consistently provides a platform for black business owners to connect locally, regionally, and nationally. He is currently the chairman of the NAMD.
The keynote was none other than Maggie Anderson of the Empowerment Experiment. She and her husband garnered national press when they went an entire year solely making purchases from black-owned businesses.
I’m not sure there is a greater black business advocate in this country than Maggie Anderson.
Best of all, though – Bond is wise enough to bring together the generations, including two dynamic young men I encountered yesterday – Jared Mallette of Gemini Press and Derek Rouse, VP of NAMD Philadelphia. While Mallette won the “60 Second Pitch” Contest, Rouse demonstrated his oratorical girth in his remarks. T’was a beautiful thing to see the next generation “get it!” It is always encouraging to see young entrepreneurs out here – ‘on their grind’ – seeking their destiny. Surely, they could be engaged in something non-productive, something illegal, something immoral. Instead, they are growing a business-oriented mindset with a positive attitude – one I’m sure spills over onto all who meet them.
(PICTURED: Norm Bond holds pre-release copy of “Our Black Year”)
I think Rev. Dr. Leon H. Sullivan would be proud of them all – for yesterday’s “Buy Black” Day was a classic demonstration of what black folks can do to better direct the nearly $1 trillion of annual black spending power. That’s one trillion dollars. Think about it!