The Glover Report: Support National Black Business Month! Support Black Media!
“The Expansion Continues…”
By Doni M. Glover, www.bmorenews.com
This piece is a part of a series presented in conjunction with Associated Black Charities of Maryland’s “More In The Middle” Campaign to highlight the structural racism that stymies African American economic progress.
(WASHINGTON – August 1, 2012) – Happy Black Business Month to you! I first learned of this from my dear friend in Phillie, Norm Bond. For those who don’t know, Norm is a beast in the realm of business and community. He’s Chair of the National Alliance of Market Developers (NAMD).
The mission of NAMD is "to develop and foster business growth for African-Americans and other ethnic groups by serving as a conduit for learning, teaching and networking for success." They seek to "cultivate those aspects of the Black experience that can produce results" for their "constituency, community and institutions, both private and public."
And that’s exactly what Norm does every day. In addition, he also publishes www.BlackEconomicDevelopment.com.
Which leads me to … the Expansion. Norm and I have been working for the past two years to tighten our joint network. The goal back in November was to strengthen our ties around the country – beginning with the East Coast. We gave ourselves a year. We accomplished the goal in 6 months. The goal included he and I covering New York, Chicago, and Atlanta. We felt these key African American demographics would strengthen the independent black media network we’ve been building individually for the past decade; further, we believe that by partnering, cross-promoting, and the like – both our numbers would grow. And they have! Norm and I have agreed that by promoting each other, we strengthen our rankings.
What I admire and appreciate about Norm is that he is a person who thinks much like myself when it comes to marketing and when it comes to black folks making progress in America. Like myself, he is aware of the arsenal of tools and the mountains of opportunity awaiting black people if we can just get ourselves together.
Surely, black America is the most challenged community, population, demographic … in America. Anytime 39% of the men in America’s prisons are black men – when the entire black population is only 13.6%. Something is fundamentally wrong with this equation. Add to that the fact that America incarcerates at a higher rate than any nation on earth, and one begins to see a long history of the abuse of black people … a history which goes back to the days of the slave ship.
And that is one of the major reasons www.BMORENEWS.com’s tenants include business. We have seen where thriving black businesses are most likely to hire black people – including those with records. Given the numbers above, no serious conversation can be held about helping black America economically that does include ex-offenders. Why? There are too many! And I know like many others do that many of these men should not be in prison. I know that many of them are victims. And for the ones who are, in fact, criminal – maybe rehabilitation is a viable option. That concept has received much less attention than it once did. Maybe, there is more focus on the free labor force and the millionaires who are consequently created. Let’s be clear: prisons are big business in America. Again, we incarcerate at a higher rate than any nation on earth, and the number one customer is black men. Fastest rising demographic is black women.
To me, this is a 9-1-1 for the black community: Another broken generation having babies – further lending to the cycle of underdevelopment in a land where foreigners come here – not even speaking a lick of English – and navigate … and prosper.
Like Norm always says, it is time to better target our one trillion dollars in annual disposable income. Without managing our money, we find that others are more than willing to do so. Just look at the hair and beauty industry. Given all of the money black women spend on these products, this industry is dominated by the South Koreans - not black folks. We are consumers. We are super-users. But, we are not producing at the levels we could.
To me, that makes absolutely no sense at all. Yet, Tyrone can’t find a job. Why? Because we put our money in other people’s hands and best believe – fixing our community is not their top priority. That money leaves our community – one that is left with broken down schools and no recreation facilities.
Listen, I understand that there is no quick fix. However, surely we can do better than this. Surely, we can do a better job supporting each other in business. It only makes sense. And hey! You don’t have to like me. I don’t have to like you; but, what we “can” do is help each other. Even more, every other group does it.
And even more – we have done it in the past! Black Wall Street in Tulsa, in Durham, in Richmond – these were a reality: black folks making millions of dollars together because they recognized that the white man’s ice is not colder. Ice is ice, and if the black man’s got it – I need to go and get it from him. Period. End of story. Elvis has left the building.
Truth be told, we don’t need a black president to realize that nobody is going to fix our community but us. As we come together, other groups will be forced to respect us. But, right now – they don’t respect us. Why? Because we don’t respect ourselves!
If you want respect, you gotta give respect. And the first person who should get your respect is “you”!
As we better walk like the kings and queens that we are, the world will better appreciate us for our beauty. However, we must recognize our value first and foremost.
When Norm first told me about Black Business Month, I must say I was intrigued. I was eager to learn more because I had never heard of it – although the concept makes all the sense in the world to me. So, yesterday I took Norm’s suggestion and reached out to John William Templton of www.BlackMoney.com.
It was wonderful to speak to this California-based businessman who is like-minded in the sense that he, too, recognizes our untapped power and potential.
Templeton writesThe United States is again at the precipice of economic ruin. However, if these lessons of the past teach us anything it's that black achievement creates innovation that can put us all back to work. During the month of August, founders of National Black Business Month encourage reviewing the annual : “State of Black Business report to learn more about such innovators, and to seek out at least one black business each day of the month - calling it 31 Ways, 31 Days.”
He’ll be joining us on Tuesday, August 7th on Radio One’s WOLB 1010 AM in Baltimore (Streaming LIVE! at www.wolbbaltimore.com) from 10 to 11 am EST. That’s 7 am on the West Coast. During that show, we’ll discuss African American entrepreneurship, the need for the black press, and of course, National Black Business Month.
I should also mention that in addition to Norm Bond – there are others who we have joined up with as well in the Expansion, including New Jersey’s own LaQuay Juel and Charmil Davis. Juel runs www.BlackNJ.com and Davis is a multimedia journalist who covers everything from the New Jersey State House to the White House to Capitol Hill. Marc Polite (www.politeonsociety.com) , a new found friend in Harlem, is providing a lot of insight and perspective on black America from New York City. That’s always a needed piece – especially given the wealth of black history there in the #1 media market in the world. We should also mention Mark Gray with Heritage Sports Radio Network; Gray’s provocative commentaries have been flooding the web for years. And, there is our good friends Raynard Jackson (www.RaynardJackson.com) and Armstrong Williams (www.rightsidewire.com). Both men have been supportive of BMORENEWS.com for years.
Bottomline: Support Black Business! Support Black Media! If you don’t, nobody will! And truth be told, nobody is supposed to do for us what we can and should be doing for ourselves. All I will add is that if we can just get the black pastors and black elected officials in on this effort to support black business, there is no stopping black America from reaching its greatest potential.
Remember Black Wall Street!