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The Economic, Social and Cultural Council [ECOSOCC] of the African Union [EU]. welcomed Pan-African activists from Africa, the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Australia to the Global Africa Diaspora Convention that was held from November 19 – 22 in Washington, DC and Baltimore, Maryland.
Dr. Adisa and his immediate supervisor, Dr. Joseph Chilengi, the Presiding Officer of ECOSOCC, had come to the Baltimore-Washington area to participate in a series of meetings and discussions designed to introduce African Descendants and Continental Africans to the AU’s efforts to connect with the 300 million-plus people of African descent who live around the world outside the Continent of Africa.
After a Welcome Reception that was held on the evening of Thursday, November 19 at the African Union Mission in Washington, DC, the venue changed to the Best Western Hotel and Conference Center in East Baltimore for two days of plenary sessions and breakout conferences centered around specific aspects of African Diaspora involvement with the AU, including women, youth, the nature of the African Diaspora, research, academics, business, economics, culture and the arts.
The weekend was capped by an Interfaith Service at Metropolitan AME Church in Washington, DC on Sunday, November 22.
The Convention was a welcome reminder of the AU’s 2006 invitation for the Diaspora to become involved in “the building of the African Union.” This weekend served as a springboard for several initiatives being promoted by African Diaspora organizations for economic development and grassroots representation for the Diaspora in the AU. Dr. Chilengi stressed, “the Diaspora as a region needs to put in place framework mechanisms for ensuring that you play your role insofar as The Africa We Want is concerned. … We need the skills and the resources of the Diaspora.”
See KUUMBAReport Online and the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus Website for full statements from the Convention
A movement that has been building for sometime is The Black Boycott of Black Friday. Black Friday has developed as a concerted marketing program by major corporate retailers to massage and cause the conspicuous buying and consumption of the American public during the holiday season – a season that is continually being redefined to begin earlier in the year; now as early as August. At issue of course is the targeted campaigns designed at the Black and poor to get them to purchase products irrespective of need, but to focus on unbridled desires, status and symbolism – however meaningless. The corporations we speak of are white owned corporations that systematically exploit and drain the Black community/economy 365-days of the year, without compassion or consciousness regarding the devastation they wreak. These same corporations engage in and support the systematic endemic racist domination and tyranny of Black people.
The Black Boycott has as one of its many objectives that of bringing the plight of Black Americans to consciousness of corporate America by hitting it in the pocket – i.e. through economic withholdings. Another goal of the Boycott is to create greater unity among Black people in taking action against those forces that are terrorizing and killing Black people, such as the seemingly national actions of police departments. The Black Boycott is also aimed at national, regional and local politicians to reform racist policies and laws, to change government practices towards helping Black people, rather than treating Black people as the enemy.
The Black Boycott has as it fundamental goal the empowerment and improved health and welfare of Black people. It remains to be seen if a significant percentage of Black people will respond to the call to shut down the wanton spending over this season and keep their ‘Black-Dollars” at home.
Heru-Ka Anu, Owner of African American Media publisher of Business directories announces the creation of 'In The Black' Business/Consumer Groups – including ITB-Business Group; ITB-Financial Literacy and Wealth Group; the ITB-Conscious Consumer Group. Anu indicated that creating the three groups is necessary.
The ITB-Business Group seeks to address Black Business needs as it relates to new business, business growth, business advocacy, and business promotion. That a disproportionate number of our businesses fail within the first 1-3 years is detrimental to our overall economic stability and wellbeing. It is the goal of the ITB-Business Group to support our businesses in a way that they can not only survive but thrive.
The ITB-Financial Literary and Wealth Group is created to support our people in money management and creating long-term wealth. As it stands now many of our people fail to create wealth; instead we lose wealth because of not knowing what to do to raise money, save money, and what to do with it when we have it. For example, throughout the year we hear of Black millionaires going bankrupt largely due to financial ignorance, whether related to failure to save, invest, or properly manage their money. This kind of financial loss is experienced across the board. The ITB-Financial Literary and Wealth Group objective is to bring solutions to our crisis.
The ITB-Conscious Consumer Group is created to address the unconscious spending behavior of African Americans. In spite of the reports touting increased ‘Black consumer spending power’, the truth is just the opposite, what we see is an increase of Black dollars going out of the Black community into the coffers of other peoples. Our goal is to raise the consciousness of Black Consumers and support their spending within the Black Community.
The ITB Groups meet on Mondays at 6:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M. at The Cultural Center; 6037 Liberty Road, Baltimore, Md 21207. Those interested in joining should contact Heru-Ka Anu at: 443-453-3010 or write to Admin@InTheBlack.info.
Business Leader and Entrepreneur Lou Fields convened a business summit at the legendary Arch Social Club to promote Black business growth, unity, and advocacy. The theme: From Ferguson to Baltimore: Black Business Owners – It’s Time to Come Together!
The event was attended by several dozen businesses owners, political leaders - including Councilman Mosby; and Business leaders – including Eartha Harris of the Tight Knit Group, Glenard Middleton, Sr of AFSCME, Doni Glover of D.M. Global, and David Murphy of The National Portal.
Master of Ceremony for the evening, Louis "Lou" Fields talked about the recent uprising in Baltimore at the very intersection – North Ave and Pennsylvania Ave – where the Business Summit was held. Included in his remarks were reasons that lead to the uprising, such as racism, economic exploitation and developmental neglect on the part of local government and major corporations. He indicated an importance of the Summit was to get out in front of initiatives that local government and other business organizations might put forward that would further exploit the plight of the community rather than help.
Fields called for unity and collective action on the part of Black People of all sectors – business, government, social and civic leaders, education, and concerned citizens – to transform the conditions of not only those impoverished and neglected in the immediate area, but to address the plight of Black Baltimore as a whole. Remarks were also made by the various leaders in attendance regarding what they were doing specifically and pertaining to what needs to be done to transform the specific conditions of Black business, and the general conditions of Black People.
Participants in the BBS exhibited their products and promoted their services. Also each was given an opportunity to address the audience regarding their respective business. Business proprietors included: Doreen Toran – Execuhome Realty; Lisa Fields – Ray of Hope; Donald Williams – First Financial security, Inc.; Jerri w. Vincent – Supportive System Care; Cynthia Jahi – Movments Unlimited; Theresa Neal – Advance Realty Perspectives; and numerous others. While some used the opportunity to talk of their business, a few addressed business needs, and community needs.
Lou Fields encouraged attendees to network and forge coalitions for future actions. He also employed attendees to join the national ‘Black Wall Street’ initiative to grow Black business in Baltimore and elsewhere across the nation.
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African Union Convention in Baltimore MD
I attended the African Union (AU) Diaspora Stakeholders Convention this past weekend (Friday 21st & Saturday 22nd) in Baltimore MD. I was impressed at the turnout of African people from across the globe, especially, with representatives from Australia and South America – a truly PanAfrican event. The convention leaders and participants addressed topics related to the relationships, place, and role of Africans outside of the African continent in the collective development of African people as a whole.
Events like this of course are often met with challenges, nevertheless, by what was shared with me through various conversations and observations this was a successful, as it was a necessary, working meeting.
I was especially impressed with the women’s contingency that addressed structural issues relating to women in the AU organization, leadership and as builders in the global goal and objectives of the PanAfricanist agenda.
For more information visit the AU website: Click Here
I attended the Smart Business Event hosted by the Baltimore County Executive and the Baltimore County Council and the Department of Economic and Workforce Developement.
The event was well organized, presented and attended. There were various agencies from throughout Baltimore County, Baltimore City and including State and Federal agencies also.
I must say I was very impressed with all that was offered for the entrepreneur and the established business person. I would have liked to have been able to promote this event. However, there two more such events to be announced; and as soon as I know about it you will. In the meantime for details do visit the website: Click Here
Morgan Business Center, home of the Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management
Getting A Piece of the 40-Billion African American Tourism Dollars
Here is a worthwhile read regarding a collaboration between African American hotel owners and tne U.S. Black Chamber of Commerse regarding establishing business infrastructure to capture a portion of the 40-billion dollars African Americans spend on tourism. See the article: Click Here
The Failing and Struggle of Black Banks
The following article reports on the failing and struggles of Black Banks and to a larger financial crisis facing Black/African American people. See the article: Click Here
De-Dollarization It's Called
In our, that is African American, quest to recover from the 'financial tsunami' that crippled us over the last six years, there is an initiative on the part of several countries known as the 'BRICS' - Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa - to introduce a new global economic structure to better empower their countries, and to break the economic strangle-hold of the U.S. This new formation is destined to have a significant on us African Americans; hence we should look at the pros and cons of this to determine a course of action. Here is a link to a story outlining what 'BRICS' is about: Read: De'Dollarization
The Mid-Term Elections
The sence of feeling I'm getting from numerous Black People as a result of the republicans mid-term election victory is that of dread, as though they just inherited a tyranical slave master... Nevermind that the overwhelming democratic majority did virtually nothing in favor of, or on behalf of Black people. When do we come to grips with the 'white agenda' that both parties have, and instead of chasing their rear-end discards adopt and press forward the 'Black Agenda' that has been so well articulated and demonstrated by the likes of Booker T Washington, Marcus Garvey, Amos Wilson, Claude Anderson, and others?
The time is long overdue for dispencing with misguided self-centered sell-outs and embrace the Black Agenda that puts Black People first and promises empowerment and fortune for us all.
I attended the Vegan SoulFest yesterday. I was impressed and inspired by the overall event. The organizers tapped into a true need and desire on the part of Black People to access and practice a holistic/life-centered lifestyle. The participants and attendess were outstanding. The even was filled to capacity the entire time I was there.
An important and neccesary feature is that of seeing Black product manufactures, wholesalers, retailers, organizers and advocates in the 'vegan' industry.
Question: How are we as a people expected to progress economically without a Black Economic Agenda, and without 'Black Economic Leaders'? We are are in a crisis of tremendous proportions without a plan or actions to address it.
We must find a way to create and broaden our pool of Black Business Leaders, and well as create and maintain truly effective Black Business Programs. That we suffered the loss of more than half of our wealth - 1-trillion - dollars to White business manipulation (particularly, via the banks) tells us we must create economic self-reliance and independence.
I attended the networking event and birthday party celebration of Ertha Harris and the Tight Knit Movement. I had a really good time networking and dancing; oh, and especially the treat of meeting a few 'long-time-no-see' friends.
Tight Knit Movement is a black business force on the rise...Be sure to join them.
Launching the Black Business Forum radio program is a step in the right direction.
Just got wind that one of my favorite seafood restaurants is closed - Fresh Fresh Seafood. This restaurant run by Ricky and Darleen offered the best seafood at a reasonable price.
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