Black Business Expo Chugs On
The turnout at the third Prince William County Black Business Expo may not have been what Karl Brower was expecting, but the chair of the local NAACP Economic Development Committee still has high hopes for the endeavor.
While acknowledging that the event, held on October 26 at Ebenezer Baptist Church, 13020 Telegraph Road in Woodbridge, Va., had lower than anticipated business participation, Brower is hoping the event becomes a routine for local vendors. “We’d like the vendor community to come to the table and provide the sweat equity to pull this event off,” says Brower. “Then we can put more effort into getting people and other organizations, such as sororities, fraternities and churches, to support this event.”
Sponsored by the Prince William County NAACP in partnership with the Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce, a main feature of the expo is an all-day raffle where winners get Afro Bucks to spend exclusively at the vending booths.
Looking ahead to future events, Brower would like to see more participation from businesses with the capacity to offer job opportunities to expo visitors, and he’d like to feature entertainment as a draw. Until next year’s event, Brower encourages us to keep supporting each other’s business endeavors. “When we support black-owned businesses,” he says, “we are supporting our communities.”
Author Recalls Bridging a Divide
Speaking of supporting our endeavors, I finally made it to a book signing for good friend Dr. Nemata Blyden, who has been doing the rounds promoting her book, African Americans and Africa: A New History (Yale University Press, 2019).
In a previous post, I highlighted the book’s exploration of the relationship between African Americans and Africa from the era of slavery to the present.
The signing was at my alma mater, Howard University, so it was good to “come home” to the Mecca. The audience, as would be expected, was mostly students, listening raptly as Dr. Blyden discussed, among other topics, her own college years serving as an informal bridge between African and African American students.
Dr. Blyden, who was born in Massachusetts to an African American mother and a father from Sierra Leone, spent much of her formative years growing up in Africa. When she returned to the United States for college, black students who knew of her African and African American heritage, would seek her out to inquire about the other group. African Americans and Africa: A New History is available at Yale University Press and on Amazon.
Buy Black This Holiday!
Dr. Blyden’s book would make a good gift for the history buff in the family. But why stop there? Need more “buy black” holiday gift giving and gift getting ideas? Check out my December Buy Black Blog where I will feature black-owned businesses and services where you can spend your holiday dollars.
To make the Buy Black blog post a success, I am calling on businesses and services to secure a spot in the listing for only $25. You get a brief blurb featuring a photo or logo representing your product or service and a link to your website or contact information. I have more than 1,000 subscribers and post my blog link on other social media that reach thousands more!
Please reach out soon. I hope to have the blog post up by November 29, so we can make it a true Black Friday!
Contact me at [email protected] to sign up or for more information.