What Should You Take Away from the Black Expo 2015
by William Jackson, M.Ed.
Teacher of the Year, Instructor at Edward Waters College
Social Media Visionary with Reader Theater and
Empowerment Resources, Mentor in 5000 Role Models
and Supporter of E3 Business Group North Florida Chapter
Blogger, Social Media Presenter, Community Activist
The Black Expo of 2015 can be seen as a success in many
ways not just economically, although that is important in its
significance to show the value of Black dollars. The cultural
influences of businesses, entrepreneurs, ministries, educational
entities, community based groups that work with youth, teens,
young adults and even the seniors of the community can be
seen as a polarizing force for community unification, cultural
pride and social influence. #BlackBusinessesDoMatter
The Black Expo should be seen that in order for Blacks to see
economic change in their communities they must make the changes
themselves by investing in their own communities, investing in their
youth, investing in the educational system, investing in STEM/STEAM
community projects; not waiting for outside entities or government to
tell Blacks what to do, how to do it and when to do it, then turn around and
take Black dollars from Black communities to re-invest in other areas that
do not help Black families. #IndenturedServitudedHasEnded
The Adventures of Moxie Girl
The presence of businesses like Angie Nixon and her daughter Natalie
(The Adventures of Moxie Girl), to the educational and community
volunteerism of young people like Taylor Richardson, “An Agent of STEAM,”
to the Teen Leaders of America (Marcia Brown, Executive Director), and
even new groups that are servicing the teens of Jacksonville, Florida,
there is new growth for teens.
Taylor Richardson “An Agent of STEAM”
Youth, teens and young adults do have outlets to express their creative
abilities, there are things to do in Jacksonville just for youth, teens and our
young adults like the Jax Youth Poetry Slam, Inc. that opens doors for
youth to use poetry, spoken word and even dramatizations to express their
experiences in life, Creating New Directions is working with youth to excel in
life through education and mentoring. Reader Theater and the Black Superheroes
highlights the historic successes of ex-slaves and the historical contributions
of Blacks through theatrical reading and acting. There are more……….
Elisha Taylor III of Westside Church of Christ working
with Readers Theater in technology and Social Media
There can be no doubt that African Americans / Blacks / People of Color
or whatever new terms are being used for this, and in this new generation
are being applied are showing that there is still economic power and influence
within the Black / African American communities.
Business mentorship and educational mentorship is vital to keep Black
businesses running and contributing to the community. “The Black community
cannot afford to criticize each other, talk down to each other or stab each
other in the back because the consequences affect us all.” William Jackson, M.Ed.
Blacks in government should not cheat the Black communities from investments
to send to other parts of Jacksonville for personal gain, they are accountable to
multiple generations of Blacks and their success and value.
The mental influence to Black youth when they see Black businesses at the Black
Expo carries enormous pride and dignity and shows the value of education,
mentoring, hard work, and participation/contribution in their communities. To take
pride in their abilities and to learn how to Market and Brand themselves in
positive directions, not what is seen in the media with negativity.
The pride of Black business owners can be seen in their professional
mannerisms, attention to professional dress and speech, and application
of diverse technologies. The importance of having a 30 to 60 second “pitch”
is seen as you hear enthusiastic presentations not just to sell something,
but to inform, educate and encourage. Passing out business cards, flyers,
DVD’s, posters and taking selfies to post online. These are all tools to share
content that creates interests, forms valuable relationships and helps to build
clients, customers and even volunteers for community projects.
What Should You Take Away from the Black Expo 2015;
1.cultural pride, 2. gender growth (there are increased businesses run by
women), 3. increased cultural and self-esteem, 4. being prepared at all times
to share information, 5. proper planning to prepare for potential partnerships,
6.building sound business sense, 7.having a business plan, 8. always have business
cards handy, 9. awareness to effectively use technology and Social Media in
positive ways, 10.involving youth/teens to teach them business etiquette,
11. involve teens in activities that teach business management, 12. the value
of education and being a life-long learner, 13. how to properly network,
14. no room for being shy, scared or complacent in life, 15. the power of a
handshake, a smile and direct eye contact. 16. stay in contact with clients and
customers, 17. use free services from the Better Business Bureau, Small Business
Association and other groups. 18. attend workshops and conferences,
19. know your value, 20. plan monthly and yearly to manage your budget and take
Two key points, the Black community will only grow as its youth, teens and
young adults grow. They need community and school mentors in programs
like 5000 Role Models of Duval County Public Schools, E3 Business Group
program (So You Want to be an Entrepreneur) given by Anthony Butler, and
even the Call Me Mister program of Edward Waters College that helps build
young men to become educators.
The Black Expo of 2015 should not end with business as usual, there should
be transformative growth, increased networking events in the Black community,
increased re-investment/investment opportunities, educational support in
schools and sharing of resources to increase the strength of community initiatives
that build Black businesses.
Don’t let next year’s Black Expo 2016 be the only place where you meet the
same people and make the same promise to do the same thing with the same results.
Coming in February 2016 – Real Talk Real Change “Who Da Man?!”
Time for men to standup and speak up and man up!!!!!