Dusting off an Old Blueprint for Black Business Success
released on 05/16/06 at 07:23:14
The solution to greater economic prosperity in our African-American business community may very well lie in concepts about independence and self-help.
“It is easily seen that if every member of the race should strive to make himself the most indispensable man in his community, and to be successful in business, however humble that business might be, he would contribute much towards smoothing the pathway of his own and future generations.”
It’s an approach that would work well in today’s business climate, so you might be surprised to learn those words are more than 100 years old.
Booker T. Washington, the legendary educator, tried to put his business theories into practice when he founded the National Negro Business League in 1900. Since 2003, the Urban Florida League of Business has been working to revive Washington’s ideals here in Tampa Bay.
The league, which is not affiliated with the Urban League, is holding its annual daylong expo and interactive summit Wednesday at Westshore’s Doubletree Hotel.
The keynote luncheon speaker will be Keevin Williams, vice president of the Florida Black Business Investment Board. The board is a public funding source for small, black-owned businesses throughout Florida. Full Article
ACCRA, Ghana – Ever since Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president, invited his classmates from Pennsylvania’s Lincoln University to come home with him to help build Africa, African-Americans have been coming to Ghana to visit, work, volunteer, invest or live in what has become the quintessential African homeland.
W.E.B. Du Bois lived here. So did Maya Angelou. Today the country, once at the heart of Africa’s slave-trading routes, has the largest community of African-Americans in West Africa, most of whom have come looking for their roots and a sense of purpose.
Now Ghana, a poor country eager for more American tourists, donors and investors, is about to make life even easier for its far-flung black diaspora: It plans to soon offer slave descendants lifetime visas or even dual Ghanaian-U.S. citizenship.
“Who we most want as tourists and investors are our own people who left 200 or 300 years ago,” said Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, the country’s tourism chief, whose department last month was renamed the Ministry for Tourism and Diasporan Relations. “It’s not just about blood ties. It’s good economic sense.”
Lifetime visas should be easy for regular visitors to get. But the new passports – still awaiting approval in Parliament – won’t be handed to just anyone, Obetsebi-Lamptey said. African-Americans eager for formal Ghanaian identity will have to commit to invest, help develop or live in Ghana because “citizenship carries some responsibility,” he said. Full Article