The Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce (www.dallasblackchamber.org) had our 2nd annual State Of Black Business (SOBB) Forum last week. A lot of people are confused, or apathetic to the mission of the organization I love, both inside and out. There are a lot of misperceptions and ill-truths that have evolved during the 89 year history of this organization.I would like to show the Chambers “true mission” in this blog; it’s about education, support, and advocacy.
Most people ask me, “What does the Dallas Black Chamber offer to me?” or “Why do y’all exist?” or “Why does it have to be called the ‘Black’ Chamber?” or event still, “Why do you isolate yourselves and only accept black members?”. This can easily frustrate any human being that exerts their personal and professional time to do volunteer work for an advocacy group, but I gladly entertain the questions. Why? Because, where there are questions, there’s curiosity, and where there’s curiosity, there’s an opportunity for me to share the lessons I’ve learned from my father and his colleagues, and contribute to the improvement of the American Economy (no, not Black economy solely, but American economy).
Some clarification, the Dallas Black Chamber is not just an organization where we can provide free marketing to your organization. Our mission is to advocate and support entrepreneurs, business owners, and corporations that want to support the African-American community, therefore, you don’t have to be black in order to be a part of this organization, you just need to be a cheerleader or stakeholder for improving the situation (with blacks contributing $1 Trillion to the US Economy, there needs to be an organization(s) that can assist with the education and distribution of black wealth).
I can go on and on about this… This is not the purpose of this post (for more info, go to our website or reach out to me). I’m posting this to show how the Black Chamber helps a community; by being an objective organization that helps all businesses tread the waters of capitalism.
In this clip (that’s difficult to hear) I am interviewing Hiawatha Williams, Founder and CEO of Williams Chicken. Though inaudible, he thanks the Dallas Black Chamber for providing:
After talking to Mr. Williams, my spirit was renewed about the aims of the organization; as Chair, it’s easy to get bogged down in the politics of the organization, or the status you receive once you participate in outside programs, representing the organization. Hearing him thank my father (who was ED of the Chamber in the 1980’s) for giving him sound advice when he was an employee at Church’s Chicken illuminated the importance in having a third-party advocate strategize to assist all people to build wealth; someone whose intent is to help all who ask for help.
This was a wake-up call; we, as an organization, need to do a better job at marketing to the masses what we do at the chamber. I know A NUMBER of businesses who benefited from advice from our organization or ones like it (other ethnic/cultural/geographic chambers), so those business owners need to speak up as well. Without an advocate organization, we will not be able to defend the small business, killing what we know as the American Dream.
My cousin, Deidra, asked me to say a few words about the Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship for her students at church. I thought I’d share it with the rest of the world how the Gates Scholarship changed my tragetory in life.
I will make other comments in other posts; they will be posted as I recall and remember my experiences in college and beyond. The most important take away, is to apply for the scholarship! There’s no excuse for anyone not to get a good education in America. The resources are here, it just takes work, effort, and energy to get it! Go to www.gmsp.org for more information.
I started doing it again… Sitting/thinking/processing…. entering “Paralysis by Analysis” stages in certain aspects of my life.
I was reminded last week that I shouldn’t do that because too much analysis will bring in a culture of “political correctness” and uninteresting commentary, but later on there was an incident that reinforced my character-flaw:
That evening, I was enjoying time after a long day of work with my friends (of different races, profession, and relationship statues) at North Park before going to AMC to watch Marvels Ant-Man. Our last conversation was concerning race and the table next to us (two white young women) told us to “Shut the fuck up”… Maybe it was the saki bomb I just had, but I noticed most tables on the patio were monolithic- blacks were with blacks, whites with whites, and so on… As I looked at them, both my friend I was arguing with (who is white) and I were in sock; he was pissed, I was scarred (not of what they said, or what I wanted to tell them, but the effects/ramifications of my actions in Preston Hollow) that after all of the subjects we’ve talked about in 2 hours, they decide to comment (destructively) on race in America; this has another blog post that I’m working on… don’t want to go too far on this road for this post.
I have to continually think about my thoughts and actions: As an African-American man in America, 6 feet tall, larger than an average white person (as this is relevant to this discussion because our society is still controlled by white males and their influences), voicetrous, and can (and will) state my opinion on matters, so I can have an OPPORTUNITY to accomplish what I want. In this society, if I falter, I can easily be oust from the main population as a convict, trouble-maker, or even die. I’m sorry, but all of this goes through my head every time I make an opinion of something in public, or when I accidentally bump into someone I don’t know, or write a post that can ruffle feathers. In effect, this can cause me (and others like me) to error on the side of caution, or not even acknowledge it-which both are detrimental not only to my ego, but the healing of America. Do you have to go through these thoughts? If not, then you are privileged.
Back to the “topic” of this blog: Before you judge anyone, please be sure to walk in their shoes first. We all have things to improve on, meaning no one is perfect, and EVERYONE is flawed… So friends, If you don’t see anything new on my website, please feel free to reach out to me; it’s not because I don’t have anything to write, I may be processing things so much that I won’t express my thoughts. Shake me out of that, please? That’s how we all improve in this society.
Yesterday morning, I was honored to attend the City of Dallas Council Inauguration ceremony at the Meyerson Symphony Center. Yes, it was a grandiose occasion where dignitaries, civic leaders, role models, even our future (shout out to the Parks and Rec Department for sending a couple of summer camps to witness this event) were in attendance, but that’s not why I was excited. Yes, it’s believed to be one of the youngest councils in Dallas’ history, speaking volumes based on the historical decision makers of the city and how this affects young intellectuals views of Dallas proper, but THAT didn’t even excite me, either. For the first time, I had several friends (and one former teacher-she taught me AP Government) who were starting their career as a city policy maker, and I felt very proud of them. I’m witnessing people who I’ve learned from and worked with in “the movement” achieve one of their goals, and I’m extremely happy for them. They have all worked hard the last several months (and years) to get to this point, and they deserve to enjoy this time….
This entry isn’t designed to be a very long message, I just want to thank the 15 people who will be doing the work of the people of Dallas; from enduring hours long of council meetings, becoming target practice at town hall meetings, not feeling appreciated for the daily decisions made to better the city, and sacrificing their time, energy, and talents from their families to help the greater good. You are true leaders who will be admired, acknowledged, and appreciated for the work you will do to help your constituents.
With that, I trust you all are doing this for the right reason; to make ALL of Dallas a better city. You all are the city’s highest ranking officials; the realization that, if different people from different backgrounds can work together and create a solution for the greater good, then ALL of the city will benefit. Do you notice I’m emphasizing ALL, lol.
Everyone on that stage motivated me. I was able to see the bigger picture, and want to make sure I’m able to do what I need in order to make your job effective at the horseshoe. We need both policy makers and the citizens to pull their weight in order make this work, and I’m willing to do just that.
Let’s make Dallas Great!
Since early Friday morning, I’ve read the articles concerning Rachel Dolezal, the comedic memes questioning her true “blackness”, and the MANY texts/debates on her choice of action in the civil rights movement. While I have no issue of her, a caucasian woman, heading a chapter of the NAACP (if you know your history, this organization was not only founded bi-racially but had a mission of something that is much larger than what we are actually practicing today), I do have an issue that she disregarded her cultural background and totally “reinvented” herself, not for a person who supports blacks (White Chocolate) but a person who pretended to be black (A Macaroni Nigga…)
*Start at 5:00 mark
Though funny to some (and offensive to many), Paul Mooney makes a valid point; black people are one of the most replicated, exploited, unappreciated, and underestimated group of people on this Earth. This is not from happenstance. Black intellectuals, scholars, and leaders have to fight harder than their Euro-centered counterparts to make their points legitimate to American Culture because of our historic preconceived notions that blacks are ignorant and primitive, and should be confined to athletic and entertainment avenues to exercise our “expressions”, ones that can also be controlled and monitored by someone whose more capable to control (sounds familiar?…). In order for us to “conform”, several things can happen: we can disown our culture (as Dolezal did), and not acknowledge our past and assimilate to mainstream society, be an “Uncle Tom” to ensure the safety of our families and loved ones at the sacrifice of our self-respect, “shuck and jive” to entertain and distract our oppressors, which will provide comfort and stability to a struggling black family (an outlet that was necessary in MANY cases, but not sustainable in the long run), or we can rebel (which will DEFINITELY) oust us from society, either through media suicide, discreditation, or death.
SOME progress has been made the last several decades; but we (ALL Americans) still have a long road to travel before people are not only equal, but society will judge people on the content of their character, and not the color of their skin. Dolezal’s deception not only discredits a successful (and necessary Civil Rights organization), but it forces people to stop working on the improvement of race relations in America… and when we stop working on an incomplete project, we will digress and go back to square one. Rachael Dolezal, for her to be more impactful, should fully recognize, embrace, and articulate her past, continue to fight for people she wants to, and show that other ethnicities can enhance different cultures. It’ll be MLK’s dream realized and will allow our country to make a step forward. For her to disown her past, illustrates a denial of a piece of her life that needs to be addressed.
Again, I don’t have an issue with Rachel, but I am concerned for her mental health. It’s not healthy to disregard your heritage, create a new identity, and misdirect/misrepresent people on your history, your culture, or your intentions. Some blacks have tried that already… mission failed.
Thank you Phillip for writing this blog! It was great catching up with you and I love what you are doing w/ your family, your community, and uplifting people ensuring their financial stability. Keep up the GREAT work!
To look at his message, click on the link below:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”
I woke up this morning refreshed (mainly because there have been no nightly NBA Playoff games in the past couple of days, lol); I had a restful weekend, was able to do some yard work, admired the long-awaited sun after the weeks of rain, was comforted my mother arrived home from her travels, effectively planned/prepared for the following week, but most importantly, realized the next day was the 1st of the month! No, not because I was picking up a check to chill (90’s rap humor), but because it gives me a chance to build a positive habit! A habit is an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary (thanks http://www.dictionary.com). Habits can be both beneficial or detrimental to your way of life. Habits also are always formed, whether you like it or not; you determine if you want to have a positive or negative routine.
Again, I really appreciate the first of the month falling on a Monday because it helps my mind establish a goal and track my progress; with most people’s work week starting on a Monday, it’s natural for us to get the shenanigans out of our system during our personal time and start fresh when it’s time to perform at the beginning of the work week.
Studying this word cloud above, I notice the words that are most associated with habits: life, control, positive, habitual, free. Theses terms are synonymous with my future aspirations, but in order to add or enhance these traits, habits must be formed to create consistency, which builds character, which in effect creates/perpectuates a positive reputation.
I’m challenging myself (and would like to challenge my friends and the world) to build on my brand by creating one more positive habit this month. There are numerous aspects of your life where you can create positive habits; your health and well-being, professional, social, intellectual, technological, relational, etc. You must put in the work to appreciate your value (this is your personal investment-hmmmm… sounds like another blog topic). Studies show that habits are formed between 21-30 days, so use the month of June to kick-start your perfomance for the 2nd half of the year!
HAVE A GREAT MONTH!