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February 7, 2018

Black History Month is undoubtedly a time of rebirth for the Black community in America, a time that reminds us of the need to look first outward to the occurrences of the past and then become inspired to look inward to make the most of the present moments and the future. What exactly encompasses looking inward you may ponder? I think there are various manners of looking inward or practicing introspection with spontaneous combinations of personal, communal, and global levels and then how each of those relates to the other.

 

On a personal level of introspection this Black History Month I have challenged myself to deeply examine my identity, asking myself difficult questions like "What gives me the most pride about being Black?" and "Do I really REALLY  love this super kinky hair I have growing out of my head?" Looking at myself in the mirror with no makeup on and reminding myself that I was made from divine energy to accomplish divine feats while walking on the shoulders of giants becomes a high priority this month.

 

On the communal level I ask myself "Have I supported more Black owned businesses this year with my hard earned portion of the approximately $1.2 trillion of our national spending power?"

According to the South Florida Black Business Directory, "It is said that The Dollar only circulates within the Black community for 6 hours but thrives for weeks in other cultures". It's time for us to become introspective as like minded people and tackle this issue. One of the Co-Founders of #SFLBBD Crystal Chanel once gave an example asking the audience if we had gone back to Red Lobster after they messed up one order, with most of the crowd agreeing in shame that we had. "So why not give Black business another chance?" she plead with us. That moment made us all light up like LED bulbs with the notion that we could give ourselves another chance.

 

On a global level I question my allegiance to the uplifting of youth around the world who are less fortunate than we are, I mean third world impoverished is a drastically different experience from life in the American ghettos and we all know it. I ask myself "Are we doing enough?

 

Black History Month is a time when I also shed a high volume of tears {~I know I'm a softy~} when I re-read stories of chattel slavery in the Americas and the struggles of the countless progressive leaders during the Civil Rights Movement and think, are we really doing these great ancestors justice? Are we living their dream or perpetuating their nightmare?

 

Truth be told I definitely have twerked to a trap song within the confines of my vehicle & living room & bedroom & hallways & kitchen but this month somehow I become more analytic of even my own daily behaviors. This analysis then leads me into a saddening snowball tangent thinking about the amount of twerking that is actually taking place simultaneously on the planet...yikes!! Now I'm not knocking booty-shaking as a whole because I know that these movements originate from Mother Africa, my ONLY concern is the OVER-SEXUALIZED energies we are unintentionally summoning and are they serving us or have they become a detriment to our overall progression? If a young Black girl thinks that her worth lies in how well she can twerk have we let her down? Could we have done something more to develop high quality community programs to support her? 

 

February is a very special month of every year within the Black community. I find that it seems to act as our collective reset button. Those of us who fell behind in supporting each other, if any of us stumbled off of the path to self-empowerment, if we tripped over an opportunity to show up at a high impact community event, if we forgot to add that inner city youth concert to our google calendars and accidentally missed it, this is the time to forgive ourselves and press RESET so we can move on in a positive light.

 

In pressing my RESET button, I just claimed my free listing on the #SFLBBD. If you're a Black business owner in South Florida have you claimed your free listing yet? Click here for the intake form, it only took me 3 minutes to fill out and it's a step in the direction we all need to be heading towards. The future is ours if we unite and claim it.

 

Want to know more about the #SFLBBD? They are always having local, trendy networking events for urban professionals.

 Here's a note from the #SFLBBD CO-Founders:

 

Message From Our Founders

There are so many ways that we can respond to the injustices that are consistently occurring in our community. Collectively, the 3 choose to figure out how to #BuyBackTheBlock by redirecting the 1.2 Trillion Dollars that Black spend annually back into our communities. We know that this movement will make urban networking attractive, Black enterprise trendy and the patronization of Black businesses the norm. We look forward to the day when we can combat community injustices with financial resources and ultimately buy our way into a better situation for current and future generations.

#BuyBlack; #SupportBlack; #LoveBlack; #UnityOverEverything; #TogetherWeCan; #SouthFloridaWallStreet; #EmpireStateOfMind; #SFLBBD; and #NoApologies

Crystal Chanel – Mistress of Ceremonies
CEO of Press Release Marketing
Jimmy Nickerson
CEO of JNMG
Don Wiggins
CEO of The Wiggins Agency

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