Exeleon Magazine

Black History Month and Celebrating Entrepreneurship

Black History Month and Entrepreneurship

By storytelling or by repeating itself, history strikes a conversation about a gateway between this world and the next. One such remarkable chapter in the memoir of what lives is the black history month, celebrated every year in February. It treasures the exceptional journey of the black community across the world and the achievements they have persevered their way onto, albeit a rocky path.

Black History month was a product of black scholars and social activists who endeavored to bring an entire community in the mainstream American milieu. Cartel G. Woodson, also known as the father of the black history month was an ardent reformer. He co-founded the “Association for the Study of African American Life and History,” formerly known as “Association for the Study of Negro Life and History” with his friends. He launched something called as the “black history week” back in 1926, which eventually became “black history month” in 1940.

Year after year, this month has been celebrated with full gusto and remarkable turnouts. The theme of the month this year is “black resistance” which highlights the endurance of the Afro-American through waters of racial instability and a resultant lack of opportunity.

Learned folks of the yesteryears have said that the best way of understanding a culture is to experience it. Black history month is one such unique way of experiencing a story of upliftment, brotherhood, unity, and pride.

A Legacy of Resilience

Relevance only comes with certain strong affirmations and tested ventures. There are many reasons why Black history month has been intrinsically woven into our social fabric to this day and age.

Fostering diversity

Having inclusive policies was the need of the hour at one point in the American archive. The occurrence of black history month in conversations led to the creation of the National African American History and Cultural museum by an Act of the Congress, 2003. Pursuant to these events, voting rights act of 1965 outlawed discriminatory voting practices as well.

Many states made the inclusion of black history education mandatory in the K-12 course. Diverse education comes with a direct implication of diverse workforce. Such diversity helps a country permeate its economic roots firm and deep. The US has seen this for itself.

Community

One of the best things about black history month is that it is not limited to nurturing unity only among the people of its color. That’s just one aspect to it. The larger picture sees the US as a community. When there’s a conversation about a strong sense of fraternity, we talk about a solidarity built by people of all ethnicities and colors together.

This social cohesion goes a long way for countries with ambition. These platforms give people an opportunity to collaborate, leverage their collective resources, challenge biases, and set bigger goals.

Quintessential lessons of history

A precise understanding of the past assists students into creating their own definition of an equitable society. While there is no looking back, some uncomfortable truths enable people to pick an empathetic and nuanced approach towards differences. In a world where politics is so dynamic and layered, it is paramount for the masses to be able to virtually revisit the repercussions of racial politics and never fall prey to them again. Such critical thinking keeps the system in checks and balances.

History of feminism taught us the contribution of women in spheres of entrepreneurship and otherwise, history of the LGBTA+ community showed us some extra-ordinary success stories. Black history month is no different. It’s a lesson of staying grounded, kind, and determined.

A message of opportunism

Recalling the past is effective with a purpose of growth at its heart. Previous themes of the said month like “Black health and wellness”, “African American and the vote”, “Black migrations”, “Civil rights in America” were concentrated on achieving representation and growth. They carved a way out for a more inclusive society.

These themes helped divert attention on pressing as well as passive issues faced by its people.  Eventually such issues would be remedied with subsequent developments. The best thing about black history is that it’s been fluid and reflects the future of what is to come a lot more than the past.

Black History and Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship has played a significant role in the progress of the black community. The community used their ingenuity and resourcefulness in order to tackle their issue of being unable to procure jobs. Given the situation prevailing, they developed an enterprising mindset. They created opportunities for themselves and generated employment in the process.

For instance, Madam C.J. Walker became the first self-made female millionaire in America by developing and selling hair care products for black women in 1910. The community remained unwavering towards their entrepreneurial commitments even through the period of the great depression following the first World War.

In order to expand their horizons and acquire bigger customer base; exhibitions, events and workshops representing the Afro-Americans came to aid. As a result of increasing collective goodwill procurement, outreach and recruiting avenues also increased simultaneously. This gave them the exposure and platforms for networking, public relations and the like.

Cut to recent years, Black-owned businesses have had the highest rates of growth among minority-owned businesses from 2007 to 2012.

Today, the black community has built brands that run million and billion dollar companies with clientele across the world. Black history month is a way to extend support, show encouragement and promote such projects. In the one of the black history month events of 2020, the US Small Business Administration recognized 12 black entrepreneurs for their contributions to the economy.

Supporting Black-Owned Businesses

Empowering a community which has been at a historic disadvantage but forms an integral part of the present and the future is as good as empowering the nation at large. Supporting people of color so as to ensure that they get a level-playing field is crucial for the growth of our economy.

We, here at Exeleon, fully endorse, appreciate, and support the journey of every black entrepreneur of past, present, and future. Established or growing, we are always keen on developing profiles of such inspiring stories and put them to the readership of the world. Our ethos lies in creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for any person of any race, color, practice or gender.

Exeleon prides itself in having the privilege of interviewing dynamic personalities of the community like Dr. Michael L. Curry, Dr. Michael C. Threatt, Gracie Jones, Natasha Simon, Garry Gilliam, LaVar Arrington, and more.

For us and our community of leaders, celebration of Black History is not limited to only a month, rather every single day.

Here’s our latest edition celebrating Black History Month.

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