What’s that happening at 5933 W. Madison, brother? WGCI Radio’s sound truck and on-air personalities are there. Is it Oprah? Is it Spike Lee? No, it’s the Austin African American Business Network Association’s after-work community mixer. Yes, the AAABNA had people on Madison Street asking these questions. In the words of the hip-hop community, it was all the way live.

Hosting the event was businesswoman and community leader, Phyllis Bryant, owner of Bryant-Logan Realty.

“Our whole purpose is to bring awareness to the community of the different African-American businesses that are in the community,” Bryant said. “Mainly the Austin community, and the turnout has been exceptional. I am so proud of my people and I was able to accommodate space-wise. You know, we’re doing OK. We don’t have to worry about less than 12×12 business space to do business. I’ve been blessed to be on this corner, I get a lot of acknowledgement from the community, who ask about me and what kind of business I have. I have to say AAABNA has made this happen to this day.”

AAABNA founder and president Malcolm Crawford in his opening remarks stressed the importance of everyone supporting businesses that are part of the AAABNA. “If we take just one month and maybe go to Double Door Cleaners, that would be our target business campaign. We’re going to talk to different community newspapers and start a ‘target business campaign.’ The business that we are starting with in June is First Choice Florist, owned by Ms. Lisa Darnell.”

Crawford emphasized the importance of supporting black-owned businesses and asked that those in attendance make a commitment to patronize and support the businesses. WGCI personality, Glenn Cosby backed up Crawford by stating we can make things happen by working together.

Crawford said, “If you are a business owner and ask the question, ‘What can the AAABNA do for my business?’ The response the organization gives is:

The AAABNA offers added business success by our members’ patronage

Access to other African-American business professionals

Discounts on members’ services

Business advertised in our community resource guide

Business forums, speakers, and advice

A collective voice on issues facing us as African Americans

You can obtain a membership form by calling 773/626-4497.”

?” Delores McCain