It is always real easy “to talk the talk.” But how many of us who “talk” actually “walk the walk”? I try to support black businesses-well, let me qualify that, good black businesses-whenever possible.

Sometimes it’s hard to find those good black businesses since in all of Chicago, there isn’t a single black-owned mall where you can find products, merchandise, clothes, art, jewelry, etc. that is designed with black people in mind.

Are black consumers different from other consumers? Yes! As a black female, I can testify that we like hats and wear them better than most. We like brighter colors and prints. Tell me who else but a black man can wear a red, lime green or orange suit, with the same color shoes and hat and actually look good in it?

When it comes to decorating our houses, we prefer African prints to European prints. Who amongst us hasn’t fallen in love with at least one of Annie Lee’s paintings? In general, our taste in music leans more toward soul music than rock and roll.

This Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 15 and 16, the 16th annual Pre-Kwanzaa Celebration will be held at the South Shore Cultural Center, located at 71st and South Shore Drive. The event is opened from 10 a.m. till 7 p.m. Admission is free.

During the celebration, the entire building is turned into one giant African marketplace with vendors from all over the country. The auditorium is used to host entertainment and the ballrooms hold food courts as well as special workshops. In the past, they have offered workshops on natural hair care as well as DNA testing to learn what part of Africa your ancestors came from.

The event I am most looking forward to is a workshop on “The Legacy of Harold Washington, 20 Years Later.” Other workshops scheduled are “The Conspiracy to Destroy Hip Hop” and “Have Black Athletes Lost Their Minds?” There will also be cooking, Kwanzaa, dance and giftmaking workshops.

A special treat this year is the inclusion of the WVON 1690AM Seniors Breakfast. It will be held on Saturday from 8 to 11 a.m. The breakfast is free to all seniors 65 and over and just $5 for everyone else. At the breakfast, there will be free music, entertainment, a cash raffle and the opportunity to shop the Pre-Kwanzaa festival before everyone else.

Best of all, the Cultural Center is wheelchair accessible with plenty of free parking. Plus, yours truly is a WVON volunteer, so you can meet me at the breakfast and give me your opinion on my opinions.

One last thing and a change of subject to boot: Several weeks ago I mentioned in this column the murder of Earl “Tony” Hughes. I asked why no one had put out flyers door-to-door about this murder. This past Saturday, I received a flyer in my door. Mr. Hughes was fatally shot at the corner of Long and Wabansia on Oct. 30, 2007 around 12:45 a.m. There is a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for this crime. Anyone with information should call the Chicago Police Department at 312/746-8362.