There is a saying: “Do you see that glass half empty or half full?” Well, for a while now my glass did not seem half empty or half full; it just seemed to be totally empty.  There were so many crises, every day, all of the time, and trying to stay positive was a challenge. 

My perception was that black people are so fragmented. The passion that some leaders have about school reform is resounding. There are also those who are just as passionate about religion, gun violence, ex-offenders, politics, etc. I just wondered, was there any way black people could work together toward a common goal?

The answer to my question is a resounding yes! Economics! After our organization (AAABNA) held its economic business three-day summit, we decided that our action item was to pick a black-owned business and everyone would go and “shop black.” Well, not in my wildest dreams would I have thought it would be such an overwhelming success. 

So let me call the roll of some of the attendees: The Westside Branch NAACP, the Chicagoland Black Chamber of Commerce, the Chicago Teachers Union, Fathers Who Care, Corinthian Temple COGIC, the African Village, the Nation of Islam, Greater St. John Baptist Church, HOPE Church, the National Alliance for the Empowerment of the Formerly Incarcerated, the Construction Trade Network, the 11 District Police Station (Sgt. Allen),  Austin Weekly News, the Jackson Action Coalition, Black Construction Alliance, Brother Revin Fellows, Brother Mark Carter, Rev. Marshall Hatch, and Pastor Reginald Bachus. 

I must also mention WGCI radio host and my friend, Glenn Cosby, for the shout-out as well as CAN- TV host Boyse Edwards and Harold Davis. 

Several politicians participated in our black economic empowerment rally, including Alderman Jason Ervin, state Rep. LaShawn K. Ford, and Congressman Danny K. Davis. I must also recognize one of the quiet giants in the black community Isaac Lewis of the North Lawndale Newspaper.  

When I think of the words of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad — “When you control the media, you control the minds of a people” — it is refreshing to know that there is a true leader who cares about the black community and will report the truth. Thank you to those whose names are too many to mention.