(LARGO – March 22, 2019) – Last night, Stan and Terri Long hosted Black Wall Street DMV at Olde Town Inn Largo. This is the first time they’ve hosted a Black Wall Street event. The draw, as always, is the coveted Joe Manns Black Wall Street Award. It was designed to celebrate black entrepreneurs and professionals as well as the people who support them regardless of race. The intention has also been to pay homage to the 600 or so black businesses bombed from the air and burned to the ground by a mob of angry white people in Tulsa, OK on May 31-June 1, 1921.
Established in Washington, D.C. in 2011, Bmorenews.com and its partners have recognized over 1,200 individuals in New York, Baltimore, Washington, Atlanta and New Orleans for their entrepreneurial and/or supportive efforts.
This was the third Black Wall Street event held at the Largo restaurant owned by Chef Donnell Long. Long has been a supporter of The ORIGINAL Black Wall Street SERIES *NYC *MD *DC *ATL *NOLA for at least seven years.
So, given the chef’s propensity to put some dynamite dishes on the table and Stan and Terri’s passion to help empower the community, last night’s event was the perfect blend.
You gotta admit, there is something about that DC crowd. Granted, we were in Gorgeous Prince George’s County. However, the people from DC have that distinct urban tone about them that reminds me a lot of Baltimore. Sure, as an international city, there are people from all over there. But those DC cats have a flavor of their own. I see them as cousins. They have the exact same set of challenges we have in Baltimore, just with a different flavor. On that note, I was especially warmed by the brothers in the room who had made a positive change in their lives; their testimonials shook heaven, to say the least.
Chuck Brown comes to mind. Southeast DC does, too. And who can forget Mayor for Life Marion Barry.
Just before his passing, we were fortunate enough to be able to recognize Mayor Barry. It was probably the greatest feeling in the world, especially considering how much a fan of his I am. Even though he is gone, his words of wisdom still touch my soul.
You see, Mayor Barry understood one thing maybe more than anybody: People need a job and others need to grow their businesses.
That, in a nutshell, is what our Black Wall Street efforts are all about.
I will never forget the reminder Stan gave last night: Prince George’s County is one of the wealthiest jurisdictions in the country for African Americans. That makes me reflect on what Mayor Barry demonstrated in his tenure at DC’s City Hall. He single-handedly helped empower more people than any politician I know. He understood that he had to parlay political influence into economic development for the people.
If you stand on any corner in DC still today, there is quite likely someone passing by who either got a summer job in the Barry Administration or worked for the government.
That will always be Mayor Barry’s legacy and no one can take it away from him.
Fast forward to last night: I imagine that Marion Barry was smiling down from heaven on the DMV crowd last night as filmmakers, mentors, entrepreneurs, writers, marketing execs and the like filled the room. This was business networking at its finest and it was such a joy to see.
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