(BALTIMORE – April 3, 2017) – As an avid supporter of black businesses, it does the heart well to see masses of people of color using Facebook and other social media for something productive. Terence Briggs is the fearless champion of black businesses who – along with six compadres – began a Facebook group in January. In 3 months, the group has attracted over 8,000 followers.
They are called The Good Tree Patron’s Club.
Not only do they follow the posts online, they also act on them by posting the actual receipts from the targeted business of the week. Isn’t that brilliant?
Quite frankly, it is the most beautiful demonstration of cooperative economics I have ever seen. Granted, I am all about the Black Wall Street movement and celebrating entrepreneurs. However, when I was hipped to the mission and purpose of the group, all I could do was fall in love with it.
And then, when one finally meets Terence Briggs and listens to his story, it all makes sense. Briggs, a painter by profession, told Bmorenews in an exclusive interview earlier this year that the passing of Keion Carpenter really touched him. He said he was motivated to do something in the realm of legacy building. (I think Briggs nailed it!)
Carpenter, the former NFL star from Baltimore, died in a tragic accident at the beginning of this year. His contributions, however, live proudly. Carpenter was all about the youth. If you knew him, then you are familiar with the passion and tenacity with which he worked. Even living in Atlanta, one might never know it because he was always in Baltimore with his “Shut Down Academy,” a football program with a wholistic purpose to give our young people a better chance at success – football or otherwise.
Briggs, after Carpenter’s passing, said he asked himself how he could make a difference. That’s when the idea of group economics blossomed in his brain – and in the minds of his founding group. Today, the Good Tree Patron’s Club has taken such a basic concept and manifested it into something extraordinarily powerful.
To say the least, words cannot express how proud I am of them. For one, a person can get familiar with black businesses that one did not know even existed. Further, the group has “blitzed” two of our dear Bmorenews.com supporters – Terra Café Bmore and Beauty Plus, the only black-owned beauty supply store in Baltimore (2107 N. Charles Street).
I only pray that this movement expands beyond Greater Baltimore to the entire country. It is so exceptional to see people of the darker hue targeting our trillion dollars in annual disposable income to something constructive. It does the soul well.