By Doni Glover, Publisher
I Am Black Wall Street
Unapologetically Black: Doni Glover Autobiography
Thursdays at Midnight on WEAA 88.9 FM
(HARLEM – April 9, 2022) – BmoreNews.com has been hosting Black Wall Street awards ceremonies in New York since 2012. With the support of Bob Ingram, Marsha Jews, Sisters4Sisters Network, Inc.’s Peggy Morris, Odessa Hopkins, and other partners, we hosted a global forum for women in Manhattan at the United Nations.
A decade later, we have hosted more than a dozen of what has evolved into the Joe Manns Black Wall Street Awards in New York City, including two in Brooklyn, including at the Weeksville Heritage Center and at Brooklyn Borough Hall.
As a matter of fact, then-Brooklyn Borough President and now-New York City Mayor Eric Adams hosted our awards there, and Charmil Davis was our point of contact. That one was special because we dedicated it to cancer survivors and their families.
We’ve done several awards ceremonies in Harlem. To say the least, the people in New York City have always shown up and shown out in a phenomenal way.
Last night was no different. As a matter of opinion, I think the awards have now taken on a life of its own.
When I think of the venue, the Harlem Business Alliance headed by the spectacular Regina Smith – I am so grateful to have this woman in our corner. Marsha Jews first introduced me to her years before we became partners. And please don’t forget “Transporter”, better known as Lee Vaughan of REAL Radio. He makes sure we make our appointments in New York and has done so for years.
I should add that Vaughan first came to an awards ceremony we hosted in Harlem, unbeknownst to me at the time, by way of bus … all the way from Baltimore. He later shared with me how much he appreciated the awards. The rest, as they say, is history. Vaughan has since hosted his own Joe Manns Black Wall Street Awards in Birmingham, Las Vegas, and Tulsa. His growing list of honorees includes actor and stand-up comedian D.L. Hughley.
And that’s the thing about these awards and the remarkable business networking opportunities that arise: amazingly talented individuals from various industries all in the same room sharing a bit about their journey. Beyond the awards, these events tend to provide a safe space for entrepreneurs and professionals to give a bit of encouragement to the next person.
For me, that’s what Black Wall Street is all about! It’s about the youngest person in the room. Last night, that was an infant. What we are doing now isn’t even really about us. Like Marques Payne, one of the honorees alluded, it’s about a “resurgence” of business, entrepreneurship, and self-empowerment in our community.
One longtime supporter of our efforts in the big city is none other than Chaplain Victor Pate. I respect this man because he always answers the call.
He is a man of his word, and he is highly revered in the community because he cares about the least of us. He is a reminder that for the grace of God, that could be me. He is humble. He is patient. And he never fails to help us celebrate our people. And we love him for that.
Specifically, he is an icon in New York City because of his work with returning citizens. I’ve seen it with my own eyes: People come up to him and thank him for his work. Black people, white people, Latino people: they all love him!
Hence, last night, BmoreNews.com in conjunction with the Harlem Business Alliance and the DMFirm presented Black Wall Street HARLEM 2022. Honorees included some dynamic, young entrepreneurs nominated by our very own Tasemere Gathers.
And others were recognized at the urging of Chaplain Pate. They include individuals who work with returning citizens and those who work with him at the National Action Network under the leadership of Rev. Al Sharpton.
With April being Second Chance Awareness Month, we were extremely pleased to present this very special edition of Black Wall Street HARLEM.
Helping returning citizens is one of our five tenets at BmoreNews, going back to when we first started this news operation 20 years ago. The other tenets are Black business, public education, affordable housing, and universal access to healthcare.
Considering that America makes up just 5% of the world’s population but yet we have 25% of the world’s inmates whereby Black and brown people are grossly overrepresented, ending mass incarceration is very important to this news outlet. Further, we aim to highlight those individuals who would dare provide aid to this easily forsaken demographic.
Joe Manns Black Wall Street Awardees
Black Wall Street HARLEM 2022
*Dorian “DiDi” Bess
*Dr. Tawana Gilford
Many thanks also to Marc Polite, Mr. Walter Edwards, and Vito Jones. These men have been so very supportive of our efforts in New York City, also. They have always answered the call and delivered beyond expectations. For these things, we are forever grateful. May the bonds that this little news outlet from Baltimore, Maryland has made over the years in New York City touch generations yet unborn. May the knowledge and information we share spark an insatiable desire for all to learn all we can about our African American ancestors in these United States, for so many made huge accomplishments in business and most every industry imaginable despite a climate marked by racial violence.
Thank you to the people of New York City. From Manhattan to Brooklyn to Harlem, the Joe Manns Black Wall Street Awards has thrived there for a decade now. The love shall never be forgotten. Not in this lifetime!