Delivering a heartfelt, passionate speech about economic empowerment and never forgetting the sacrifices made by many Black predecessors, was the message left to hundreds of attendees by Black business advocate Maggie Anderson at the recent 7th Annual Houston Black Leadership Forum that took place at the University of Houston-Student Center Auditorium.
Anderson, who is the CEO and author of “Our Black Year: One Family’s Quest to Buy Black in America’s Racially Divided Economy,” delivered powerful real-life lessons garnered from her family’s year of buying Black, as well as her personal journey of spreading that message while dealing with health challenges.
“What I thought was a burden, was actually a blessing,” said Anderson. “As African Americans, we must make a conscious decision and effort to support Black businesses.”
Unlike many people who have touted a “Buy Black” message, Maggie and her husband John have lived it, as they are co-founders of the highly publicized, The Empowerment Experiment – the first-ever real-life case study in self-help economics. Maggie’s highly acclaimed book examines the commercial exploitation of Black neighborhoods, the reasons why Black businesses lag behind and encourages consumers to seek and support Black-owned businesses.
The Houston Black Leadership Forum is a partnership between the Greater Houston Black Chamber, National Black MBA Association-Houston Chapter and the Black Professional Alliance, which includes 26 Black professional groups throughout the Greater Houston region working together on community and business issues.
The Houston Black Leadership Forum served as the official kickoff to #HOUBuyBlack Weekend, February 17-19, where all consumers were encouraged to utilize African American-owned businesses throughout the entire weekend.
Anderson also took the time out in her speech, which received a standing ovation, to personally recognize Forward Times publisher Karen Carter Richards, and highlight the importance of Black people advertising with and supporting newspapers like the Forward Times.
Anderson stayed after and personally autographed copies of her highly acclaimed book.