Marc Parham is the Director of The Entrepreneurship Center for the National Urban League of Atlanta. When he arrived at the Convention this past weekend he remarked, “These types of events used to just be shea butter, shea butter and more shea butter but we have everything!” Parham bought a t-shirt, wireless earbuds and a few other items from vendors. Parham works with Black entrepreneurs everyday and hosts the CAPBuilder Talk Radio Show Mondays at 7 pm Eastern and yet even he had no idea Black entrepreneurs at the Convention would offer so much diversity. Parham was exposed to new things this weekend and that’s the entire point.
Soul singer Ten is embarking on a 10 city tour and it’s in large part because she performed at the We Buy Black Convention last year. Lady J Sauce was literally an infant family company, making sauce in the kitchen until they won the sauce competition at last year’s Convention. The We Buy Black Convention offers the world an opportunity to learn about the best and brightest our people have to offer but are yet undiscovered. Parham learned that a Black owned company produced wireless earbuds, a personal friend of mine discovered that Black people were making school supplies for kids while I personally discovered that we also have a burger franchise that is 100% Black owned!
The We Buy Black Convention is where Black entrepreneurs, entertainers and influencers get introduced to the world. Our annual convening is unique, an occasion where Black excellence is completely normal and thousands are completely on one accord — to remove, replace and rebuild. That environment is perfect to launch big things and we do it every year. Even the most “woke” among us walk away from the Convention, having learned more about Black people in one weekend than we did the previous few months.
All of the negative myths, stereotypes and assumptions that even we hold about our people are easily dispelled when we see up-close and personal that we do so much and with such excellence. The We Buy Black Convention is magical, in that way. This past weekend gave us that magic all over again, in a fresh way. Even the best minds in Black business are easily overwhelmed with what this Convention is — and we’re only in year 2.