Did Racial Integration Ruin Black Business??

Here I am arguing with Dee Blok about whether or not Beyonce looks European and the effect it may or may not have had on her career and it starts…

Don’t ask me where he got the idea that Beyonce looks European. At any rate the conversation takes a few turns and ends up becoming a conversation about racial integration in the U.S. and whether or not it effected black owned business in a negative way. (Don’t ask me to remember each step that it took to get here. I might get a headache trying.)

The conversation reaches a stalemate when I ask Dee to name a specific black business that was negatively impacted by racial integration. After a few minutes of stalling and fiddling with his phone he came back with “Dee Dex Snack Bar.” Seeing as how this is Black History month (pardon me while I try not to laugh) I will share the story of “Dee Dex Snack Bar” with you. Better yet, I will share the entire article Dee used to seal his arguement:

How integration led to the decline of black-owned businesses

by Barney Blakeney

A few days ago I ran into Clay Middleton, a candidate for the S.C. House of Representatives Dist. 111 seat currently held by Rep. Floyd Breeland. I’ve long held Middleton in high regard since he was a cadet at The Citadel. He has proven himself to be a leader, first as an Army officer who served in Iraq then as an assistant to Rep. Jim Clyburn and a field organizer for the state Democratic Party. At 26 years old, Middleton seems wise beyond his years.
Our conversation ranged from the state of black America to strategies for bringing more resources to Dist. 111. Ultimately, we discussed the reasons for some of the disparities in the black community.
According to Middleton, his generation of African Americans seems to think they have no reason to continue the quest for equal rights and opportunities. But he says nothing could be further from the truth.
The need to continue pushing for equal opportunity is as great today as it was in the past. While there has been progress socially, economic progress has been a lot slower.
Another participant in the discussion suggested that integration has led to what many consider stagnated economic progress in the black community. The premise is one I’ve heard many times. Before integration, black-owned businesses flourished, the guy said. In the past, Morris Street in downtown Charleston, along with Spring and Cannon streets, was a vibrant center of activity for black business. Those businesses flourished because blacks were unwelcome in many white-owned businesses.
A classic example of how integration caused the demise of many black-owned businesses is the former Dee Dex Snack Bar. During the late 1960s and 1970s, integration opened the doors of fast food restaurants like Piggy Park on Rutledge Avenue and the Patio on Spring Street. Until then, Dee Dex Snack Bar had been the premier fast food restaurant for blacks downtown.
The business was originally located on Calhoun Street where Gaillard Auditorium is now. The auditorium’s construction displaced the snack bar and drugstore owned by the late Deward Wilson and scores of black families. When the business relocated to Spring Street, its business continued to flourish, but its days were numbered.
The old Brooks Motel, formerly located on Morris Street, is another example of how integration has contributed to decreasing numbers of viable black-owned businesses. Built prior to the signing of the Civil Rights Act into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967, the motel accommodated most of the civil rights leaders when they came to Charleston, including Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. Today, there’s no sign of the motel or Brooks Restaurant, across from the motel on Morris Street. Both were demolished to make way for condominiums, which have displaced not only businesses but also families in the traditionally black neighborhood.
While integration has contributed to a reduction in the number of black-owned businesses, I’m convinced that our failure to fully implement integration is the greater culprit. America has never fully integrated its society, and that has left many would-be black entrepreneurs out of the economic loop.
Middleton said he thinks education is the key to success for African Americans, economic and otherwise. He hopes that by making a quality education available to more blacks and other minorities, they can create more economic opportunities for themselves and their communities.
As the campaigns for House Dist. 111 develop in the coming months, I’ll be interested in seeing how budding new leaders like Middleton address challenging issues like full integration and economic progress among blacks.

Similar to the conversation referenced in the article above, there was a third party who contributed to the conversation I was having with Dee Blok. Third party suggested that there were other factors that may have affected the survival of certain black owned businesses. One possibility he suggested was that those businesses simply were not competitive.

Lol. I rest my case…but I had to share this because I promised that I would.

In memory of Dee Dex Snack Bar



Attention Artists: Do you Need A Publicist?

Get A Publicist For A Day

This is an opportunity for Independent artists to expand their web presence, get feedback and spread the word about new music projects. We found it on MusicXray.com:

Want serious promotion for your band or new release but are unable to afford the usual $2000-5000 associated with hiring publicists or PR companies? Independent Music Promotions is offering a “Get a publicist for a day” service which includes 6 hours of personalized promotion for your release. Expect guaranteed reviews out of this.

We’ll create a media link with your album (zip file), a bio, and press shots to submit to between 30-50 media outlets. We are currently accepting artists in the rock (all types), alternative, indie, metal, americana, blues, hip hop, electronic, pop, country and r&b genres. Results are a definite as we’ve secured many great contacts who are waiting to post material from our artists.

Note: this is not a generic “Auto submit” type service. This campaign will be personally done by James Moore, head of Independent Music Promotions as a way to help more artists.

Read about more services and offers available by clicking here.

Financial Literacy: What They May Not Teach You In School but Every Child Should Know

Here’s an article that I felt compelled to share, especially for those of you who are looking to make a living in entertainment, well for any of us that are looking to do more than collect a check on Friday from someone else. The article features a man named John Hope Bryant who speaks very plainly about empowering everyone via information and financial literacy. The article was intended to salute John Hope Bryant as a game changer but I simply want to spread the message not focus on the messenger. Here’s an excerpt:

CEO Inspires Financial Literacy In Young People

Bryant, who was recently named chairman of President Barack Obama‘s Subcommittee on the Underserved and Community Empowerment, is working to eliminate the shame associated with poverty and financial illiteracy.

“The biggest thing to overcome in helping to get people out of poverty and to give them some measure of financial dignity, is the shame. People feel shame in not understanding money and how it works. They feel shame in having these problems,” said Bryant on his website.

On a side note Africa is referred to as the “dark continent” due to the skin tone of it’s people not because it’s a negative place. Other than that, I like the message in the above video. I believe that free enterprise should be a part of everyday culture, a way of life instead of a class in school. Each one teach one… I could go on but the video says enough. Shout out to Jeff Mays over at NewsOne for the article. Read the entire article here.

Jim Jones Arrested At Foxwoods For Fighting After Platinum Party

There were alot of bystanders in the lobby at the MGM Foxwoods after Diddy’s Platinum Party. I usually don’t even bother with stuff like this but… (sigh) the search queries are up. So does anyone know what happened in the hotel lobby after Diddy’s Platinum Party? There are a couple of vids up but none of them self explanatory. It looks like Jones was trying to get at someone in particular while the security and state police were trying to hold him back.

Anyone who been up to the MGM on the weekends knows that there is plenty of security and a few State Troopers to back them up. But the amount of security in one immediate area suggests that something had already been going on before these videos were shot. Few comments under one vid says Jones was punched in the face by a john doe who ended up getting knocked out.

I could guess that this isn’t the kind of publicity that Foxwoods or Diddy wanted. One thing for sure is that the Online Wall Street Journal is reporting that Jones was arrested by Connecticut State Troopers and had to post bail. Blame it on the ow,ow,ow,ow,ow,alkahawl…… Anybody who happened to be in the MGM lobby feel free to explain.

Unsigned Only Music Competition



Unsigned Only is a unique music competition designed for solo artists, bands, and singers all over the world who are not signed to a major label record company or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, or imprints. The goal of Unsigned Only is to find an outstanding, talented performer: a band, singer, or solo artist…a newcomer or veteran…raw or polished  that needs to be discovered.

Judges include: Cyndi Lauper; Kenny Rogers; Angie Stone; 3 Doors Down; Jeremy Camp; Manchester Orchestra; Craig Morgan; Robert Smith (The Cure); Kelly Clarkson; Musiq Soulchild; Aaron Shust; Steve Lillywhite (Producer); G. Love; Matt and Kim; St. Vincent; The Mountain Goats; Josh Jackson (Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief, Paste Magazine); Scott Lapatine (Founder/Editor-In-Chief, Stereogum); Lorraine Ali (Pop Music Editor, Los Angeles Times); and more to be announced.
Mentors include a group of high-profile record company executives, including Monte Lipman (President of Universal Republic); Pete Ganbarg (Executive Vice President/Head of A&R, Atlantic Records); David Wolter (Senior VP of A&R, RCA Records); Kim Stephens (President, Forward Entertainment and A&R/Capitol Music Group); Trevor Jerideau (VP of A&R, RCA Records); David Wilkes (VP of A&R, eOne Music); Pete Giberga (Head of A&R, Razor & Tie Records); Jason Geter (President, Grand Hustle Records); and more.

The Grand Prize Winner will be awarded $5,000 in cash (plus additional prizes) and one-on-one mentoring by an elite group of record company executives. First Place and Second Place winners will also be selected in each category. Winners will be announced in July, 2012.

Categories include:

AAA (Adult Album Alternative)
AC (Adult Contemporary)
Pop/Top 40
Vocal Performance

Judging Criteria: originality, songwriting, vocals, performance, and overall likeability.

The deadline to enter Unsigned Only is approaching soon. Mailed entries must be postmarked on or before March 5, and online entries must be made before midnight.


Foxwoods "Platinum Party" Hosted By P Diddy


WHAT: Foxwoods Resort Casino will celebrate its 20th Anniversary with “The Platinum Party,” hosted by Grammy and MTV Video Music Award winning music mogul and entrepreneur Diddy. The MGM Grand Premier Ballroom will be transformed into the ultimate party with VIP seating, bottle service, projection screens, dancers, aerialists, giveaways and much more and the Hottest DJs from New York and Boston will be spinning crowd favorite music all night long.

One of the best-known and most successful recording artists and producers in the world, Grammy Award winning artist Diddy will be hosting “The Platinum Party” in honor of Foxwoods’ 20th Anniversary this February. As CEO and founder of Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group, Diddy oversees one of the world’s preeminent urban entertainment companies, encompassing a broad range of businesses including recording, music publishing, artist management, television and film production, recording facility, apparel and restaurants. He was recently named “One of the Most Influential Businessmen in the World” by Time Magazine and CNN.

WHO: Diddy’s parties are known for their A-List crowds and top-notch entertainment – expect nothing less at The Platinum Party. Celebrity guests include: rapper Jim Jones and his recently announced fiancé Chrissy Lampkin of VH1’s “Love and Hip Hop.”

WHEN: Tonight Friday, February 24
10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
WHERE: Premier Ballroom
MGM Grand at Foxwoods
350 Trolley Line Boulevard
Mashantucket, CT 06338
HOW: Strictly 21+. Proper Dress required. (No sneakers, hats, athletic apparel or bandanas.)
INFO: Buy tickets online at http://www.foxwoods.com
For VIP areas and Bottle service please call 860-312-8232 or email vipbookings@foxwoods.com