There are some organizations that set the standard for doing good by the black community. In South Florida, The South Florida Times is one, around the country Black Enterprise is another. I had the good fortune to meet the founder of Black Enterprise while I was at their 22nd Annual Golf and Tennis Challenge recently. I was enticed to attend because of the Caribbean theme they promised to incorporate into this year’s offering, and pleasantly surprised to learn that the rumors about founder Earl Graves Sr. having Barbadian roots were actually true.
It is always a pleasure to see a large group of affluent black people together. On this, my second year at the event, one of the most special treats was seeing how well Caribbean culture was being embraced by the attendees. After a first day program paying homage to old school hip hop, kangols, rope chains and the like, the second day was dedicated to West Indian culture. The Island Food Truck luncheon was well attended, as was the Caribbean dinner affair later on that night. For the featured performance of the night, Barbadian singer Alison Hinds delivered a high energy soca music set. Of course the Caribbean folks took over the dance floor, and although many of the African Americans sat out the selection of music they may have never heard before, they seemed to enjoy it from their seats, bouncing along all the way.
The other great surprise of the weekend was learning how integral our culture was to the media conglomerate overall. Multiple Black Enterprise employees confirmed that possibly more than half the staff was comprised of folks from the Caribbean or of Caribbean parentage. That information verified how powerful our community is, even from the background.
Although we remain fragmented by unique cultures, black people in America are united by more than our shared ethnicity. Seeing the camaraderie at an event like this, being educated on valuable lessons about money, power and influence that we should all as black people embrace, provided an effective tutorial in fostering pride and unity amongst our own.
Calibe Thompson is the Executive Producer of the “Taste the Islands” cooking series, now airing nationwide on public television stations and Create TV (www.createtv.com for details). Learn more about her at www.calibe.net.