31 Ways 31 Days in Pennsylvania
Aug. 1 -- Buy products of black food manufacturers in grocery stores such as Baldwin-Richardson Foods, Sylvia's, Glory and Home-Style; if you don't see a section of such products, ask the manager why not. Purchase the wines of African-American vintners. See the list at africanamericanvintner.org. Join the African-American Wine Tasting Society. Eat at an African-American restaurant. Find detailed information in Say Grace and Wipe Yo' Hands: BlackRestaurant.NET Guide to America's Black Restaurants. Many people eat out at least once per day. Let that be your way to generate jobs. KeVan Parker's Miss Tootsie's Restaurant Bar and Lounge, 1314 South St., is a showcase eatery in Philadelphia.
Aug. 2 -- Invest in African-American owned businesses to reduce the capital access gap they face. Opportunities Industrialization Council is raising $10 million to seed black entrepreneurship by collecting $10 apiece from mobile phone customers. Howard Sullivan leads the iconic economic development group. The Minority Angel Investment Network matches experienced industry executives with startups needing capital and expertise, particularly in biotechnology. Today's featured eatery is T. Oliver's Sea Food and Soul Food, 1233 N. 3rd St. in Harrisburg.
Aug. 3 -- Support the vitality of African-American business districts such as North Philadelphia. Kenny Gamble's Universal Companies are building infrastructure such as theater and schools to sustain communities. Today's featured eatery is Renee's Soul Food, 1029 Market St. in Harrisburg.
Aug. 4 - Subscribe to the seasons or attend performances of African-American theatre companies such as Kuntu Repertory Theater at the University of Pittsburgh, Freedom Theater, 1348 Broad St. in Philadelphia and Bushfire Theater of Performing Arts, 224 S. 52nd St. in Philadelphia. Today's featured eatery is Uptown Spice Grill, 2134 N. 6th St. in Harrisburg .
Aug. 5 - Attend, volunteer and contribute to the work of African-American churches like Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, home to the Richard Allen Museum, and First African Presbyterian Church, founded in 1807. Today's featured eatery is Amazing Cafe, 272 Melwood Ave. in Pittsburgh.
Aug. 6 - Contracting Accountability Day. Pennsylvania Dept. of Transportation spent just $10 million with black-owned businesses in 2011, according to semi-annual reports filed with the U.S. Dept. of Transportation obtained by blackmoney.com through a Freedom of Information Act request. Call, e-mail or write your state assemblymember or senator to insist that projects financed with federal funds comply with federal business equity regulations and laws. Today's featured eatery is Mr. Ribbs, 1315 Fifth Ave. in Pittsburgh.
Aug. 7 - Spotlight on Uncle Sam. Federal agencies spent $93.4 million with black-owned businesses in Pennsylvania during the first six months of the 2012-13 fiscal year, according to Job Creation and Innovation: State of Black Business, 9th edition. Ask your congressional representatives to provide you with lists of local federal procurement officers and small business liaison officers. Visit the area office of the Small Business Administration to learn how to become a federal contractor. Today's featured eatery is Family Pride Poultry, 128 N. Highland Ave. in Pittsburgh.
Aug. 8 - Higher Education and Health Focus. Billions flow into colleges, hospitals and universities, some located near African-American communities. As major recipients of federal funds, they are required to use disadvantaged business enterprises. Contact local university leaders to find their small business utilization plans and the actual performance; and their record of training African-American students for cutting edge careers, particularly in graduate school. HBCUs include Lincoln University and Cheyney State University. Today's featured eatery is Butter's Soul Food to Go, 2821 W. Girard Ave. in Philadelphia.
Aug. 9 - Utility and Energy Focus. First Energy and Exelon are the investor-owned utilities serving Pennsylvania. Renewable energy expert Wayne Gardner is a commissioner on the Public Utilities Commission. Today's featured eatery is EJ's Soul Food Restaurant, 810 Penn Ave. in Wilkinsburg.
Aug. 10 - School the Administrators. Raising the achievement of African-American students is a national priority, thanks to an executive order by President Obama. The National Black Education Agenda also meets in Chicago in October. Attend school board meetings to ask how contracts are awarded; ask for small business utilization plans on major federal grants like School Improvement Grants, Title 1, and IDEA. Insist that local firms be used for professional development. Seek use of the new African-American educational channel ReUNION: Education-Arts-Heritage. Today's featured eatery is Warmdaddy's, 1400 Columbus Blvd. in Philadelphia.
Aug. 11 - Support an African-American non-profit organization such as the Today's featured eatery is Relish, 7152 Ogontz Ave. in Philadelphia.
Aug. 12 -Visit local museums like the August Wilson Center for African-American Culture in Pittsburgh or The African-American Museum in Philadelphia. Today's featured eatery is Elena's Soul, 4912 Baltimore Ave. in Philadelphia.
Aug. 13- Open an account with the African-American financial institutions like United Bank of Philadelphia. Today's featured eatery is Dowe's on Ninth, 121 Ninth St. in Pittsburgh.
Aug. 14 - Utilize an African-American contractor, architect or construction manager. Visit the National Association of Minority Contractors for listings. Today's featured eatery is Denby's Soul Food, 4428 Frankford Ave. in Philadelphia.
Aug. 15 - Book a stay or an event with the member hotels of the National Association of Black Hotel Owners Operators and Developers (NABHOOD) . Today's featured eatery is Donsville's Jamaica Jamaica, 6008 Broad St. in Pittsburgh.
Aug. 16 - African-American doctors and dentists have been community leaders, entrepreneurs as well as healers. The National Medical Assocation has a gallery of its physician members as does the National Dental Association. Today's featured eatery is Soul Food Connection, 819 Wood St. in Pittsburgh.
Aug. 17 - The lack of information about property has led to such events as the shrinkage of black farm land and the predatory lending epidemic of the past ten years. Members of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers live in our communities and are part of an organization which has sought to make black consumers aware of their rights as consumers. Today's featured eatery is Jamaican Jerk Hut, 1436 South St. in Philadelphia.
Aug. 18 - The 65th anniversary of beauty products manufacturer Bronner Bros is a continuing sign of the presence of black businesses in the sector. Ebony Fashion Fair leverages the reach of the magazine to define beauty for black women. Look for the Proud Lady symbol of the American Health and Beauty Aids Institute, the trade association of black beauty products manufacturers, when shopping. The Black Owned Beauty Supply Association promotes the development of black retailers for the $9 billion industry. Today's featured eatery is CJ's in the Strip, 2901 Penn Ave. in Pittsburgh.
Aug. 19 - Pennsylvania is a good launch pad for African-American environmentally-friendly manufacturers like Protec-Kote Technologies Inc.,which makes cementitious remediation compounds for asbestos removal. When doing remodeling or repair work in old buildings, one can ask for Encap brand. San Diego-based ChloroFill is making biodegradable building panels to meet the EPA's new standard for removing carcinogenic materials. Today's featured venue is Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill, 5600 N. Broad St.
Aug. 20 - Think about what you drink. Pioneering African-American beverage makers such as United Beverage are making such products as NuSouth flavored lemonades, available in Big Lots and other retailers. Philadelphia-based African Sunrise Soda distributes in the Mid-Atlantic states. Heritage Link Brands is importing wines from South Africa and elsewhere on the continent. Today's featured venue is Golden Krust Bakery and Grill, 125 S. 69th St. in Upper Darby.
Aug. 21 - Utilize African-American software and technology companies like PRWT Services, which has branched into pharmaceutical manufacturing. Today's featured venue is Kayla's Place, 4923 Penn Ave. in Pittsburgh.
Aug. 22 - Visit Hakim's Bookstore, 210 S. 52nd St. in Philadelphia. Today's featured eatery is Vernie's Soul Food, 1800 W. Eleanor St. in Philadelphia.
Aug. 23 - WWLU FM 88.7 is the radio station at Lincoln University. Today's featured eatery is Crawford Grill on the Hill, 2141 Wylie Ave. in Pittsburgh, a jazz landmark closed in 2003 but restored by a group of investors including Franco Harris.
Aug. 24 -- The black press is the authoritative record of our legacy. Subscribe to a black newspaper like the Pittsburgh Courier for the stories you'll never see in the daily press, or Johnson Publishing Co.'s Ebony and Jet magazines.. Black Money Philadelphia adds a new spark to business news coverage. Today's featured eatery is Kilimandjaro Restaurant, 4317 Chestnut St. in Philadelphia.
Aug. 25 - Purchase a video or buy a seat for a black filmmakers work. Sparkle, featuring the last performance by Whitney Houston, opens Aug. 17. Today's featured eatery is Le Mandique Restaurant, 1516 Sansom St. in Philadelphia.
Aug. 26 - Support black musicians. Buy music produced by African-American companies like Kenny Gamble's Philadelphia International Records. Help musicians by hiring them to train young people. Today's featured eatery is Abay Ethiopian Restaurant, 130 S. Highland Ave. in Pittsburgh.
ReUNION: Education-Arts-Heritage instructional network to provide culturally-responsive content for your child's classroom; urge principals to hire African-American educators and historically-black colleges and universities for professional development. Today's featured eatery is Denise's Soul Food, 5809 Broad St. in Philadelphia.Aug. 27 -- Select an African-American independent school like the Universal schools. Ask your school to subscribe to
Aug. 28 - Purchase back to school items such as clothes and paper goods from African-American retailers. Form buying clubs through churches or organizations to purchase goods in bulk directly from wholesalers or manufacturers. Today's featured eatery is Cookie's Place, 750 E. Erie Ave. in Philadelphia..
Aug. 29 - Purchase automobiles from an African-American dealer. Check the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers at http://www.namad.org . Today's featured eatery is Global Food Market, 132 S. Highland in Pittsburgh.
Aug. 30 - Utlilze African-American lawyers. The National Bar Association has a directory of lawyers. Today's featured eatery is Zachary's BBQ, 1709 Markley St., Norristown.
Aug. 31 - Make a political contribution to the African-American candidate of your choice. It should be obvious that there is an African-American candidate running for President for the second election in a row. However, that should not be a reason for complacency. The history of black political achievement is that such milestones can be followed by backlashes if vigilance is not maintained. By reading Job Creation and Innovation: State of Black Business, 9th edition, one will see the critical role of public policy at all levels of government to the success of black businesses. One of the objectives of National Black Business Month is that the entire African-American community be considered in economic decision-making. Today's featured eatery is Greens, Beans and Soulful Things, 130 S. 60th St. in Philadelphia.