On Saturday 6th April 2013, Black History Studies organised our second ‘Black Market’. The Black Market is an event to showcase, expose and connect Black cultural and creative entrepreneurs to the community and to provide a platform to sell their products, promote their skills and engage with the local and surrounding community.
The aim of the event is to:
- Showcase and connect Black cultural and creative entrepreneurs to the community
- Increase the exposure of Black cultural and creative sector’s participation in the wider community
- To provide a platform to sell their products, promote their skills and engage with the local and surrounding community.
- To raise the awareness of the importance and relevance of increasing your personal financial literacy and the benefits of developing and adopting an enterprising lifestyle.
We included a film festival this time and screened three independent documentaries The Black Candle: A Kwanzaa Celebration, ‘BURN: The Evolution of an American City’ and ‘Kickin’ It With the Kinks’ films which were followed by some brilliant discussions. We also had a presentation on Economic Empowerment in the Black Community delivered by Charmaine Simpson of Black History Studies.
We had over 300 people attend the event and we believe that the event went well. We received some good positive feedback form delegates and stallholders.
“I found the Black Market to be a very empowering event. I liked that every thing was so well organised. Me and my mum got there early so I could set up my stall. Everyone was so happy and it was great to see my black community working together.” – Nature from Nafasi by Nature Cards
“I really enjoyed the event from the point of view of a stallholder as well as being part of an ambience of good vibes. There are too few events where our creative businesses and community can meet. Great idea to combine films with the market. Well done Mark Charmaine and all those involved in making it happen! More! More ! MORE!” –Menelik Shabazz
“As always the BHS Team put together a fantastic event ensuring exhibitors, like myself, were catered to with all their needs and the public was catered to with great tasting (and smelling) food. The event was a great turn out, lots of great items being sold. I would recommend to any and everyone and I would definitely attend again… even if I wasn’t distributing. A huge well done to Mark & Charmaine!” – Nathanial from ISIS Magazine
You can read some more on our guestbook. We did receive some feedback regarding the price of the event and that the £10 entrance fee was too expensive. Delegates had access to three films, a presentation and access to over 30 stalls during the nine hour event with lots of networking opportunities and an opportunity to speak to a Financial Advisor provided by Talk Moneywise. The Black Market was not funded and sponsored by any other organisation or funding body so we have to finance our own events, hence the £10 entrance fee.
I believed that some missed the point of the event as the event was about doing for self and supporting our Black businesses and yes supporting Black business involves investing money in our Black businesses. We must come out of the freeness and funded mentality which has not got us anywhere. Let’s not wait for funding before we take action. Like African scholar, Dr. Claud Anderson says “the new orientation for Black America (and the UK too), within the framework of a national plan, is the practice of group economics. The primary goal of practicing group economics is to draw wealth, income and other resources into Black communities and to make them more economically self-sufficient and competitive.”
We do not want to pay £10 to enter an event so how will be afford our own buildings? WE DO NOT OWN BUILDINGS so have to rent them from non-African people. And the building we do have access to or have leases for are under threat. If we did have our own buildings, where would the funds come from to pay the costs to keep the building open (rates, insurance, security etc)?
Some more feedback received was regarding the creation of a brochure to circulate to the community from the event. Initially, we did have an idea of a brochure or event magazine but we chose to keep the costs low. Printing costs money and this will be made up somewhere (tickets will be £15). I have an idea, let’s all patronize Purple Pages (http://www.purple-biz.co.uk/thecompany.htm) and fundraise to give the director Cheryl Henry the £100,000 plus it will cost to print the brilliant UK Black links Business Directory that we used to have and love. Then we would not need to print a brochure because we will have a Black Business Directory in our homes.
Better still, lets encourage our businesses to advertise on the website so we have a central accessible directory to use 24 hours a day. Question, when was the last time you actually looked in your physical copy of the Thomson Local or it is in a cupboard under the stairs under some old shoes? Online is the best option, our next move will be to develop mobile phone apps (we need to finance this too). If you did not know about Purple Pages, then ask yourself why? We do not have the advertising budgets like Argos to promote and showcase our businesses hence the reasons for the events like The Black Market, The Black Baby Show, Uzima Expo, Natural November etc.
Other feedback received was that we should have shown films for children. All the films we screened were child friendly. A solution is to start to make and fund our own films. Do we have films made for our Black children on the importance of Black businesses to show? Or is this the role of the parents to take the children around to the stalls to speak to the stallholders on the importance of supporting black businesses or economics. I did not provide children activities as I did hope that this would be the case.
These events are vital to support businesses in the community, as we do not have the luxury of large marketing budgets to highlight our work so we need events like these to showcase the community talent and to encourage entrepreneurship and the circulation of the pound within the community.
We would like to thank Deniece from Platanos College, Sonia Scully, Bro Icha from JetBlackInk Multimedia, Cynthia Butare who is the director of Kickin’ It with the Kink’ and Basil from Pempamsie for their support with this event. I would like to thank Naomi and Rachel from UK Naturals for hosting the Q&A session of Kickin’ It with the Kinks and thank Izegbuwa for providing British Sign Language support to Kevin so he could also enjoy the event. We would like to thank LMQ events for decorating the hall and helping with the catering. We would like to thank our volunteers Mariah, Marchessa, Janese Samuels, Robert Curry, Leget Muhammed and Empress Jai. Last but not least, I would like to thank all our exhibitors who exhibited at the Black Market Event
Afro Fusion Designs, Afrocessories by J.M Prempah, AKIIKI, All Knightz Ltd, Anaisart, Asawala, Bespoke Binny, Blyssful Union, Cairo Cards / 3ms, E&G Designs, Foroyaa African Arts, Crafts & Jewellery, Greenshack Productions, House of Loulee, ISIS Empire Ltd, La Fashionista Ltd / Jewellery by Pauline G, LibRaw, Marcia Makeba, Nafasi Cultured Cards by Nature, Natalie Cooper Books, Onyinyedraws, Ooma and Yumi, Organics, Pieces by Keke, PositiveImageProject, Sistah Outlets – S.O Wyze, Skone Designs, Sun Ra Publishing, Talk Moneywise, Tanzanian Womens Association, The Calabash Hub, TomizCreations by Remi O, Uhzuri Designs, Yess Essentials, Yours Naturally
Watch our interviews of stallholders and delegates from the Black Market below: