Posts Tagged ‘Black owned Businesses’


Call this my Part 4 of getting the support of Black-Owned Businesses for the city of Milwaukee to flourish. And what I’m about to do is to go in and call out. If those believe that supporting black owned businesses is a racist thing, dream on. If those yet to believe that supporting black businesses is a crime, where was the fire? Last week?! I read my hometown Journal’s article about money flows out of the Black Community in Milwaukee too frequently, in order to hold in. Again and again you hear it all the time, why doesn’t Milwaukee support black owned businesses? Matter of fact, it reminded me when the death of 1290 WMCS came back in February, this was one of the surprising blows in which it had deeply impacted the black community. Now for those who are wondering, has any of the previous personalities ever recovered or risen up to new endeavors? One has. Former personality, Earl Ingram has a live segment at a Milwaukee spot, called Coffee Makes You Black for the past two weeks. Coffee Makes You Black, for those who are not from Milwaukee, is a black owned Coffee Shop that is near the Inner City of Metro Area. It’s not just a spot for Coffee or dinner, but also the shop does hold special events. Just a FYI. Now for those who want to make a joke about “Coffee Makes You White” courtesy of the JSOnline Commentators, that is really off-base. Literally. And rightfully so. They have NO IDEA!

Meanwhile, in the article, it featured a local black owned BP Gas Station and it’s owner, Diane Stowers. The Gas Station is located at 8th and Atkinson, just near the I-43 Freeway in Milwaukee. She explains that her business in petroleum is bad, and the “help” from local banks and loans have labeled her establishment as a “high risk”. Really? Diane had purchased the station in 2007 making it yet to believe the first black owned Gas Station in the city in quite sometime. Plus also, the assistance of her financial objectives is to gain more customers who pump gas, and/or make purchases in the station. The more customers, the more service, the better. Sounds familiar? If we like what we purchase, and/or try to do it, do we ever try again in terms for support? Just asking.

Later on in the article, the Grocery Store, Lena’s has been in the community for over 30 years. Now for some, who again are not from Milwaukee, and are blog readers, Lena’s is a grocery store in which not only you purchase your fruits, vegetables, meats, and more items of choice. You also can have a request to deliver your groceries to your home or residence, via the Lena vans that most folks see around Milwaukee. Currently, the store has 3 locations and employs around 300 people. Most of the stores employs are really those who are in high school that can work around their schedules, and also gain the skills in order to work their way up to in their future careers. Now probably some are saying, “So what? I had that when I was in high school. Duh. And it was NOT in the black community. I get it”. I have to question: do they really?

But this recent article, the columnist, James Causey had a followup with the story, and this came at a crossfire in titled: “Am I’m the racist?” Not me, him. Yes, James wrote the article in stating his point of view of shopping and supporting Black Owned Businesses, but some folks called him a racist! Really? Just because a person like him that supports and shops at African-American establishments, does not make him nor anyone a racist. Take a look at the article. Now I’m calling out the folks who did the racist labeling, and saying that James is the racist, they are misunderstood! Period. Take a look. When he or Eugene Kane has to address the race issues of the city, you might see these screen names commenting like oh let me see:

  • AmericanBear – Never heard of him.
  • WI Mother – Uh, who? WHO?
  • EyesonMilwaukee – Again, WHO?
  • Finnagetjustice – LOL! What?!! Never heard of him.
  • Otto Potz –  Who’s that?
  • LazarLamas – Say what now?
  • Johnopine – Again, never heard of him. WHO?
  • rhondajo – Who on God’s green earth is this? Seriously? Never heard of him!

This is just a sampling. There might be more in the past postings. Guys or gals like them always have to take the negative about black folks who summed up three things: One, blacks. Two, media stuff, and playing the liberal card. Just to point out, not every black person doesn’t think like James T. Harris, Dr. Ben Carson or Herman Cain. Hello! And I’ll bet, they and others like to do this, is like a daily rant. That’s all it is. A hateful daily rant. In which they think they’re winning, but nope: Losing a losing battle. Now some might be shocked. But most will tell you that it’s nothing new. I’ll bet around in 2011, when the black teens messed up Mayfair Mall, oh there were comments like “animals”. When the State Fair’s midway was messed up in the summer of 2011, there were folks similar to them who called them “thugs” via the internet. And also having the thought of the Castle Doctrine coming out later that year. What was that quote? “November 1st can’t come fast enough!” And where was this? the JSOnline.com website. Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it. I’m just saying. And I bring this forward not just a call out, but also to establish this: part of this, is a example of what is happening here in the number one segregated city in the United States. No matter if it’s online with screen names or in person at a rally. Plus the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel at most times attracts the “conservative crowds” in a political mean spirited fashion. Oh, partially, they had to break out the MLK speeches and yet to believe he’s was a Republican. Flag on the play! Go back and read.

Here is a shocker: I shop at black businesses: A Barber Shop, a Barbecue Truck, and even at times upon occasion: volunteer at a DayCare. Plus also I donate to black causes, Community Events, and attend African-American events in terms of means of support. When 1290 WMCS went away, 860 WNOV was the next thing to listen. And yes, you can listen no matter if you are in Milwaukee, or in Portland Maine. As far as the blogs that are local and black: Eugene Kane, James Causey, and rarely, The Milwaukee Drum. Nationally in other areas, I read blogs coming from Blackgirlinmaine. Remember her from Melissa Harris-Perry last year? Shout out to her. Now why I want to read these? I want to have a balance between what I know and what do I want to know that the other guys won’t talk about. In the past year, besides WMCS losing, The Michael Baisden Show, Warren Ballentine, and if you’re a reader of the Milwaukee Labor Press newspapers: Gone. Even Judge Joe Brown will be gone after 15 years on Syndication TV. No more “Man Ups” from Joe Time. Sad. However in the midst of black owned businesses that are still left and standing: they need support. Like a well known leader who falls, another one will rise up. Just to add, does anyone listen to Skip Murphy in the Afternoon? He’s black, not a Michael Baisden type, teams up with Jasmine Sanders,  but at least try him out to listen. And here in Milwaukee, he comes on between 2pm-6pm on Jammin 98.3. The same timeslot that Michael Baisden had here in the city.

So to conclude: No matter what the haters say, buying black may be a strange for many, but for some, it’s ongoing objective. No matter who says what. Period.

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For those who have logged on my blog in the past few days about 1290 WMCS, thank you. I’m just doing my part to get the word out in terms of my commentary and ideas. I never worked for 1290, but like as a regular citizen, I did listened and had a balance with the viewpoints.  And of course, I drove by the building near Sherman and Capitol and the Mural is currently displayed. Now how long will the mural stay? Not knowing. Plus if anyone had a chance to go their website, you will see a under construction graphic, but you can click on the link to listen to all that stunting Elvis music that most of us still having our heads shaking in disbelief. Most don’t know that 1290 WMCS wasn’t just a radio station that played music and talk, it also had provided scholarships opportunities for students that were college bound. Technically even though it was under the radar for those never heard of the station  but however, for us in Milwaukee, this was well known as much as them hosting the Christmas Family Feast every year, on Christmas Day.

Speaking of new ideas: I want to address this to Black Milwaukee.  No matter if you are a Mason, Elk, a church member, business owner, current radio personality, former personality, student, retiree, blogger, or just an average black citizen that is always in the brainstorming thing to generate work. We are still hearing about why this happened and of course the “funeral procession of 1290 WMCS”  is still happening  I know. Many are asking, and wondering why don’t we support our own businesses and organizations that we are definite fans of?  Are we afraid?  Basically it’s nothing new. We seen it and hear it too many times. On the Milwaukee Times Website, I read an article that was entitled: “Lead, follow or get out of the d*mn way!” Which was published last year. In the article, Ruben Hopkins commented, “It should come as no surprise that Milwaukee has the weakest black business community in the country. However, it still surprises people when I bring it up. It’s as if we don’t talk about it, it will go away.” In the recent event that happened to 1290, Spectators Arena Grille, and others that had that “grand opening, grand closing” mantra, it’s clearly that we have to do better. Even in this era of Technology. It’s like going from print to digital. We’ve seen it. Even though that it’s a scary thought of mentioning for some, but it is changing. Or in a sense, I’ve heard my pastor talk about the offerings that church members do online instead of going to church in person and dropping it into the basket or collection plate. Or get this: You’re on Social Media, and in between you came across your church online, after hearing the sermons and songs, there are those who have those “eCommunion Wafers and Juices” on stat. When the time comes, those who might take “the bread” and “drink the wine” on their own. And after that’s done, the continuing of getting back to Facebook or Google Plus goes on. It might happen. Don’t be surprised  The reason why I’m bringing this up, it’s a prime example of the keeping the pace with the new era of business. And why were at it, that is mostly needed in the African-American Community of Milwaukee. Now we know, one black business had ended, but the ones that are still standing, need a shot of support. Plus also those that are upstarting, need a grasp of opportunity.

Way back when, I was listening to the Michael Baisden Show, and how he talked about the organizations that came out for the Trayvon Martin tributes, the schools, and etc. And how that that Black Businesses were supported by the black churches, neighborhood organizations  Fraternities and Sororities, and others that devoted their time and effort to come out. And guess what, again they were black owned organizations and groups! I constantly heard him said this many times. Now in regarding this, I think the Milwaukee Black Fraternities/Sororities (especially Milwaukee’s NPHC) , churches, organizations,  and others need to help to expand the wings to get those a lift. Now if some had come out to help re-brand African World Festival, for those one day and two day festival comebacks, why not come out for a struggling organization that is currently in the red? African World Festival is now molding as a business, which also help promotes(along with Gee’s Clippers and the Milwaukee Urban Entertainment Alliance)  the All-White Affair and All-Black Affair Events in Downtown Milwaukee, plus the Lakefront seasonally.  Like I said before, if those of us who like to stand outside to wait for the new Air Jordans, an IPhone, or in this case to hear what Lil’ Wayne has to say about in his rap lyric or that new album about to drop nationally, then that mentality needs to set also for us locally to motivate and get involved! Last summer, I missed a UW-Stout Alumni event in the city. Yes, I’m a Stout Grad. But the one thing I did the most, was donated to the Alumni Association. I donated $20.00 just to support my University Alma Mater. I also did alot of support to my High School Alma Mater in 2011, by through donations, making ads, and getting proclamations from the offices of the Mayor, Governor and County Executive! Oh yeah, I was hustling hard. Plus also I attend the Alumni Board meetings to support. And I’m the first black male from my High School Alumni Class of 1995 and the 90’s decade to do this. And before I go to the meetings, I ask those on social media for input of questions, comments,  concerns or ideas to help the Alumni Association. This is my way of generating to them of new stuff.

Black folks of Milwaukee, this is what enthusiasm can do in order to find new things to conquer as an example.  Learned it while attending church. Some of you say that I have a good philosophy. Well I don’t know, but it is appreciative way to keep the shop going. But many might ask, and I know this, is how can this be done with the survival of our black businesses in Milwaukee of any kind? I’m so glad that question is asked in which I’m prepared to answer. Now I’m only one African-American male in the city but I know there are certain steps to follow.When I was attending a Rethink Church meeting in Racine, I remember 8 steps to ensure a workable church, but also this can tie into any business. What I want to imagine that all the Black Businesses/Zip Codes in Milwaukee are one BIG Corporation.

As for the steps, this is how it went:

1) Establish a sense of urgency.

2) Create a guiding coalition.

3) Develop a strategy.

4) Communicate a change vision

5) Empower a broad based action

6) Generate short term goals

7) Consolidate gains and produce more change

8) Anchor new approaches in culture

***Just for reference, I would highly recommend checking out a Publication called “Leading Change” by John P. Kotter. Sidenote.***

For all of those who are black business minded, take notes on this. Don’t just read them and archive, put them to work! The parts of short term goals – even though that the short term goals are short term, the game is not yet won. Although the short victories are good at times, but it’s best to learn from the results of the short victories to ensure the long victories. If your goal is to get your Mixtape Rap CD out in Walmart for 60 days, and if the sales are good – small victory. But you have to build on the small wins for the big wins! I’m just saying. All it is: Keep Winning as the folks say on Instagram. And if the business plan goes south, you have to go back and review what happened to make improvements. Just like when we were in school and if we fail a test, sometimes we have to ask what happened, and go over what has happened.

Furthermore, WE the Milwaukee African-American Community must continue to seek and keep the shop open.  Yes WNOV 860 is open. But still, the dialogue, our needs/concerns, and our commentary viewpoints must stay the course! Just like this morning, when Sherwin Hughes commented about the state black radio in Milwaukee. Plus also commented were Eugene Kane, Judge Derek Mosley, and a surprise guest to start out with: Former 1290 WMCS Personality Eric Von was appreciated for his years behind the microphone. All in the new 9:00am – 11:00am time format. Even though 1290 has gone “from stunting yet again Elvis”, and today, Fox 6 News reported that the station is now going to be named as “1290 Martini Radio”; WZTI-AM. They are going to play music from Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, to Adele and Norah Jones.  Ok………

Now to those of us in the African-American Milwaukee Community, after the “funeral procession of 1290 WMCS”  is over, what’s next? Keep branding and building. But do it smarter!


The first Decade of the 2010’s was a harsh one. But also in other ways a good start for the year. I had a chance to get  a new schedule job change, volunteer and work for my Alumni Folks, help my church to “Rethink”, won my case of my Saxophone and getting an unexpected check from Reed vs Dresser Settlement Claims. And like every other year, 2010 and I had some losses. Tough losses.

The Good:

Rethink Church. Especially my church.

Juneteenth Day in Wisconsin became a State Holiday. It’ s real now, not even Scott Walker or the haters can’t touch it.

Milwaukee’s African World Festival returns with a one day festival in August. – Which is my “Favorite Comeback Event of the year”. After being out of the spotlight for two years financially.

Alumni Check ins: Had a chance to return to my High School Reunion, College and University Alumni Functions and workshops. Big ups to Milwaukee’s John Marshall High School Class of 1990-2000 Reunions, the Milwaukee Area Technical College and University of Wisconsin-Stout Alumni Associations.

Eugene Kane and James Causey of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. At least they tell some good news.

Wisconsin Badgers Football. 2010 Big Ten Champs.

Wisconsin establishments are now Smoke Free! So I can go to a club and be healthy at the same time. The haters on the other hand don’t think it’s an idea. What’cha been smoking?

Brandon Jennings had a good season with the Bucks.

The Green Bay Packers with or without Aaron Rodgers. And with Clay Matthews!

Milwaukee had received 2 WWE Smackdown Events at the Bradley Center in the year.

Milwaukee County Supervisor Nikyla Harris became the new Supervisor of Milwaukee’s District 2 area replacing Toni Clark.

For me: I had some good pointers in 2010 in which was personal. My saxophone that I owned for 21 years,  was under siege by a local music shop which they thought it was stolen, but there was no proof of that of being stolen. However it was returned to me no charge. And in October, I was awarded a check over 5 grand with the Reed vs Dresser Settlement Case which had a problem of hiring, training  and taking in Wisconsin African-American Applicants. For all you companies out there, you better be careful of not hiring blacks because it might bite you big!

Health Care Reform! – Good.  And so the haters began to complain.

Shani Davis winning the Gold Medal in Speed-skating – AGAIN!

Mo’Nique winning an Oscar Award. – Don’t Hate!

New Orleans Saints winning the Super Bowl.

Brett Favre’s Streak of 297 games – Over. And was looking at 2 losses against the Packers.

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell – IS OVER! Let them serve openly.

Keith Olbermann for attacking the Tea Party, the Shirley Sherrod Case, and the question “Where are the people of color at the Tea Parties?”

Bill Maher – enough said.

In Music: No I didn’t listen to Justin Bieber and other folks. I listened to Cypress Hill, Diddy Dirty Money, Eminem, The Roots, Toni Braxton, Ice Cube, Michael Jackson’s new joint, Faith Evans, and a bunch of Old School stuff that took me back in the day before Lil Wayne’s and TI’s prison terms.

Windows Phone 7

In Movies: Iron Man 2, The A-Team, The Karate Kid (2010 Version), Machete, Get Him to The Greek, Hot Tub Time Machine, and Faster – which has a Milwaukee connection. And for the record: NO SOCIAL NETWORK!

NBA Jam made a comeback. And Call of Duty: Black Ops was a hit!

On TV: Real Milwaukee – that show is hilarious! WWE, Real Time, True Blood, Entourage, Countdown, The Rachel Maddow Show, & The Ed Show.

I also met new folks on Facebook, a local Black fraternity, and sent over 2,000 tweets on twitter.

The NAACP for standing up to the Tea Party and telling them to repudiate (not refudiate) their racist elements.

Milwaukee gained new stations in HD – A country music station, and a retro station that shows nothing but old school shows.

The Bad:

I need to put this on the top of the list: Ron Johnson and Scott Walker. And my opinion, Tom Barrett and Russ Feingold shouldn’t have lost under the so-called Wisconsin Tea Party folks!

The Tea Party. And not to forget the “Don’t Tread on Me” Flags, and those wished that it was the American Revolution all over again.

Michael Steele.

TeaParty365.

TSA.

The Fox 6 Milwaukee Blog site. I’ll  miss that the most.

The blizzard on the East Coast. Hey, we Midwesterner folks know that all too well.

Folks rushing to the stores to buy the Ipad. It’s not that serious!

Andrew Breitbart and his “stories” of Shirley Sherrod footages with the NAACP.

Sarah Palin.

Alveda King. – She needs a reality check of her famous uncle!

Glenn Beck.

Charlie Sykes and any right wing news hack in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Brewers – don’t hate. If they start winning more,  they will be on my good list.

Atlanta Hawks Player Josh Smith of his comment about Milwaukee in general.

Black owned restaurants in Milwaukee of Stella’s, The Bayou, and Manna House all forced to close up shop. This is one example of why the black (and I mean BLACK) businesses is in need of constant support.

When will Nintendo Wii and EA Sports ever get it with Madden?

Brass Bell Music in Glendale, WI. See my For me post.

Dresser Waukesha for not hiring and training African-Americans in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin and the “boondoggle/It will never work/brain-drain syndrome” – and letting go 810 Million Dollars of High Speed Rail and the jobs. That was a waste.  And Talgo is moving out in 2012 leaving a maintenance base. Wow Scott Walker, and Wisconsin Tax-Payers. Thank you morons for making sure that the state stays behind. Disgusted.

A bar in Wisconsin that refused blacks as patrons. Don’t that send us back even more?!

Haiti Earthquake.

BP Oil Spill.

The flood in Milwaukee that the city didn’t had in over 100 years. Crazy. And remember that sinkhole!

Milwaukee is ranked 4th as poorest in the nation, and it’s still segregated. And the crazy JSOnline folks who spend too much time on the columns of Eugene Kane and others still don’t understand. Are they too broke to work or go to school? My God!

Milwaukee is number 1! ( in Drinking).

Crazy and UGLY!!!!:

What is up with Milwaukee’s Bradford Beach and folks of all colors can’t get along? And again, there are those in Milwaukee who see the blacks as thugs? When will I get my chance? When?!  And when will Milwaukee will get out of the 1975/1980’s “all day everyday” syndrome?

Conan O’Brien leaves the Tonight Show and re-enters Jay Leno. Meanwhile months later, Conan goes to TBS.

Back in the spring, when the Milwaukee Bucks were in the playoffs, the term “Fear The Deer” became a reality when a heard of deer crashed a bar in Menomonie during the game.

I became a “hater victim” on Youtube.  If you want to know, well it was about this jobber named superstr5 or whatever his name was, thought I was lying about going to a wrestling match in 1996.  Hello, I got the ticket stub at home to prove this! Let this be a warning to everyone: I’m not here to get cracked on. If you got a bone to pick on, pick on somebody else. One thing for sure, I did reported the incident on youtube. AND I MEAN on YOUTUBE!

The High Speed Rail Project was first halted by Gov. Jim Doyle, then was the setup by Scott Walker to scrap it.  Again: A Waste.

On the lighter side of things time to reflect on those we lost:

Teena Marie – you younger bucks better recognize real music instead of being a pretty face.

Laurie Bembenek

Leslie Neilsen

Lena Horne

Gary Coleman

Barbara Billingsby

George Steinbrenner

Rue McClanahan

Dixie Carter

Teddy Pendergrass

Locally where I’m at: I lost those who were close –

Forrest Rash

Rev. Jodie Joiner

Ethel Richards

Dorothy McGuin

and two I felt were family: Sabrina Junior who was my cousin was murdered in August.  This was a disgusting act of violence that effected my family, my younger cousins who will not see their mother again. And my family had the family dog we called “boo-bear” had be put to sleep because of age illness. We were blessed to have her as a dog. We took her in our home, fed her, played with her and just took her in as family. We thanked God for her 14 years (98 dog years) she has given us.

2010 was a rough start.  But I think 2011 will be an improvement of better beginnings, healing, and outcomes.