Last week, I did a Soulful Strut on Wall Street. Yes! Wall Street!
The bustling, booming block was full of an eclectic mix of colorful entrepreneurs, movers and shakers, vendors, a food court, and plenty of powerful people that looked like me!
Last week, at least for one day, Black Wall Street was located on the campus of Montclair University in Montclair, NJ. It was a dual celebration of Juneteenth–the day in June when enslaved people of color in Texas learned they were free–and Black Business Expo 2023–a time to celebrate the success and achievements of minority and women-owned business enterprises in New Jersey.
The African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (AACCNJ) hosted the event. Under President and CEO John Harmons’ steely yet compassionate and ambitious yet cautious guidance, the AACCNJ has become one of the country’s most revered Chamber of Commerce organizations and has received praise from New Jersey’s top politicos–including Senator Cory Booker, Governor Phil Murphy, and Lt. Gov Sheila Oliver.
I spent most of the day struttin’ and strollin’ down Black Wall Street in New Jersey. I marveled, waved, and chatted with some of the powerful and influential people I saw, some of whom I have met and interviewed over the years.
I saw Brenda Ross-Dulan. She is the principal and managing partner of the Ross-Dulan Group, a management consulting firm based in Monmouth Junction, NJ. Ross-Dulan is a former banker with Wells Fargo. At one time, she was executive vice president and Regional president of the Southern New Jersey region. Black Enterprise magazine also named her one of the most influential African American women in business.
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Easing on down the road, I saw Avis Yates Rivers. She is the CEO of Technology Concepts Group International (TCGI) based in South Plainfield, NJ. Yates started the business 30 years ago. In 2017, the multimillion-dollar computer technology and software company was named one of the state’s fastest-growing women-owned companies.
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After all of the walking and talking, I decided to grab a bite to eat and saw Joshua Suggs, the owner of Delta’s Restaurant in New Brunswick, NJ. The popular soul-food eatery catered the event with a spicy and delicious meal that included collard greens, mac and cheese, and catfish.
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While Wall Street in New York remains the ultimate economic hub of the country–Black Wall Street will always be in the heart and soul of Black America and Black Business!! Buy Black!!