Alana Byrd Professor Miller
African American History 7 May 2019
San Diego Black Chamber Organization
As of 1870, African Americans were present in San Diego. Many of whom were enslaved and discriminated against due to their skin color. These individuals arrived to Southern California in most cases with their white owners. Black people preferred to live in rural areas of California because it offered more land and was more affordable. As San Diego’s economy began to increase because the new east to west railway and the establishment of downtown, the black population rose significantly. Black run businesses began to pop up here and there which encouraged the community to live in unison without fear of judgement. However, the average African American worked as an “unskilled laborer or a servant”. While injustice and discrimination still occurs in the realm of economics, business, and employment, our society has created organizations to help reverse the negative life outcomes within the African American community.
As African American efforts began to heighten in the means of being more economically stable; an organization by the name of The Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce came about in 2010 to encourage and create a “generational wealth through business enterprise, education, employment, and investing. ” In efforts to support black owned businesses and
appreciate the African American heritage, this organization enables folks who are African American to create businesses and pursue careers that further promote successful futures.
The panel held by the San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce brought up an idea where the inclusion of economic development promotes a “ high growth strategy for San Diego including the urban community and diverse businesses throughout the region”. The main discussion was about how our community can integrate and involve all people. They want to target those who are “underserved” to allow them to be able to fulfill requirements in the workforce to create a stable income. In order to better incorporate those who do not receive complete access to resources, The San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce takes into account other regions to compare and create a more inclusive and thriving environment. As one of the speakers, Roxanne Petteway of the San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce says, “whereby all members of the San Diego region, including the African-American members, will be included in the rapid growth and development in the San Diego region and participate in the rise of high-tech industries in the Smartest City in North America”.This organization hopes to create more opportunities for those who do not receive much support. They target African Americans because injustice prevents these individuals from having the same opportunity as those who are more fortunate, their white counterparts. Some injustices include being more qualified for job than a white person and having less of chance of getting a interview or statistics showing that African Americans are “twice as likely as whites to be employed in low wage jobs and twice as likely to be unemployed” (Ibid., 66-67). The goal of this organization is to have a community where everyone has equal opportunities no matter your race and/or blackness. It is a building block for a society that lives in unison and equality.
In a meeting that was held where members of The Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce introduce themselves and state what they contribute to this organization and the black community. As the Chairman of the Board of the Central Black Chamber of Commerce, Bruce Mayberry says, “I love this full room. Full of professions, educated, confident, and good looking”. This gathering of people creates a community in which African Americans mingle and form relationships in order to make connections in the business realm of things. The president of San Diego City College, Ricky Shabazz, made an appearance which shows that black individuals are fully capable to work in higher positions. It also encourages adolescents that through education more opportunities are made available. Lastly, Hope Mango, an owner of a Private Equity Fund who is looking to support small businesses in San Diego. His main focus is money which is what drives a business.Through a community like this, individuals apart of the African American/Black community are able to make connections and create a lifestyle that encourages generational wealth.
Found on the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce web page, these images portray a sort of joyful environment. As we know their motive is to support small black businesses. They incorporate “Motown” which is a
historically African American genre of music functioned to reach various societies. This is important to note because they highlight important aspects of African American history to show the positive light in their culture. The idea of building and uplifting the community is a huge part of this organization which helps to
formulate a more cohesive and strong society where African Americans feel as they secure one another and build community amongst themselves.
The San Diego City Council President Myrtle Cole honored this organization in 2017 and emphasized the importance of their integration of the black community. He highlights the, “CSDBCC’s achievements in advancing Black-owned businesses through strategic relationships with industry, government, educational, and faith-based organizations; in educating, engaging, and empowering Black professionals, residents, and youth; in providing diverse talent to corporations, universities, and K-12 schools throughout San Diego County; and in promoting inclusive economic development and equal opportunity in San Diego’s growing economy”.Though this reward was given in 2017, it is now a national day on February 7. This is significant because it is a way to bring about awareness to the importance of a inclusionary environment within the workplace and school settings. Everyone has a desire to be successful, so if opportunities to make success happen is readily available to ALL individuals, our society’s goal of a more supportive region will be attained.
On January 13, 2012, “ the two organizations have pledged to work together to improve business access to information through networking and resources to business owners. The
agreement was signed by CSBCC President Michael Allen and NAMC President/CEO Aldrica Lattimore”(Allen and Lattimore). “NAMC’s mission is to provide education and training to minority contractors in construction”. The Chamber again is creating more connections and opportunities to prepare black individuals so that they have a way to break the barriers our society has put on them. We see that lots of other organizations like the National Association of Minority Company (NAMC) are created to again incorporate those who are otherwise not really apart of the general public. Minority’s have long been stripped of their voices away from their voices in the community so these organizations have been made to reverse that problem. With all perspectives and help from those who are fully capable our society will be able to thrive and eventually move in the direction where all individuals are accepted and appreciated.
With the creation of organizations like the Central Black Chamber of Commerce, the trajectory of African American history, life , and culture in San Diego has quickly become a turning point in the increased opportunities for black business owners. People now feel as though they are included within the society and actually have someone to point them in the right direction. Although injustice and discrimination still occurs, our community notices the problems and is creating organization to reverse the negative life outcomes and in the end create a community that encourages the success of others.