Publisher’s Note: Black First

By Ronda Watson Barber
OhioMBE Publisher

I love Black people, who love Black people!  I grew up around strong Black men. Black men who cared and loved Black people.  Black men who create opportunities for other Black people.  My dad, Michael O. Gordon, Walter Cates, Onnie Martin, Al Washington, and William Davis, to name a few, are the old guard who paved the way.

Black men you can admire.  Black men who were ALWAYS BLACK FIRST! They actively fought systemic racism. They actively worked to make sure Black people received contracts and employment. Many Black-owned businesses and executives stand on their shoulders.  Thank you, Warriors!  I still speak with two of the living MBE legends. They are both appalled and amazed at the empathy some Black men in leadership positions display toward Black businesses and people.  “They are not the same.  It is just a job.”

I have heard about Black men who don’t actively and openly advocate for Black people.  Black men that smile, shuffle, and appease white men so they can stay employed in leadership or elected positions. Black men that don’t uplift Black people in the workplace because they are scared and weak.  Black men who benefit from the struggles the legends experienced, and yet they dare not extend a hand to help other Black people and businesses.

You know who you are, and we see you. Shameful!

“No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.”― Frederick Douglass

Just my thoughts…rwb


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