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Marcus ‘Sankofa’ Nicks, national youth director of The Afrikan Village & Cultural Center and founder of Black Genius Youth Academy, is talking about a different kind of networking event – one with a purpose beyond exchanging business cards and vague promises to stay in touch. It’s time, he thinks, to get beyond our limited notions of networking, and connect in authentic ways.
On Friday, February 8 from 6-9 p.m. The Brothers of Ma’at Fellowship of The Afrikan Village & Cultural Center of Baltimore (25 E. North Avenue Baltimore, MD 21202) hosts “The Rebirth of The Black Wall Street.” Nicks is encouraging you to come out and connect with other professionals and community members to promote your products and services.
“It’s an event for everyone,” he says, “not just entrepreneurs.” Attendees also have an opportunity to present what they do (business, artistic endeavor, etc.) with the group and engage in meaningful dialogue. The Center also plans to open the doors to their upcoming bookstore Universal Minds, a place to find conscious and empowering books.
A national organization, the center is focused on “empowering people of Afrikan descent – economically, spiritually, socially and physically, all through the guise of Afrikan culture,” Nicks says. “Baltimore is one of the local chapters.”
I caught up with him recently to discuss the significance of Black Wall Street, a tragic incident in Greenwood, a black section of Tulsa, Oklahoma where an angry white mob nearly decimated the town’s accomplished population of entrepreneurs and professionals.
Beginning on May 31, 1921, according to an article on the website The Root, a young black man was accused of assaulting a white woman ignited “the deadliest race riot in U.S. history.” Nearly 300 people died, and “another 10,000 black residents [were] homeless, with 35 city blocks in ruin.”
There are other examples of these hateful actions from Rosewood, Florida to North Carolina, Nicks points out. It’s time, as a community, that we move towards helping each other; the answer, he insists is “not with the government but individuals.”
Listen to a portion of our conversation below via Sound Cloud.
For additional event info: