Expo continues to prove that Black lives really matter

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By Vernon A. Williams, Gary Crusader

Just once, I’d like to not hear someone say “Black lives matter” with some person of another persuasion feeling the compulsion to counter, “all lives matter.”

First of all, the reply is presumptuous. The initial speaker didn’t include the word ONLY. So any thoughts of the claim implying exclusivity is mere paranoia on the part of the respondent.

Secondly, it’s just rude. How would those same people feel if they indicated how cute their grandchild is and someone responded, “all grandchildren are cute.” Accuracy aside, you miss the entire, innocent point of the proud grandparent.

And lastly, why are opponents NEVER willing to concede that the premise is true – despite any other considerations. They would rather swallow their tongues than confess that indeed, Black lives do matter.

“Grey’s Anatomy” star is facing rebuke, threats of a show boycott and demands for producers to fire him from the cast. Why? Because during the BET Awards he dared reference the beauty of being Black in America, the necessity for increased advocacy and the need for those not genuinely concerned to butt off of African Americans’ business.

The nerve. Standing up and taking a firm, unapologetic stand on politics and social issues as they relate to Blacks. Immediately, the outcry is that his remarks were “anti-white.” Interesting. As if standing must be interpreted in the context of putting others down—lies from the pits of hell.

Since 1970, Indiana Black Expo has spearheaded a summer exposition of African American arts, culture, business, health, education, economics and social issues. That tradition continues with the 2016 IBE Summer Celebration.

A three-day business conference will kick off the week Monday, July 11th. A huge career opportunity fair will be held Thursday, July 14th, the same day as a state-wide education conference in Indianapolis. On Friday, July 15, sports legend Jim Brown, music icon Dionne Warwick, Colts coach Chuck Pagano, Larenz Tate and Leroy Robinson will be honored during the Corporate Luncheon.

There will be concerts Friday; Exhibit halls will be filled with vendors every day of the week, ready to make deals. A broad cuisine is offered in the food court and the IBE Summer Celebration includes the most expansive health fair for Blacks in the nation – offering more than $1,500 in free health screenings.

Celebrities will convene in the Indiana Convention for the Amp Harris-Reggie Wayne basketball game, a fashion show, boxing, a play zone for children and a gospel concert. Entertainers will include Blackstreet, Lakeside, Al Hudson and One Way, New Edition, Kem, Dru Hill and others. Go to the organization’s website for details.

Enjoying highs and challenges, Indiana Black Expo takes the bumps and bruises from all sides over the years but somehow manages to keep the ships afloat. IBE President Tanya Bell gives God the glory.

One thing is certain, at Summer Celebration you can expect to hear the uncompromising truth of our current condition and outlook from presenters and activities committed to offer enlightenment, instruction, inspiration and innovative thinking for African Americans.

The IBE Summer Celebration in Indianapolis is July 7 through July 17 and is one of the few irrefutable pieces of evidence that no matter what others say – Black lives matter!

CIRCLE CITY CONNECTION by Vernon A. Williams is a series of essays on myriad topics that include social issues, human interest, entertainment and profiles of difference makers who are forging change in a constantly evolving society. Williams is a 40-year veteran journalist based in Indianapolis, IN – commonly referred to as The Circle City. Send comments or questions to: vernonawilliams@yahoo.com.

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