By Joseph Phillips
In honor of Black Business month, State Representative La Shawn K. Ford, D-Chicago, helped kick off the 2020 National Black Business Month event on Saturday, August 1, at the Society Night Club, at 2201 W. Walnut Street, in Chicago.
Ford, in addition to several local business and community leaders, celebrated the life and legacy of Black business pioneer and advocate Reverend Dr. Webb Evans.
“We want to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Webb Evans and our many local Black business organizations and entrepreneurs who work hard to uplift our Black community by supporting each other,” Ford said in a statement to the Crusader.
“This year has illustrated the importance of Black Americans working together to build a solid economic foundation that maximizes shared economic interests and invests in the people of our community. Chicago is home to many fantastic small business owners, and it’s important we recognize and support them.”
According to a past article in the Chicago Crusader, Evans was known as a true pioneer in the field of business, advocating for Blacks to create economic wealth and operate their own businesses in the Black community.
Evans was also the founder and president of the United American Progress Association (U.A.P.A.), now known as the United Black American Progress Association (U.B.A.P.A.). He was also a member of Operation P.U.S.H., Chatham Avalon Park Community Council, Black United Front, NAACP, Cathedral Baptist Church and the Baptist Pastors Conference of Chicago.
He was famously known as “Mr. Buy Black” due to his constant efforts to get people to “Buy Black” as a method to get Blacks off the economic bottom. Webb stated in a past Crusader article “…others can come to this country and within a short time they are doing better than Black Americans.”
Although the event honored Evans, this year marked the 26th anniversary of Black Business Month, which encourages residents to consider their purchasing decisions and Buy Black, Love Black, Give Black.
The group also honored and recognized several sports legends from the past including former Chicago Bull Craig Hodges, Mickey Johnson, and retired NBA veteran Bobby Simmons.
Organizations recognized during the event included the Austin Chamber of Commerce, TheBlackMall.com, Black Wall Street Districts, and the Black Star Project.
In addition, the Austin African American Business Network Association, 79th Street Corridor Business Association, Sib’s Breakfast Club,
Global Institute, and the Garfield Park Chamber of Commerce were recognized.
The Entrepreneur Success Program, BopBiz Center, the Library and Cultural Gallery, Black Chicago Eats and Bean Soup Times received recognition as well.
Ford also joint-hosted the event with several organizations and individuals from the community including the Chatham Business Association, Bobby Simmons, COAL-Coalition of African American Leaders, UBAPA-United Black American Progress Association, Blacknificent Mile 79th Street Corridor and Chicago Playground Legends.
For more information on the celebration of Black Business Month, contact RepFord@LaShawnFord.com.