It has been reported that 200,000 people flocked to South Beach for Hip-Hop Weekend…Black Beach Weekend…Urban Beach Weekend or whatever name you choose to call it. While the crowd is down from the 300,000 to 350,000 in the past, they still made a tremendous economic impact on South Beach. Yeah, South Beach. Not Liberty City or Miami Gardens or any other black community. It's a shame.
When will Miami have a thriving black business corridor again? There are a number of mom and pop businesses along major corridors like 7th Avenue but how they stay afloat is mind boggling. There are the requisite fast food places in the black community but where are the restaurants you'd take a business client to? Better yet, where are the cultural activities?
Even if the Hip-Hop Weekend tourists came on the mainland, where would they go in the black community? Other than The Mahogany Grille in Miami Gardens, our businesses leave a lot to be desired as far as presentation…aesthetics…etc.. Our businesses barely survive because they need capital. It's a vicious cycle but at some point we must stop and do better or just decide to give up…go away and try to survive as the bottom feeders in the Miami economic food chain.
I could also share my experience at Miami's Conrad Hotel on Brickell Avenue which housed many of the celebrities performing on the Tom Joyner Morning Show cruise but that was downright depressing when returning to the reality for most blacks in Miami.
It's time for an economic revolution in Miami. It's time to get involved in South Florida government… vote…hold our leaders accountable.
It's time to support black businesses and make sure they get their share of the economic assistance being doled out in other communities.
As a friend who works in tourism shared with me, black people who visit Miami want to eat at nice a restaurant with a menu that caters to their palate. When they visit Miami Beach, they wonder where the black people are.
Again, what do we do about building black businesses in Miami? What happened to the Black Dollar Days initiative? What are we going to do --- barbecue or mildew?