In his presentations, Bailey makes positive Black history unfold. In the 1920s, it was eye-opening for Blacks across America when Garvey purchased an auditorium in Harlem and proclaimed it “Liberty Hall.” From that platform Garvey and the UNIA established 700 branches in 38 states. Garvey’s economic impact in America included hundreds of profit-generating UNIA businesses across the country; and his never again duplicated campaign that persuaded Black investors to purchase stock in an international shipping line to carry passengers and freight between America, Africa and the West Indies. The Black Star (BSL), incorporated in 1919, was capitalized exclusively by African-Americans. The BSL acquired three steam ships, but by 1922, they were lost and the corporation collapsed.
Keynote speakers are integral to any gathering looking to further themselves with knowledge and networking. Black schools, forums and conventions need Bailey and his important motivations toward Black growth. More public attention needs to be directed toward the how and why of Blacks building, owning and controlling our own income producing assets. Bailey can inspire and unify an audience with a common purpose. Brother Bailey’s focus on Black community building is something Blacks need to hear nowadays. Bailey says the election of Barack Obama has “proved nothing.” A former Ebony magazine editor, Bailey points audiences to the fact that, “We spend $600 billion a year and should be serious about knowing and understanding that with economic power, political power is automatic.”
He brings a sense of history to his tales. Bailey served as a pallbearer for Malcolm in 1965. Nowadays, he says “blind devotion” to Obama and local politics prevents African-Americans from participating in activity toward the collectivity we need to flex our financial and political muscle effectively.
(William Reed is head of the Business Exchange Network and available for speaking/seminar projects through the Bailey Group.org.)
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