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James Harris: James Harris is a Philadelphia native who studied accounting at the University of Phoenix who has various certifications related to tax accounting and insurance. For the past 35 years he has been self-employed and a small business owner launching his first business at 12 years old. For almost 30 years James Harris has been in the financial service industry, providing personal insurance products, tax accounting, small business accounting services, coaching/consulting to small business owners and start ups. His specialty and passion is working with self-employed and small business owners. His current projects include, Launching an educational-based non-profit to serve Pre-K children and their families. Consulting with start up Non-profits to navigate business formation and qualify for 501(c)3 status with the Internal Revenue Service. Consulting with Health and Wellness professionals to be of greater value to their patients/clients while making the practice more profitable.
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After Generations of Assimilation in Turkey, Afro-Turks are Fighting to Reclaim Their Heritage and IdentityBy Elliot Booker — 4 years agoBy David A Love September 17, 2016
Although this is unknown to many, there are up to 100,000 people of African descent in the nation of Turkey. A legacy of the Ottoman Empire and of the African slave trade, Afro-Turks, as they are called, have lost their language and have a renewed interest in discovering who they are and from whence they came.
As The Global Dispatches reported in 2010, while slavery existed in the Ottoman Empire from the 14th century until the 19th century, enslaved people came from the Balkans and the Caucasus until the late 1800s, with the abolition of “white” slavery in these regions after pressure from the European nations.
Before that time, the trading in Black people had been limited, but then, the trading of enslaved Africans to the Ottoman Empire grew, particularly from Kenya and Sudan. Between 1860 and 1890, around 10,000 enslaved Africans were sent into the Ottoman Empire each year, a total of about 250,000 people, with many freed at some point. Many enslaved people were sent to the cotton fields near Smyrna (now known as Izmir) on the coast of the Aegean Sea. But it wasn’t until the early 20th century that the end of slavery came, as enslaved people were replaced by paid servants. And in 1924, the Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk established laws of equal citizenship in the country’s new constitution. Further, as the BBC reported, Afro-Turks are called “Arab,” a term denoting someone who is dark enough to be Arab or African — in a country where Blackness is often negatively associated with inferiority. These days, in light of the refugee crisis, their identity has come to light in large cities, where Afro-Turks are often mistaken for Somali or Eritrean refugees, although these Black people have lived in Turkey for generations.
“It’s a shame we have lost our African language, the language our great-grandparents spoke. Every minority in Turkey has its language – the Kurds, the Zaza, even the Laz. But we have only Turkish, and we don’t know anything about our ancestors” an Afro-Turk man named Orhan told the BBC. “After years of suffering, you hide what makes you different,” he said. “That is why our parents and parents’ parents did not teach us their language. They did not want to make us different, they wanted us to only be Turkish.”
Meanwhile, due to years of intermarriage, there are likely many Turkish people who are descended from Black people and do not realize it, as The National reported. The national push for assimilation and a homogeneous society since the founding of the republic and the end of the Ottoman Empire has meant that Black identity was discouraged. However, Black people in Turkey are beginning to reclaim their heritage and their African past. For example, Mustafa Olpak, a grandson of enslaved Kenyans, published Slave Coast, a 2005 memoir chronicling his family’s saga from the Horn of Africa to Crete to Turkey.
“The first generation experiences, the second denies and the third researches,“ Olpak’s book begins. “We have been living in this region for at least 150 years and we don’t have any other homeland,” says Olpak, who also founded the Afro-Turk Association as a means to preserve their heritage and increase awareness of their condition. And Turkish authorities had banned the Feast of the Calf — known as Dana Bayrami in Turkish — a holiday that enslaved Black people celebrated in the Ottoman era, and which Afro-Turks resurrected only in 2007.
Like elsewhere, Black people in Turkey face discrimination. For example, African soccer players have faced racist chants from fans, including some who were called monkey and one who had a banana pointed in his face. In addition, Turkey has not been welcoming to African migrants. According to the International Business Times, there are at least 50,000 African migrants in Turkey, one-third from sub-Saharan Africa and who tend to be Christian, and the remaining from North Africa who tend to be Arab. Black Africans face racism, social exclusion and police violence.
President Obama’s 2009 visit to Turkey and subsequent meetings with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan have provided an opportunity for the Afro-Turk community to reclaim their narrative and bring their issues to the table. In a country that is once again beginning to acknowledge its diversity and the contributions of so-called minority communities such as the Afro-Turks, Black people in Turkey are experiencing a cultural reawakening.Post Views: 902
By Elliot Booker — 5 years ago
When then-President Clinton signed the violent crime bill in September 1994, the bill was originally written by then Senator Joe Biden, supported by Hillary Clinton, voted for by Bernie Saunders and the misleadership of the Congressional Black Caucus of the 103rd Congress. The former president said in July 2015 that the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act he signed in 1994 put too many people in prison for too long. Telling a NAACP Convention audience in Philadelphia in July 2015, Clinton said he wanted to ‘admit’ his role in imprisoning so many Black Americans, Clinton said: ‘I signed a bill that made the problem worse – and I want to admit it.’ It didn’t sound like in his exchange with Black Lives Matter protesters in Philadelphia on 4/7/2016 that he was sorry for anything. Bobby Rush apologizes in this video, other Black Caucus members who were party to it need to do the same, and fight to their last breath to correct this atrocity against the Black family.Post Views: 702
By Elliot Booker — 3 years agoWritten By A. French
Posted September 30, 2017
In 2015, NerdWallet conducted a study based on US Census Bureau Statistics Data, analyzing entrepreneurial activity in the black community for 107 US metropolitan areas (those with populations over 100,000). Based on that study, a ranking of the best 10 metropolitan areas for black entrepreneurship was provided.
Using the same methodology and, for the most part, the same databases, Blacktech Week has taken a new look at those metropolitan areas, to see whether the same level of attractiveness for black entrepreneurs still holds. We also looked at how those same cities ranked on Kauffman Foundation’s 2017 Index for Startup Activity, to showcase how black entrepreneurs actually fare in cities ranked on the Kauffman list. The ranking is based on a total of 7 metrics measuring the economic environment and the success of black-owned businesses in each metropolitan area.
Results show that Southeastern states have a higher concentration of black businesses, with Georgia, Louisiana and Alabama each having two metropolitan areas among the top ten areas with higher percentages of black businesses in relation to the total businesses.
How different is the 2017 top ten ranking in relation to the ranking of 2015? Not much, the ten top metropolitan areas remained the same, although some changes in rank took place (the most notable change was Atlanta losing the leading spot and Memphis, TN emerging as the new leader).
Best metropolitan areas for black owned companies in 2017
1. Memphis, Tennessee (2015 rank: 3)
Memphis dethroned Atlanta as the best metro area for black owned business. With an average annual revenue almost equal to that of Atlanta, Memphis has a lower unemployment rate (the lowest among the top 10), lower cost of living index, and higher percentage of black owned businesses (2nd nationwide). The city has its own Black Business Association and has a powerful cultural life, with recent growth in showbiz, manifested in a significant number of major motion pictures filmed in the area and bio science and manufacturing.
2. Montgomery, Alabama (2015 rank: 2)
Keeping its second ranking, Montgomery has the highest percentage of black businesses nationwide. Among organizations that provide support for black-owned businesses are the Alabama State Black Chamber of Commerce and the Montgomery’s Chamber of Commerce Minority Business Development Task Force.
3. Atlanta-Sandy-Springs-Marietta, Georgia (2015 rank: 1)
While no longer holding the #1 spot for the greatest metro area for black businesses, Atlanta remains a powerful enclave for black entrepreneurs. Among the top 10, it has the highest number of businesses per 100 habitants, with almost 10. Black business owners have the support of the Atlanta Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce. The cost of living index has incremented slightly in the last 2 years (from 93.6 to 95.6), but unemployment has decreased (from 6% to 4.5%). According to the Kauffman Index (which measures entrepreneurial activity and growth at the national, state and metropolitan levels), Atlanta had a 0.43% rate of startup activity in 2016, meaning that in a given month 430 adults out of 100,000 habitants became entrepreneurs. Also, the opportunity share of new entrepreneurs (that is, the percentage of new entrepreneurs that became so out of spotting an opportunity rather than by necessity) was at 75.49%, that is, of every 4 new entrepreneurs, 3 of them took their chances because they saw a market opportunity rather than out of necessity (for instance, because they were unemployed).
4. Washington, D.C.-Arlington-Alexandria, Virginia (2015 rank: 4)
The nation’s capital has the highest median annual income for black residents for all the metro areas ($ 40,297). At the same time, Washington metro area is the 1st nationwide, according to the Kauffman Index, in terms of business growth, which represents the growth of startups in terms of number of employees over the last 5 years. Some of the institutions that support black entrepreneurs are the National Black Chamber of Commerce, the Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce and BizLaunch, an entrepreneurship program. I3 recently opened at Howard University which is DC’s first community space dedicated to Inclusive Innovation and startup incubation.
5. Savannah, Georgia (2015 rank: 6)
The coastal city has a significant industrial and economic activity. Besides the Port, manufacturing, military and tourism are important economic drivers for black business owners in the city. It is also an important black cultural hub, with a significant Jazz musical heritage.
6. Baton Rouge, Louisiana (2015 rank: 7)
Cost of living index in Baton Rouge increased from 91.3 to 96.1, but so did median annual income for black residents (from $18,047 to $23,136). The city has an important petrochemical industry, with the 4th largest refinery in the US and 10th largest in the world. It has a strong mix of cultures, forming the basis of the city motto: “Authentic Louisiana at every turn”.
7. Durham, North Carolina (2015 rank: 5)
Durham has the 3rd highest average annual revenue for black owned business, among the top 10 areas presented in this study. It has a strong start-up culture, with several accelerators, co-working spaces, and entrepreneurial convening places. The cost of living index has increased in the last 2 years, though the unemployment rate has significantly decreased from 6.1% to 3.8%.
8. Baltimore-Towson, Maryland (2015 rank: 8)
Baltimore keeps its rank among the top 10. The Baltimore Office of Sustainability offers support for black entrepreneurs, having different programs specially tailored for different context, for instance, one targeted at black moms and dads who wish to launch a startup. Unemployment in the city has been declining, although an important number of manufacturing jobs have been lost in the last years. On the other hand, the Kauffman Index for Main Street Entrepreneurship, which focuses on small business, shows a large increase in the survival rate of small business in the last years (the percentage of small business created 5 years before which were still operating).
9. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Florida (2015 rank: 10)
Despite the state having some of the lowest wages in the nation, the metro area has experimented the best of 3 worlds in the last 2 years: median annual income for black residents has increased significantly (from $16,091 to $23,309), cost of living index has decreased (from 112.6 to 106), and unemployment has also decreased (from 5.7% to 4.2%). Besides this, the Kauffman Index puts Miami at the 1st place nationwide in startup activity; in particular, it has a rate of new entrepreneurs of 0.56% (tied for greatest in the nation with Los Angeles metro area) and a very high opportunity share of 81.09%, so that of every 5 new entrepreneurs, 4 of them took their chances out of spotting an opportunity rather than experiencing a necessity.
10. Richmond, Virginia (2015 rank: 9)
Finally, Richmond keeps its place among the top 10 best metro areas in US for black-owned businesses. It has the 2nd highest average annual revenues for black-owned business among the top 10 list, only behind Washington. The Jackson Ward neighborhood is commonly referred as “the birthplace of Black capitalism” and is considered the second “Black Wall Street”, after the Greenwood district in Tulsa, Oklahoma.Post Views: 846