During “normal” times, the start of a new year brings with it the promise of a renewed commitment to good health, happiness, and prosperity.
These, however, are not normal times.
And to borrow from the old saying, when the rest of America catches a cold, Black folks catch the flu. As we reflect on the events of 2020, the phrase can be taken both in the literal and figurative sense.
Between the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, worse-than-usual gridlock in Washington, and continuing racial and political unrest throughout the country, many millions of Americans continue to be left behind, including African American businesses and consumers.
So, with the 2021 inaugural launch of the Cincy Black Pages, we decided to take a look back through our history and leverage a simple—yet effective! —way to connect potential buyers with the diverse array of African American-owned and operated businesses within the Greater Cincinnati market.
This isn’t a new idea. In 1936, an African American postal carrier named Victor Green (1892 – 1960) began publishing what would eventually be known as The Green Book, a directory of hotels and restaurants that would serve African American travelers during an era in our country’s history marked by overt racism and discrimination. Eventually, The Green Book would include a listing of Black-owned businesses that readers could patronize when they traveled to the cities included in the directory.
Over 80 years later, little has changed. While large, nationally-recognized brands have staked their respective positions on the ongoing “culture wars” and how rigidly they will (or won’t) enforce face mask mandates, small to mid-sized businesses—many of them African American-owned and operated—continue to struggle for attention in a crowded marketplace.
The Cincy Black Pages will re-energize the region’s minority marketplace by aligning buyers with successful business owners, suppliers, and service providers in the Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and Dayton communities. Companies and organizations who advertise in the Cincy Black Pages demonstrate their level of commitment to the African American buying community.
And readers of our print and online editions—along with their spending power—demonstrate their confidence and trust that the companies advertising in the Cincy Black Pages will deliver on their promises.
This will be a year of reconnecting and rebuilding. Let us rebuild with you.
Hope Johnson Gordon
Founder, principal and owner, Cincy Black Pages