The recent gathering of serious, conscious, and intelligent brothers and sisters in Washington, D.C. on June 21 was so refreshing and stimulating. The event was called Power Talk One, and it was organized by Carl Nelson, radio talk show host par excellence, whose show is carried from 4-7 p.m. weekdays on WOL-1450, in the District of Columbia and across the nation. Gatherings like this one are too few and far between, and I am so excited about its future plans, which will be shared in various circles very soon.
Some doubted the turnout would be significant, but there was standing room only at the Plymouth Baptist Church after 1,200 people showed up. The sanctuary was filled, including the balcony and choir sections, as well as the overflow room where attendees could listen to the proceedings. It was scheduled to end at 6 p.m., but continued until 9 p.m.
Power Talk One was sponsored by a Black-owned corporation, Radio One, which is significant because too often Black event planners and organizers run to corporations owned by non-Blacks for financial support. A few years ago, I spoke at a Juneteenth celebration and said, “How can we celebrate our freedom if we cannot pay for our freedom celebration with Black dollars?”
My point was and is that we should not overlook the pleasant and rare fact that a Black company was the sole sponsor of Power Talk One, a Black event. Props to Cathy Hughes and Radio One.
Power Talk One brought in men and women from Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, North Carolina, Detroit, Georgia, Illinois, Oklahoma, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Florida, and points in between. They came because of Carl Nelson’s powerful radio show and his many years of dedication and commitment to the unyielding pursuit of knowledge and commensurate action. They came because they know Carl’s show informs Black folks (and anyone else who listens) of important issues that will have a positive effect on his audience.
They came because they know the Carl Nelson Show features a wide variety of guests, many of whom should be featured on TV news shows and national panels that deal with Black issues but are not included on the usual list of Black go-to guys and gals. They came because the Power Talk One list of speakers comprised the likes of Claud Anderson, Francis Cress-Welsing, . Tony Browder, Umar Johnson, Patricia Newton, and the venerable and indefatigable Dick Gregory. Yeah, that was the icing on the cake; and those brothers and sisters turned the place out.
“The positive energy in the room was palpable,” said an ebullient and proud Carl Nelson. Folks from every corner of this country were there, some having slept in their cars after driving hundreds of miles to be at this event,” Nelson continued, “They were eager not only to hear but to interact with our august group of speakers. The meeting exceeded my expectations and I am so honored to have been involved.”
The Power Talk One gathering was certainly not unique, but it was necessary, timely, and significant as it relates to how we must not only “come together” but also “work together” on solutions so desperately needed for Black people to move in a positive direction toward economic empowerment, historical relevance, educational excellence, and social consciousness. I applaud Power Talk One and Carl Nelson for bringing this event to fruition.
As we move forward, it is vital for us to do more to help ourselves with the tremendous resources, both financial and intellectual, that are available within our ranks as Black people. In light of our people always looking for what we already have, it is refreshing to see a group of Black people, from grassroots to Ph.Ds, in one room, with no one trying to be the HNIC, and with so much positive energy, seeing and hearing what we have and being willing to utilize those resources.
One last but important thing: As I always say, everything we do takes money. Radio One stepped to the front and sponsored Power Talk One. I am calling on all those business owners who attended and those who could not, to buy advertisements on the Carl Nelson Show. Ad revenues provide the opportunities to present these kinds of events to the public. Let’s practice the Maát principle of Reciprocity to show our gratitude for Power Talk One. I have already gotten one company (maybe two) to buy commercials. Do your part to support Power Talk, but not just by saying how great it was and how good it made you feel. Help sustain it with your dollars. This was not just a “rap and clap session;” there is action to follow but, as usual, we have to write some checks.
Jim Clingman, founder of the Greater Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce, is the nation’s most prolific writer on economic empowerment for Black people. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati and can be reached through his Web site, blackonomics.com.