Black Expo’s new entrepreneur event showcasing Black-owned business

Black entrepreneurship will be on full display this year during Indiana Black Expo’s 51st Summer Celebration at a new exhibit called the Black Wall Street Zone.

The exhibit will feature over 30 local Black-owned businesses, many of which are recent graduates from Black Expo’s Black Business Training Institute.

The institute offers programming meant to equip business owners with practical skills as well as knowledge, opportunities and relationships to help sustain and grow the business, according to their website.

Tanya McKinzie, president of Black Expo, said economic development is a persistent goal.

“When we talk about Summer Celebration, people often look at it as entertainment,” McKinzie said. “But really, for me, it’s about Black culture and this sense of belonging and what it means for our community to celebrate our achievements and accomplishments, but also talk about those issues that impact us the most.”

Tanya McKinzie, president and CEO of Indiana Black Expo.

McKinzie mentioned the disparities that exist for Black-business owners, like lagging generational knowledge, which she partly attributed to the history of racism.

A history which includes the Tulsa race massacre of 1921, when white rioters looted and burned the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma – known as the Black Wall Street – to the ground. Over 30 city blocks and 1,000 businesses and homes were destroyed, according to the Tulsa Historical Society and Museum. Before the event, Greenwood was one of the most prosperous Black communities in America.

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