Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Entrepreneurs like Helen Jackson adding new lease of life to Black Business Expo

Expo vendorDirect marketer Helen Jackson will celebrate her 70th birthday next week, but she is proud to go make up free and still looks 20 years younger.

Jackson, is part of a nationwide army of consultants for Soul Purpose, a natural beauty and wellness product brand, and was one of the 70 entrepreneurs featured in the returning Black Business Expo this Memorial Day weekend, held in "The Hanger" at the West Angeles Cathedral.
According to Jackson, Soul Purpose — founded by Nadine Thompson — sells a range of products that help you feel better and give you energy from the inside out.

“The range of products are nature based,” she said. “Our scrubs exfoliate the dry skin and then we moisturize with our Shea butter. I guarantee you will look 20 years younger. We’re celebrating our sixth year and are very excited. Nadine, who is a friend of mine, is a modern C. J. Walker. She started out with five Black women selling the brand and now she has thousands, mainly on the East Coast.”
The Expo opened its doors on Friday with an opening ceremony officiated by Executive Director Harold Hambrick, which honored 103-year-old retired Pullman Porter Lee Gibson and 99-year-old entrepreneur Leon Garr.

“Today, 1.5 million African-Americans reside in the Los Angeles metro area and spend in excess of $9 billion annually,” Hambrick said. “Nationally, we spend an estimated $1.3 trillion. This is the first day of a new movement, a move back to South L.A., where we will take back what we gave away and keep what we’ve got. We’re blessed to be on this campus and will continue to support each other.”

Back inside the hangar, Roscoe Lee Owens, an entrepreneur with, agreed.
Owens was also on a health mission, promoting Ganolife, a company that markets the ancient Chinese herb, Ganoderma.

“You can take it a range of coffees or in a capsule,” he said. “It’s an ancient Chinese herb that grows on trees. The emperors used it for health and stamina, but it wasn’t for the masses until China opened up and companies came together to utilize Gano as a health product. I got into it four months ago.”
Noting that he was at the last Expo in 2009 that was held at the L.A. Convention Center, Owens praised the organizers for re-igniting the event.

“Harold [Hambrick] is a visionary,” he said. “I worked with him in 2009 at the Convention Center on a major art display and when I found out they were going to put on the event, I immediately asked how I could help? I told folks that they had to participate one way or another; either as vendors or coming down to support their community.”

Last, but not least, a scholarly entrepreneurial bent was seen in author, historian and educator, Kwaku Person-Lynn.

Person-Lynn had a stand dedicated to DVDs and books on African world civilizations, via his website

He said both contain information from influential scholars that are not featured on the regular agenda of African-American history and anthropology.

“These are our top scholars, but they are considered by traditional academia to be to the left,” he said. “We’re talking about people like John Henrike Clarke, who was the scholarly support for Malcolm X and is considered the father of Black scholars.

“[Then there was] Ivan Van Sertima; he taught us about the African presence in the Americas before Columbus. Back in the ‘80s I did seminars about these thinkers at Compton College that were packed. But you don’t hear about them on the radio or in the Los Angeles Times because these scholars wanted to change the system. They are the best of the best.”

Source: Los Angeles Waves

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