Saturday, October 12, 2002

NAACP hears economic awareness talk

By Kevin Aldridge
The Cincinnati Enquirer

African-Americans must learn how to use their collective buying power as leverage to achieve social justice, the chairman of one of the nation's top minority-owned marketing and communications agencies said Friday.

Donald Coleman, chairman and CEO of Global Hue, spoke at the Friday NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner at Coney Island. The dinner, with the theme: “Freedom Under Fire,” drew 1,000 people.

Mr. Coleman told the Enquirer in a pre-dinner interview that African-Americans must develop their own businesses and patronize them. He said that blacks spend about $600 billion annually in the United States and that Cincinnati was “no small market.”

“Like Jewish and Asian communities, we must establish our own economic base,” said Mr. Coleman. “We have to get over this backward mentality of not wanting to patronize our own.”

This year's Freedom Fund Dinner was relocated from the Hyatt Regency Hotel to the Moonlite Pavilion because of the economic boycott. Mr. Coleman said for Cincinnati's boycott to truly be effective it must be well planned, nonviolent and, above all, unified.

Dr. Milton W. Hinton, the former president of the Cincinnati NAACP, received the President's Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Attorneys Alphonse Gerhardstein, Scott Greenwood and Ken Lawson were presented with the 2002 Wright-Overstreet Award for Community Service for their legal work on Cincinnati's police reform settlement.

Gloria Nelson-Turnbow won the 2002 Wright-Overstreet Award for Community Service in Developing Youth.

State Rep. Samuel Britton received the Theodore M. Berry Award.


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