The U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. and The National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters are hosting their first By Black Conference virtual event.
The day opened with the “State of Black Business” moderated by award-winning journalist Ed Gordon. The conversation brought him together with USBC CEO Ron Busby Sr. and NABOB CEO James Winston to discuss the State of Black Business, systematic racism, and more.
In conversation with Gordon, Busby Sr. spoke about the importance of keeping Black voices amplified and as the faces of our stories.
“So often we let outsiders paint a brush to show who we are,” Busby Sr. said. “The new narrative is about diversity, but we really need to talk about Black issues that are spoken by and narrated by Black people so we can really have our voices heard. “
He would also stress the importance of Black businesses reaching certifications and maximizing opportunity. “So often Black businesses are not certified so they are not counted in the overall measure of Black-owned businesses.”
He added, “If we don’t have a certification program for Black-owned businesses we will never be counted.”
The awareness of the source of information for the Black community was echoed by James Winston. “Make sure you understand who is delivering information to you. Black-owned broadcasters have the same problem, advertisers don’t want to advertise on our media.“
For background into how advertising worked, Winston would detail the measurement system and how it is not created to aid Black lead broadcasters.
“You can have the Number one measured media station be Nielsen but won’t receive the number one media,” Winston said. “You need to support African American owned media and keep those advertisers accountable. If you hear about a sale on a non-Black owned station you should ask them why did I not hear about them on mine.
“In the radio business, your audience is measured by Nielsen. What Nielsen does, they provide an estimate that is created by their algorithms. Their algorithms and how that information is developed and processed never work for our advantage.”
With the transition of mediums into the digital world, Winston highlights the transition and how even that has hurdles. “As we are moving into the digital world, there are a handful of companies that will tell you how large our audience is but those numbers are created by their algorithms and still are facing hurdles,” Winston said.
He added, “The critical thing is to know who is delivering the message to them. Know that if you are getting your message from a Black-owned source. News can be filtered by people who don’t look like them and we are not getting the news that we need to know.”
Day one was closed with Grammy award-winning musician PJ Morton, for a unique blend of gospel, soul, and R&B in an exclusive in-studio performance. Morton’s performance comes off the release of his eighth studio album, Gospel According to PJ: From the Songbook of PJ Morton.
The new album featured Kim Burrell, Kirk Franklin, Bishop Paul S. Morton, Mary Mary, The Clark Sisters, Yolanda Adams, and more.
You can still participate in the conference. Read below for more information.