Magic City Black Expo
Expo founders Meagan and Darrius Peace with keynote speaker Maggie Anderson (middle)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Unlike some other “Black Expo” type events where the consumers are black, but the same lineup of non black-owned businesses have most of the vendor booths, the third annual Magic City Black Expo continues to have its vendor base dominated by actual black-owned businesses.

This is a testament to the vision of founders Meagan and Darrius Peace, themselves successful black entrepreneurs who created and run Hayah Mineral Cosmetics. They attended many Black Expo events around the country, but didn’t have a truly black entrepreneur focused event in their hometown. Rather than wait for someone outside of our community to put an expo together, they decided to do it themselves and keep black-owned businesses at the forefront. continued their amazing CashFlow event where 20 finalists (from over 100 business plans submitted) gave their pitch to win a $10,000 grant along with 8 weeks of intensive business mentoring. Birmingham-based Carl’s Tire Service (Carl Colvin, owner) and Elle Danielle (LaTara Johnson, owner) along with Atlanta-based The Weekend Collection (Anthony Joiner, owner) were chosen as winners of a $10,000 grant each.

This year’s keynote speaker, Maggie Anderson, founder of the Empowerment Experiment, brought a powerful message of self-help economics that she and her husband, John, have proven out empirically when they made all of their purchases exclusively from black-owned businesses during 2009. She shared a simple road map for improving our blighted communities by each of us simply making the daily effort to support our own through our individual buying choices.

In addition to receiving important information, I enjoyed many delightful sights, sounds and tastes at the expo and highly recommend that you attend next year’s fourth annual event.