Jerome Love is the founder and president of Texas Black Expo Inc., which produces the largest African American tradeshow in the state of Texas. The organization serves as a connector for corporations and businesses to the community. We spoke with him about how the organization is helping the community during this pandemic with microloans.
What is the mission of The Texas Black Expo?
Our mission is to create wealth within minority communities, specifically, African American [communities]. When you look at any of the negative disparities that face our communities, from prison populations to health disparities to high school dropout rates and all of that, there’s one correlation — income. When you don’t have money, you’re more likely to hit somebody upside the head and take their money, and you’re likely to go to jail. When you don’t have money, you’re less likely to have the proper health insurance, therefore, you’re going to have some health disparities. So, our goal is to try to create wealth within minority communities.
What led to the shift from event to organization?
I’m always looking for someone who’s done it before me. In the Black expo world, everybody knows the Indiana Black Expo. My first year was [in] 2006-2007 when Joyce Rogers was the president. I called her and said, “Hey, listen, I’m trying to build an expo in Houston. You guys are doing a phenomenal job. I would like to learn from you.”’ She rolled out the red carpet. I was just blown away because I thought we were doing a great job here. One of the key components that I noticed was different about their expo was that they were not just an event, they were an organization. I immediately came back and said, “We’re going to scrap this Black Expo of Houston LLC, and we’re about to form the Texas Black Expo, and we’re going to build an organization that’s going to be able to build strong communities.
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