Community activist uses his vacation to address issues affecting African Americans
ATLANTA – Channel 2 “Gets Real” about the 4th of July race and vacation.
A local community activist gathered supporters on Monday to address serious issues affecting the black community at an event called “All-Black Celebration.”
“Unfortunately, on July 4, 1776, black people were still slaves, for another 90 years,” said community activist Scotty Smart.
Smart says Channel 2’s Larry Spruill it is a harsh but true reality.
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“I’m not, like, anti-American. I think it’s more American to hold America accountable for what it says. Just be educated about what we do, because often in this country we don’t speak truth to power. America has an ugly history,” Smart said.
Smart said the story is sadly posted, even today.
“We say we are the land of the free, the home of the brave, but we just had Roe v. Wade. We just saw a black man being shot 60 times by police officers, who were unarmed. This country is not equal. We have to be real about it before we can start a change in this country,” Smart said.
Smart explained to Spruill that he understands that everyone celebrates the 4th of July, but he said we have to understand the story.
“Everyone wants to have a good time today. Me too, I just want it to be an all black party,” Smart said.
And that’s exactly what his organization did this vacation at the Bishop Street event space in northwest Atlanta. There are plans to transform the building into a place for black businessmen and women.
“It’s all in there. From tattoos to makeup to hair salon and barber shop. Everything that you would consider black business is in this facility,” Smart said.
The goal is to create a “black mecca”.
“It’s Black Wall Street 2.0. It’s everything our ancestors dreamed of. It’s black people doing business with black people,” Smart said.
Inside the facility, Smart told Spruill that you can celebrate all things black. “Black excellence is everything. It’s everything that makes our culture. It’s the fun, it’s the entertainment. We are the entertainment of this world,” Smart said.
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Clever plans to turn the event center into a place where people can work and shop.
“Several people who have great customer service, who have their own customers, who are doing great business and thriving,” Smart said.
Smart told Spruill that those dollars would help boost the region’s economy.
“We have to be really strategic about how we move forward with our money,” Smart said.
Smart said there are plans to build more workspaces like this building across the city.
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