BBA STATEMENT ON MLK BIRTHDAY 2024
The Inseparable Twins: MLK's Dream and the BBA's Mission for Economic Justice
By Sarah R. Harris
As we approach the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 15, 2024, a date that holds special significance as it coincides with the iconic leader's actual birthday, it is crucial that we reflect not only on his dream for racial justice but also on his profound understanding of the inseparable link between racial and economic injustice in America. Dr. King once declared, "The inseparable twin of racial injustice in America is economic injustice," a metaphor that resonates even more profoundly in our current times.
In the pursuit of realizing Dr. King's Dream, we must recognize the critical role that economic empowerment plays in dismantling the barriers that perpetuate racial inequality. It is against this backdrop that we turn our attention to the mission of the Black Business Association (BBA), an organization committed to fostering economic growth and sustainability for Black businesses since 1970.
Dr. King's Dream envisioned a society where individuals were judged by their character rather than the color of their skin, but he also recognized that achieving this dream required addressing the economic disparities that disproportionately affected Black Americans. In light of today’s climate and recent actions like lawsuits against financial empowerment institutions like the Fearless Fund and Hello Alice, the metaphorical twin of his dream, economic injustice, remains a persistent challenge that demands our collective attention and action.
The BBA's mission aligns seamlessly with Dr. King's vision for economic justice and equality. By championing economic empowerment, the BBA serves as a powerful force in breaking the chains of systemic oppression and creating opportunities for Black entrepreneurs and businesses. As Dr. King asserted, "Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice," and the BBA, through its work, exemplifies the transformative power of love translated into economic justice.
As we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year, it is not enough to merely commemorate his legacy; we must also recommit ourselves to the pursuit of economic justice. Sustained investment in the Black community is not just a moral imperative; it is an essential step towards fulfilling the promises of equality and justice that Dr. King envisioned.
This year, the BBA is proud to participate in the Kingdom Day Parade along King Blvd on January 15th, a vibrant celebration that echoes the spirit of Dr. King's Dream. By participating in this significant event, the BBA exemplifies its dedication to not only commemorating but also actively advancing the principles of economic justice and equality.
In honoring his birthday, let us recognize that the BBA's mission is the twin to Dr. King's Dream, working hand in hand to address the interconnected challenges of racial and economic injustice. By investing in the economic empowerment of the Black community, we take a significant stride towards realizing the dream of a nation where opportunity knows no racial bounds.
This Martin Luther King Jr. Day, let us stand united in the pursuit of economic justice, echoing Dr. King's call for a society where all individuals, regardless of their background, can thrive and contribute to the flourishing tapestry of a truly equitable America.
We welcome you to explore the BBA's website at bbala.org for information on becoming a member, getting involved, and staying informed about our programs, events, and economic empowerment opportunities available.
Sarah R. Harris
President and CEO, Black Business Association
Commissioner, LA County Small Business Commission