The Gathering Awareness & Book Center presented Mayor Sam Jones at the “Business Informational Networking Breakfast & Expo” at the Greater Little Rock Missionary Baptist Church Multi-Purpose Center at 901 N. “A” Street. Businesspersons from Pensacola and Mobile were in attendance. There were business vendors showing off their products and services from both the Mobile and Pensacola areas, also.
Mayor Jones brought a message in sync with the theme of the event geared toward collaborative economic development. He shared information about his efforts to bring Airbus manufacturing to Mobile and Austal which is a global shipbuilder, defense prime contractor and maritime technology partner. His track record in Mobile County, Alabama politics spans 18 years. Mayor Jones related to when African-Americans held the county commission chairmanships in Escambia County and Mobile County at the same time. He and Willie Junior were both in those powerful positions simultaneously.
He focused on the frequently asked question of “How can we improve the economic situation of the Black Community”? He stated very bluntly, “Mobile is by no means where it should be for Black Businesses”! He challenged Black business owners to never talk down about another Black business owner. He stated, “I am comfortable in the Black community, in fact, Michael Figures (another powerful Black elected official) and I both decided never to move out of the Black community and to build new homes in the area”. He continued with his presentation, “We have got to leverage opportunities for our community as it is very important. We have got to have unity to work together to create prosperity for our businesses. Unless we learn to work together we will continue to deteriorate. Power concedes nothing. However, there is power in unity.”
The Mayor’s message was clear and received a standing ovation from the crowd. Following the presentation of the message, City Councilwoman Jewel Canada-Wynn presented Mayor Jones with a gift including a key to the city and a declaration making him an official citizen of Pensacola. Then, County Commissioner Lumon May presented a County Commission proclamation commending Mayor Jones on his achievements in Mobile.
The vendors in attendance were: Attorney Frederick J. Gant marketing legal services; Robert Atkins, an artist and native son now residing in Albany, Georgia marketing pastel paintings and portraits; Lena Eaton, a Mary Kay Independent Sales Director from Mobile; Meekaaeel and Lateefah Khalid of African Expressions marketing body oils, figurines, shea butter, and other ethnic items; Felecia Lewis, owner of A Lady and Her Sewing Machine, a Fashion Designer/Professional Seamtress from Mobile, also; and Pamela Williams, owner of Mela Renea Productions and Designs LLC; and of course, The Gathering Awareness & Book Center.