*Los Angeles – After a four year hiatus, the Black Business Expo returned with plenty of gusto. This year marked the 21st Anniversary of the Black Business Expo.
There were changes this year.First and foremost, the event was held in a new venue. Black Business Expo 2013 was held at the West Angeles Cathedral, in “The Hangar” located on the corner of Crenshaw and Exposition( a few steps from Metro Expo Train Station). The BBX was held on Friday, May 24th and Saturday, May 25th, from noon til 8:00PM.
The concept for the Black Business Expo is to connect Black Businesses and consumers. BBX 2013 brought back the popular events for which it is known featuring the Tom Bradley Business Institute; Tastin’ Black Culture Food Court, West Coast GospeLive, Health & Fitness Pavilion, Fashion, Art Zone, Kid’s World and much more. BBX 2013 sponsors were OneUnited Bank, West Angeles Church, Watts Healthcare, PepsiCo, McDonald’s and Sparkletts Water.
I joined a steady stream of people entering “The Hangar” for this free community and consumer friendly addition of Black Business Expo. We were in attendance for BBX 2013 for Fellowship, Finance, Fitness and Food.I was there to support the local African American businesses as well as to get my Praise on.
A lively crowd gathered in front of the stage for GospeLIVE to give God all of the Glory. You know how we do it in Church. The show got underway with a band playing an entertaining set of Gospel Jazz. The audience and I got a better appreciation of the instrumental version of several gospel classics tunes such as “Oh Happy Days,” a medley of “Ain’t Gonna Study War No More,” “Down by the Riverside,” and “When the Saints Go Marching In” with the classic LALA Secondline Dancers cutting the rugs as they paraded around “The Hangar.” The band concluded their set with “Amazing Grace.” This tight band, whose name I don’t recall, backed several local choirs.
The crowd and I were in for another spiritual treat. Aisha Thompson led the next segment of GospeLIVE with Praise Dance Symposium. Several creative youth and adult dance troupes showcased some divine movements to express and give Praises to the Lord during their time in the spotlight. We were entertained by Glad II, Made Whole, Greatly Anointed and Chanae Dance Ministries.
S.A.D.A.A. (Sisters Against Drugs and Alcohol Abuse) took the crowd and I up to another level during their set. These four amazing women performed “Oh Holy One,” and “Walkin’ as we continued our fellowship with one another, while thanking God for all that he has done for us.
GospeLIVE 2013 concluded with a royal treatment. A legend in the Gospel community, Mr. Pres Blackmon aka Mr. “Voice” addressed the crowd and extended an invitation to join him for Presgram Presents The Summer Gospel Fest-2013, Sunday, June 9th at The Congresswomen Juanita Millender- McDonald Center-ABC Theater. Visit www.presgram.com or www.facebook/presgram for more information.
Royalty graced the stage once again to close out GospeLIVE 2013. “The Prime Minister of Joyful Jazz”-Rev. Dr. Alvin K. McKinney performed three joy filled tunes “Amazing Grace,” performed solo after some technical difficulties with the CD player. He continued to wail on his saxophone on two original tunes “And All Heaven Smile,” and “Dot Your I’s and Cross Your T’s with God” after which the crowd said “Amen.” Check out www.dralvinmckinney.gpcsites.org if you are interested in having “The Prime Minister of Joyful Jazz” at your next event.
Ricky Richardson is a Southern California based writer, music reviewer and photographer. Contact him via:[email protected]