Letter From the Publisher

Why do many of us read?

For some, it's to escape on a mental journey or to learn. For others, it's to confront life experiences or for aesthetic pleasures. For most, it's to gain knowledge. However, despite the knowledge you may gain, I know this is not enough. If it were, more doctors would be non-smokers and physically fit. Once we are armed with knowledge, we all have to make sound choices. This requires determination, commitment and most importantly, action.

I hear people speak of how they support our community. I can see little of that through the receipts we collect. By our best estimates, the Black business community in Arizona is still reaping a mere 10 percent of what the entire Black community is worth. I'm just not satisfied. I want it all.

There is a method available to reap different results, a better harvest of our economic resources.

To the consumer, I say: Buying Black is giving back. It is easy to do the right thing when all eyes are upon you. If you are reading this message, our eyes are now upon you. It may take an extra mile, and in some cases, an extra dollar. The reward is the ability for you to do it again and again versus not being able to buy "Black" at all. Imagine a city devoid of a Black-owned business. It, too, is possible. If this is not your wish, then vote with your dollars. Sow your seeds and watch our community grow.

To the businesses, I say: Practice market consistency. For all those who want more business, take a close look at those with whom you do business. I get my food, gas, electric and most of my staple items from outside of the Black community. For everything else, I never leave home. When I'm asked to purchase a product or service, one of the first questions I ask is, "How many Blacks does your company employ?" It is my goal to make a business recognize me as a market, not as another lost Black that doesn't know where he belongs.

I know I'm supporting all of Arizona when I purchase outside of the Black community. What I want to know is who is supporting me? These are the people with whom I want to do business. As remarkable as it may seem, there are people you do business with today, who could care less about you or your interest. They think that you are going to buy from them regardless of what they think of you. They sell you cars, homes, concert tickets, clothing, auto accessories, soft drinks, furniture and cosmetics. They rent you apartments and sell you all of what you don't buy from a Black-owned business.

Test the theory: Ask them how they support your community? I have asked many times and love the stock replies. "We want everybody's business." "We don't discriminate." Yet, you see only a few of their brands that say they want your business. You don't see their products cultivating your market. You don't recognize the doormat that says, "Welcome, come on in." If you don't see it, it is for good reason. They see you as the ultimate consumer and are willing to spend your money unconsciously.

It's time to wake up. We all spend dollars, but do we spend to support our community? If you think it makes no difference, then you and others are supporting the consequences. We continue to publish Arizona's Black Pages because we have hope and are dedicated. It's important for people to see the confidence you have in yourself, whether you're feeling it at the time or not. That is what advertising is; we are providing a look at who is confident. You will see their business names here for you to patronize. Let them know where you saw their name. It helps them know what advertising works well for their business.

On a final note: Within the heart of a real man is the power of God. That power allows Him to create change, to lead with humility, to protect with pride and to love without fear. Are you a man who follows his conscience, lives his faith and gives to his community? If so, these are three powerful reasons to celebrate.

Celebrate each time you do business with one of our advertisers. Celebrate each time you pass on our publication to a newcomer. Mostly, celebrate that there will be a harvest to reap for generations to come. It's okay to dream of your success, but if you don't have a dream, how are you going to have a dream come true?

Now act on it, make it happen. Use Arizona's Black Pages to meet your goals. We're here to help.

D. A. Peartree Publisher, Arizona's Black Pages