Black Meetings and Tourism

November/December 2020

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B M & T ••• November/December 2020 ••• 4 This issue of Black Meetings & Tourism digs even deeper into the subject of systematic racism and how it affects the hospitality, travel, tourism and meetings industry. Two of the feature articles – "Black Travel Matters," and "Blacks in PR & Advertising – are both disturbing and hopeful at the same time. Disturbing because they expose the dispar- ity existing that Black folks must deal with on a daily basis in society in general, and in our indus- try in particular. And hopeful because by acknowledging the great disparity and economic chasm that results from systematic racism, a much needed conversation gets started and the opportunity for change is possible. Since Black Meetings & Tourism is a media company, "Blacks in PR & Advertising" really res- onates with me. I'm fully aware that the powers that craft and control the images that depict the African-American travel/meetings/hospitality market segment have enormous impact! Unfortunately, very few of the ad agencies tasked with telling and framing the African- American story are Black-owned. And most of the other agencies responsible for reaching out to this segment have not, and do not recognize that value of the $73 billion+ African-American market. Not surprisingly, less than 4% of US destinations advertise in Black-owned media. Let that sink in. Add to that the major hotel brands, airlines and cruise lines that follow this PUBLISHER'S MESSAGE Black Meetings & Tourism is published bi-monthly by SunGlo Enterprises, 20840 Chase St., Winnetka, CA 91306-1207 •Telephone: (818)709-0646/Fax: (818) 709-4753 Copyright 2020 by SunGlo Enterprises. All rights reserved. Single Copies, $6.00 Subscriptions $45.00. Postage Paid at Pasadena, CA. •Postmaster send address changes to Black Meetings & Tourism, 20840 Chase St., Winnetka, CA 91306-1207. Solomon J. Herbert Publisher/Editor-In-Chief E-Mail: same pattern, and the picture is rather bleak. In the words of media mogul Byron Allen, "Black Owned Media is not supported by many companies and that is the very definition of systematic racism. Let's use this opportunity to work together and achieve a positive change." Allen who is founder, chairman and CEO of the Allen Media Group, LLC, has taken a strong stand against racial bias and initiated lawsuits against AT&T and Comcast (both of which have been settled), and is currently moving forward with another lawsuit against Charter Communications for $10 billion. In a recent series of webinars entitled "Black Owned Media Matters," Allen put Madison Avenue on notice that he will soon be filing racial bias lawsuits against the advertising industry. "Now we have suc- cessfully dealt with the cable industry – it took 5 years - but now it's time to deal with what I consider the most racist of them all, the advertising industry," said Allen. "Madison Avenue is the epitome of racism. And now we're going to deal with Madison Avenue." Added Allen, "We are going to be very clear about who is doing business with Black America and isn't with us. We're going to start boycotting those corpo- rations, and I am going to aggressively start suing the agencies and the clients. And in some cases, the clients are going to become huge liabilities for the agency. The agency is going to carry out their (client's) racism, and those agencies are going to be held accountable. What now needs to happen, is those agencies and those media holding companies, they need to tell their client that there is no scenario in which we do not advertise with Black-owned media. You're going to have a budget for Black owned media. Because that is a part of the problem, It is the very definition of systemic, structural racism, and Byron Allen is going to hold us accountable." BM&T will continue to follow this story and report back to you any future developments. For those advertisers and agencies that have partnered with Black Meetings & Tourism, we appreciate your sup- port of the African-American market segment. For the far too many that don't utilize Black-owned media to reach the African-American market segment, please take notice.

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