Business was the theme of the latest Uni-Hood event this past Saturday, as the UK Youth movement continued its mission to enliven the minds of Young people across Britain. The event, held in Brixton, South London, featured a speech by Successful author and Business Consultant Dr Christopher A Johnson as well as presentations on great entrepreneurs of the past.
“Schools and Society in general encourage young people to get qualifications so that they can get a good job but we’re not taught how to use education to create businesses and employment for ourselves, that’s what this event is all about” explains Uni-Hood founding member Ishmerai Muhammad.
Over the course of the event, Uni-Hood members delivered presentations on great black entrepreneurs throughout history, describing the achievements of the likes of Madame CJ Walker & Booker T Washington in the face of great adversity. While the suppressive forces of today are different from those centuries ago, the lack of opportunities for young people in Britain have been well documented in recent times. However the level of inequality within the system is perhaps not as widely appreciated.
During the event it was highlighted that 50% of young black people between the ages 16-24 year old are unemployed in comparison to 20% of their white counterparts and organisers believe the time has come for the black community to take responsibility for itself.
The fact that 67% of young black men in prison were previously unemployed suggests a link between a lack of Jobs and illegal behaviour. Uni-Hood members believe this to be true and have created 15 jobs for youth seeking employment with the intention of creating many more in the near future.
“We’ve got to start doing for self, Jobs are hard to come by , so it’s not surprising that we’re at the back of the queue” said Ayeshah Muhammad, “We’re not one of those organisations that just talk, we’re all about doing and this is just the beginning. We’ve only been going for four or five months now and we’re already creating Jobs for young people. In two years, we should be much further along”.
It was also announced that the group would be starting a short business course for the general public with a view to developing a strong foundational understanding of the subject. Student Minister Hilary Muhammad, UK representative of the Nation of Islam and Min. Farrakhan believes that this will prove especially useful for young people who have chosen an illegal route to financial success but have a good business mind;
The importance of Business, particularly in the midst of an economic crisis was emphasised by main speaker, Dr Christopher A Johnson, who drew attention to the parallels between the fall of the British economy and the poor money management of the general public.
“One of the main causes of the recession is that Britain imports far exceed its exports and this is why they are starting wars, they need to generate more money through the (Military) Arms industry. Never stretch your hand where you cannot reach, each of us has to manage our money better if we want to avoid debt and be successful”.
In addition to discussing the advantages and disadvantages of various business structures, Mr Johnson explained the importance of land, encouraging audience members to get involved in agriculture.
“We’ve got to shatter the negative perception we have toward farming, if you grow your own food you can be self-sufficient and also sell the surplus to make a profit. It’s important to have your own land.”
In addition to Valuable business advice and inspirational presentations on successful business men and women of the past, the audience were also treated to a series of musical performances. Up and coming UK singer Leanne Robinson, spoken word artist Mariamba Samba as well as Hip-Hop duo Gambit Ace & Mikey Twist performed, keeping the energy levels high over the course of the event.
This “Get-Legit” event is the latest addition to Uni-Hood’s series of community events that have been held over the past few months as a means of bringing the Black community together through “edutainment”.
With an independent clothing label already up and running as well as a recording studio and record label in the pipelines, the rapid growth of the movement in such a short space of time is startling. By uniting to bring about the positive changes they wish to see in their community, this group of young people have challenged the negative stereotypes continually impressed upon black youths.
As they continue their mission to awaken Young people to their tremendous potential, the Uni-Hood movement looks destined to change not only the way society views today’s youth but also how Young people look at themselves.