The 2016-17 edition of The Macon Middle Georgia Black Pages and Resource Guide focuses on downtown Macon from a historical, present, and future perspective. At one point downtown Macon, was characterized by an array of small business establishments- mostly retail, commercial and entertainment. For the past several years, however, there has been a steady and measurable growth in economic development activities in the downtown area and throughout Central Georgia.
Due to the combined efforts of community- minded institutions and organizations, downtown Macon is thriving once gain- growing and improving its local businesses and attracting new industries. This is a good indication of what happens positively when varied resources in a community work together for a common cause. It is generally agreed that downtown Macon now rumbles with vibrancy and this kind of positive economic activity will permeate throughout the community. One interesting observation is that according to a copy of The Homosapian Newsletter from 1927, Black Businesses were numerous and striving. Much of that success emanated from a different kind of atmosphere that existed then that is not apparent now. Notice the excerpt below from that publication:
Macon is one of the oldest cities in Georgia, celebrating its 100th birthday in 1923. In 1927, an article appeared in the local Homosapian newspaper which describes Macon as a city of about 70,000 inhabitants; almost half of that number being “Colored”. It was conservatively estimated- that Negro business owners purchased more than 125 business licenses each year, Among the various businesses were: 40 grocery stores, 17 barber shops, 15 cafes, 8 cleaning and pressing establishments, 2 blacksmiths, 1 theater, 5 butcher shops, 2 real estate firms, 3 banks, 3 funeral directors, 1 gasoline filling station, 2 auto repair shops, 5 tailors, 1 harberdashery, 2 wood and coal dealers, 2 printing offices, 1 weekly newspaper, 1 monthly magazine, 8 insurance companies, 4 dentists, 7 physicians, 1 hospital, 2 lawyers, 1 conservatory of music, 4 institutions giving high school training and large number of ministers, building contractors, brick masons, carpenters, insurance agents and school teachers. With few exceptions, all letters carriers were “colored”.
I am convinced that the present day Black Community can experience the same degree of progress by buying into the following approaches: Consumer support for the African American Businesses whenever possible. An ever-present conscientiousness on that part of African American businesses to be effective and efficient in the operation too assure that the products and services rendered are of satisfactory nature.
Since 1991, The Black Pages has served as the premier resource for emphasizing the important role that African American consumers play in the economic development of our community. The demand for publication of this type reinforces the principle that when one segment of the population begins to do better economically and becomes self-sufficient, the entire community generally benefits.
According to the University of Georgia’s Selig Center, African American Consumerism in Central Georgia totals 3.5 billion dollars. The Black Pages publication provides an excellent opportunity for African American owned businesses to proactively market its products and services to these consumers.