What is the history of Black economic development throughout history, and how is it manifesting itself today?

Dr. Karen Britt, professor of business and economics at Northampton Community College (NCC), gave a fascinating look at Black economic development, past and present, as the keynote address concluding Black History Month and in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.  “A Month of Self-Empowerment: Practical Steps and Examples to Elevate Yourselves and Your Loved Ones,” presented by the College’s Black Caucus.

The keynote event took place on February 25 via ZOOM.

Britt reviewed Black communities of the past that had ownership of economic resources, such as businesses and homes, from Fort Mose, Florida, in 1738; to Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1906; and Allensworth, California, in 1908.  From there, the talk continued to a discussion of more contemporary Black-owned resources in New Jersey, North Carolina and Georgia. The audience then broke into groups and were presented with questions on economic development. 

And what of the future?  “The Black community has resources that have not been developed, and this purchasing power contributes significantly to the U.S. economy,” Britt says.

This semester, Britt is teaching management fundamentals, macroeconomics, microeconomics, and the international practice firm.  In the fall, she will again teach these same courses and introduction in international business.  Among her great interests are Black history and the current development of Black-owned resources.

Myra Saturen has been a writer for organizations for thirty years, including 14 for NCC. She has a bachelor's degree in English from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton and a master's degree in social work from Columbia University. In addition to writing for organizations, she has written for a variety of magazines and has had two young adult novels published. She also works as a writing tutor in NCC's Learning Center. She is a native New Yorker who has lived in Bethlehem Township for thirty-one years. She is married with two adult children. Her hobbies are reading, yoga and exercise.