Last updated on October 3rd, 2014 at 05:04 pm
Twenty-three years ago this month, Deloris Black came up with a concept to develop and publish a minority business directory. That idea became a reality called Tennessee Black Pages, a Black business directory and more. Ms. Black is president/publisher of the Black Yellow Pages.
The Tennessee Black Pages not only put you in touch with Black businesses in the community, it shared the history of Black people in Nashville making an impact on the community.
Black said the Tennessee Black Pages has also become the number one tool in locating African American businesses.
“My phone line has become the ‘911’ information line when locating them,” she said. “When new comers move to town or someone is looking for a Black barber, their church denomination, a Black beauty salon, soul food, or even African American art, we get those calls.”
Black suggested that if contractors or builders are looking to make business contacts, the Tennessee Black Pages is a great place to look or place your advertisements.
With the added touch of the corporate advertisers and the historical data the Tennessee Black Pages provides in each edition, the readers enjoy going through each page of the directory to see advertisements there.
Before integration, it appeared that Black businesses had no problem keeping their doors open, according to Ms. Black.
“But today, when it come to buying groceries, clothes, shoes, or even a picture frame, we don’t think of ‘Mom or Pa’ shops we once supported,” she said. “Then we had no other choice. Now we think the mall.”
Black, a Nashville native born and raised, is proud that she has been able to develop ways to help others. One of the ways she has supported Black businesses and others was by hosting the only minority event ever held at 100 Oaks Mall and Hickory Hollow Mall, ‘The Black Expo’ which pulled in a crowd of over 2,000 people.
This entrepreneur has developed a number of businesses besides the directory. She has been recognized as Business Women of the year as well as being awarded for her contributions to the community. Black is also a former president of the National Black Pages Publisher’s Association.
The Tennessee Black Pages is available on line by visiting www.tnblackpages.net. You may also view several past editions of the directory in the archive of the website.
For the past several years the Tennessee Black Pages has been dedicated to various African American leaders such as Bishop Joseph Walker and President Barrack Obama. This year the 23rd edition of the Tennessee Black Pages is dedicated to Rev. Derrick Jackson and Tonya Scales-Haynes, owners of New Generation and Patton Brothers Funeral Home.
Black is busy preparing for the release of this year’s Tennessee Black Pages, but you may see her in other venues. She is also busy writing and producing commercials, another talent she has discovered.
“Some things just come natural to me and I just do them,” said Black. “When I think back I remember the very first commercial I produced and wrote. I wanted to promote the directory via a commercial for television. When I learned how much it cost for someone to write and create a commercial, I came up with my own concept. I had envisioned me standing on the sidewalk with a boarded up business in the background. My message was simple, ‘Don’t wait until you are advertising your business for sale to advertise.'”
The commercial was accepted by WTVF Channel 5 and ran for several weeks.
Black later wrote and produced radio commercials for several Tennessee politicians, e.g., former Metro Councilman Edward Whitmore, Judge Andrei Lee, former Tenn. state Rep. Mary Pruitt, and Councilman-at-large David Briley just to name a few. She has also written and produced radio commercials for the Black Pages publishers in Chicago, Florida and Michigan.
“I have always believed if you step out on faith and take that one step, the Lord will give you two,” she said. “Nothing beats a failure, but one that does not try. That’s how I live my life. Amazing the things I have learned about myself. It just goes to show that you never know where life will take you. Looking for help? Visit the Tennessee Black Pages.”