Marvin L. “Doc” Cheatham is concerned about what he says is a dearth of black owned businesses downtown.
During an interview about the National NAACP Convention coming to Baltimore in 2016, Cheatham, a former president of Baltimore’s NAACP chapter, said the city will have to answer questions about the lack of black businesses in the central business district.
“When we bring the convention here, the first thing folks are going to ask, be they black or white: ‘Well where are the black restaurants downtown?’ And Baltimore city will have to readily answer: ‘We have very few if any,'” Cheatham said. “So this is an opportunity for Baltimore city to finally address the problem that they have in not having African-American businesses downtown.”
He said the attention brought by the convention will show the void in Baltimore compared to other cities in the country — especially entertainment aimed at African-Americans.
“When you go into a city you showcase what you have. Baltimore is going to have an issue showcasing black businesses, black restaurants, black hotels as other cities do because Baltimore city has very few, if any,” Cheatham said.