Lecturer Addresses Black Entrepreneurship

  • Monday, February 25, 2008

    Sana, SimbaPRINCESS ANNE, MD-"Black Entrepreneurship and Institution Building," the topic of the annual Black History Month Lecture at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, will be addressed on Thursday, February 28, at 7 p.m. in the Student Services Center Theater. 

    The featured guest speaker is Simba Sana, the CEO of Karibu Books, a retail chain of African American bookstores in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore regions.  Karibu (pronounced KA-REE-BOO) means "come in" or "welcome" in KiSwahili, the most widely spoken African language.  According to their motto, the bookstore "….celebrates Black History and accomplishments 365 days of the year!"

    Sana's own story is one of accomplishment.  Raised in Carver Terrace (Little Vietnam) in Northeast Washington, D.C., he overcame obstacles to graduate from Mount Saint Mary's College in Emitsburg, Md., with a double major in accounting and business and finance.  He also earned a master's from Howard University in African Studies.

    Sana was an auditor at Ernst and Young when he decided to join his friend Yao Glover, current COO of Karibu Books, in his entrepreneurship of a vending operation in 1992. The business was donned Karibu books in 1993 with the first locations being kiosks or pushcarts.  With the assistance of Sana's business background, the kiosks gradually morphed into the six-store retail chain of today.  The stores have access to over 8,000 titles.  The company's philosophy is to "..empower and educate people by providing complete access to books by and about people of African descent."

    Community conscious, Karibu holds free writers workshops through a partnership with the United Black Writers Association and has sponsored such events as the "Walk In Our Shoes Campaign" which recently sent over 1,000 pairs of shoes to people in Ghana.

    "We are honored to have Mr. Sana speak during Black History Month," said Dr. Kathryn Barrett-Gaines, director of African and African-American Studies at UMES.  "He is sure to impart a wealth of information on his experiences in black entrepreneurship."

    The event is free and open to interested members of the public.  It is sponsored by UMES and supported, in part, by a grant from Delmarva Power.  For more information on this and other events during Black History Month at UMES, call 410-651-7580.           

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    Gail Stephens, assistant director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-651-7580, gcstephens@umes.edu. 

    Suzanne Waters Street, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355, sstreet@umes.edu.