port of harlem magazine

February 8 - February 21, 2008


Theo Hodge, Jr. M.D.

Your Comments on Karibu’s Historic Closing

I am sad, not just because of this recent news, but also because of the state of Black-owned businesses in general and the seeming lack of awareness/interest within the larger Black community to recognize the need for our conscious and constant patronage to support these institutions.  We have got to show our children that they can succeed at owning and operating businesses rather than just sending them off to college so they can eventually work for others.  That is not the hopes and dreams of our forefathers and mothers who worked so hard for us to achieve equality within this system.   And we’ve got to show them the way, first through our examples of supporting those who look like we do and provide good service.

Donna M. Smith
Washington, D.C.

Mr. Simba, I am one of the millions of your Black patrons and like everyone else I want to know why you are closing your business?  It goes without saying that if there is anything we, the people, can do to help you we will, but we need some answers.

Thank you and may God bless you for the fine service that Karibu has afforded us for your 15 years.  Perhaps with everyone's assistance, you can make it to 15 more.

Kelly-Marie Berry
Washington, D.C.

I was truly saddened to read about the closing of Karibu.  To me it is as though a member of the family had passed.   This touches me very deeply because my family supported these brothers when they had a kiosk in Landover Mall.  I also read where there was fierce competition from the mocha chocolate and frappacino factions.  This closing is VERY serious to the survival of our community.   In these latte factions,  our story is relegated to one section in the store.  I have seen where these "one" sections are getting even smaller. 

Is there not something we as a community can do to at least keep ONE these stores open and support it like our lives depend on it?   We constantly complain that there are not enough stores in our community.  Furthermore,  we say that we do not support those of us who are business.  I would hate for us to be content sipping on our "mint juleps" on the verandas of these chai lattes  while our history is being relegated to one shelf.  This day I am going to Karibu to at least touch base with Mr. Simba to convince him to keep at least ONE of the stores open.
Thank you for allowing me to vent.  A people without knowledge will truly perish.

June Williams
Washington, D.C.

Note: The Snippet with the closing of Karibu as the headline was our most popular editions in our history.  We too will miss our business partners.  The Saturday, February 23  book fair that Karibu and Port of Harlem are supporting at the Mall of Prince George’s will still happen.  Luckily, we already found a new advertiser at least for the next print issue to replace the resulting loss of revenue.  We also thank those who subscribed or renewed their subscription to the print issue - You Can, Too!   Click here to subscribe today!

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