Economic Self-Sufficiency Programs
African Americans in the North Carolina Sandhills Region have a long tradition of
economic self-sufficiency. Preservation of African-American heritage involves the
cultivation and re-awakening of the entrepreneurial spirit that sustained our communities for years.
SFHA believes that the perfect model for community revitalization is found in its own
rural ancestry. When the organization looked at Manchester, an African-American community in Cumberland County, we noticed that almost every parcel of land had some type of entrepreneurial business attached to it—a barbershop, beauty salon, electrician, mechanics shop, carpenter, seamstress, midwife, grocery store, nightclub, and other businesses. The community was almost totally self-sufficient, a tradition that has been significantly destabilized.
SFHA works to regain economic self-sufficiency by focusing efforts on initiatives and programs that build support for community-based entrepreneurship. For example, SFHA uses heritage tourism to preserve African-American cultural heritage and provides vendor opportunities for community members through the Sandhills Farmers Market in Spring Lake.