Who is Ernie Anderson?

Ernie Anderson is a boy from Tulsa, OK, with a strict father and loving mother. I received my ambition from both parents, and I always aspired to be more than what I could see. I was ambitious in sports just as much as education because the two went hand-in-hand in our family. If I didn’t have good grades, I wouldn’t be able to play. I saw my dad start his own janitorial business with my sister and me as his main employees during our school breaks. No matter the scenario, I remember working in a booth, cleaning a football stadium. No matter where my dad was working, he would starch and iron his clothes. He always said, “If you look good, you feel good, and if you feel good, you play good.”

What made you start your own parking business?

Dr. Claud Anderson wrote “PowerNomics,” a book about the necessity of starting your own business. He also hits on other ethnicities and shows how they reform one sector of life at a time, starting with wealth building on the first floor, politics on the next, followed by police reform, media, and lastly, education. When we look at our past history of slavery, vagrancy laws, and Jim Crow, we can understand why Blacks don’t have a true stake in the game. Dr. Carter G. Woodson stated that the Black man is trained to get a job, or beg for one, whereas a foreigner studies the Black man,, comes over here to start a business in his neighborhood, and thrives.

During college I was asked to become a valet at an apartment complex after graduating. I was able to pass the opportunity to my brother. After my brother gave up the position, the role was unattended. Fast-forward a few months after finding out about the new addition to my family, I knew then that I needed to make things happen. That’s when I started the business.

What’s your take on Black entrepreneurism?

Mainly, Black entrepreneurism equates to self-preservation via ownership. We can’t help one another or ourselves if we don’t own anything. I hate that Black entrepreneurship is sometimes viewed as an anti-other group, because it’s not that. It’s truly a need, THE NEED. If you haven’t seen Dame Dash’s “The Breakfast Club” interview (inserted below), it’s a great interview that is not only entertaining, but drops major knowledge that should resonate a change in every adult mindset. My favorite quote from the interview is, “To work for someone else for a long time is selfish. I don’t work for my first name, I work for my last name. I want to be able to pass something to my kids. If you can’t do that, you don’t own it.”

What’s your advice to Black men?

I would say really open your eyes and ask yourself, “Is the stuff that I am being inundated with making me better or worse?” Whether it’s the music you listen to, the TV you watch, or what you are reading – we MUST read – we need to take in good information/food/energy – books like “Where Do We Go from Here” by MLK, “The Mis-Education of the Negro” by Carter G. Woodson, “PowerNomics,” etc.

When we look at the political climate, we hear “Let’s change the system.” However, we must understand the system is doing what it was setup to do. Until we begin to truly change ourselves, we cannot change the system. The first major change, as described by Claud Anderson, is changing our wealth.

Where do you currently hold contracts in Atlanta? What areas do you service?

We currently have a private account in the Buckhead area in Atlanta, and we are looking to grow. Readers can reach us at http://www.andersonparking.com/

This interview is part of a larger project submitted by Justin Sims.