In the bustling streets of New York City, where the skyline is as diverse as its population, a unique story unfolds – the story of Joseph Landon and his groundbreaking venture, JoJo’s Ventures. This isn’t just a tale of entrepreneurship; it’s a narrative that weaves together the rich tapestry of Black history, culture, and the unyielding spirit of a city that never sleeps.
The Genesis of JoJo’s Ventures
Joseph Landon’s journey into the world of tourism isn’t your typical rags-to-riches story. It’s richer, deeper, and more nuanced. “I’ve been in the tourism industry since I was 15,” Landon shares, his voice echoing the passion of a true New Yorker. “What many companies overlooked was the focus on Black History in New York City. As a history major and buff, I saw an opportunity to tell the story of this city through my eyes and the eyes of those who’ve lived here.”
JoJo’s Ventures isn’t just a tour company; it’s a living, breathing chronicle of New York City, told by someone who’s not just studied its history but lived it.
New York City: A Melting Pot of Cultures
When asked about the allure of New York City, Landon’s description is vivid: “It’s the cultural melting pot of the world. You can find someone from every corner of the globe here, each adding their unique thread to the city’s vibrant tapestry.” This diversity isn’t new; it’s a cycle of convergence and rebirth that’s been the city’s heartbeat for centuries.
A Tour Like No Other
JoJo’s Ventures offers more than just sightseeing. It’s an immersive experience into neighborhoods brimming with untold stories and cultural richness. “We delve into Caribbean history, Afro-Latino history, Black history, music, arts… and always tie it to a local experience, like dining at a neighborhood gem or visiting a cultural institution,” Landon explains.
Unearthing Hidden Histories
Perhaps the most profound aspect of Landon’s tours is his focus on the African American narrative in New York City’s history. “I take people to Wall Street and show them where the original slave market was,” he says, a hint of pride in his voice. “It’s about telling the stories that are often overlooked, about showing how deep our roots go in this city’s foundation.”
Building JoJo’s Ventures in the complex landscape of New York City wasn’t without challenges. Landon recalls the hurdles, particularly the unexpected ones like proving his ethnicity for small business certification. “It’s not just about the systemic barriers but also about personal journeys and traumas,” he reflects.
Looking Ahead: Expansion and Inclusivity
As for the future, Landon is learning languages like Spanish, French, and German to break barriers and connect with a broader audience. “I want to tell my story, our story, to everyone, and language shouldn’t be a barrier,” he asserts.
Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
For those looking to make their mark, Landon advises, “Stick to your morals. Not all money is good money. If you’re here for passion, not just profit, you’ll find your path.”
The Importance of Representation
Landon emphasizes the significance of having Black voices in the tourism industry. “We need to tell our own stories. Hearing about African American history from someone who’s lived that history adds authenticity that can’t be replicated,” he states.
A Call to Support and Grow
As our conversation draws to a close, Landon leaves us with a thought-provoking message: “Support Black businesses. Behind every entrepreneur is a journey, a story. If you’re seeking an authentic New York experience, think of JoJo’s Ventures or other Black-owned businesses striving to make a difference.”
In the heart of New York City, Joseph Landon and JoJo’s Ventures stand as a testament to the power of passion, the richness of history, and the unyielding spirit of entrepreneurship. It’s more than a tour; it’s a journey through the soul of a city, guided by one of its own.