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When good people essentially do nothing

Power, politics, and policy and the influence they have over African American people
 

Abraham Lincoln once stated, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” I say nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, educate him on the tools needed to empower his people and watch to see what he does with it! In the 1920s, African American neighborhoods all over the United States were in vogue. Jazz artists such as Jelly Roll Morton, Dizzy Gillespie and Duke Ellington were soothing the souls of Americans everywhere. Harlem, New York was experiencing what we now call the “Harlem Renaissance Era.” Great literature, art, poetry, music, and Black-owned businesses filled the streets of Harlem. Black folks had taken their claim to America despite the race tensions, and business was good! Continue Reading →

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Opportunity and diversity one industry at a time

By Benjamin Todd Jealous

Guest Commentator

 

There is a missing component to the national discussion concerning how to strengthen and rebuild the American economy. It is true that high unemployment, a weak national infrastructure, the need for stronger public education, the concentration of wealth and the deficit are all challenges to the nation’s economy, but being left out of the discussion is the continued economic marginalization of racial and ethnic minorities. The American economy has always been strongest when it’s kept the middle class within reach for most Americans. But with White households holding nearly 20 times the wealth of Black or Latino households, and with rising disparities in unemployment, poverty, and income, the future of the middle class has never looked more uncertain. As the country rapidly becomes majority minority, the nation’s economic well-being is increasingly tied to overcoming racial-economic inequality. Continue Reading →

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When good people essentially do nothing

Power, politics, and policy and the influence they have over African American people

According to Pastor Terrance Jacobs, former director with the Gamaliel Organization who was appointed to Africa, power is the concentration of “organized people and organized money” (taken from the Alinsky model). Pastor Jacobs went on to explain, at the Minneapolis Neighborhood Hub’s Health Disparities training that was held in late October, that a state of powerlessness is a sin! My interpretation of his remark is that there is a whole lot of sin going around in Minnesota! In that one instance he essentially declared that seeking power is not a bad thing. Yet many of us have formed opinions about power to the effect that it is bad, that we don’t need too much of it,  and that anyone seeking too much power should be watched closely. Continue Reading →

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WNBA sets the standard while Lynx falls behind on race

 

 

 

 

 

 

First in an occasional series

 

The WNBA recently scored its 10th top grade for race in the 2012 Racial and Gender Report Card (RGRC), which is published annually by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES). TIDES director and the report’s principal author Richard Lapchick and his staff uses data from the WNBA team media guides, and the league office provides personnel data to evaluate and determine final grades. The September 5 report said that the league set “the standard for racial and gender diversity among all professional leagues” as it scored an A for the sixth consecutive year. The Minnesota Lynx has had only two Black head coaches, five Black assistant coaches (2006 was the only year in team history when the entire coaching staff was Black) and one Black vice president in its 13-year history. However, the team has not hired any Blacks for other top management positions such as general manager, public relations director and community relations director; or professional administration positions such as marketing, promotions, publications and various other department heads that Lapchick annually grades. Continue Reading →

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How big is ‘small’? New minority business center focuses on million-dollar-plus companies

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

An October 2010 City of Minneapolis report concluded that locally owned Black small businesses face “particularly acute” discrimination when seeking loans. They often are denied, and if they are approved they are subject to higher interest rates than other applicants by financial institutions, the report added. “One of the biggest obstacles for people of color is limited access to capital,” states Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA) Executive Director Yvonne Cheung Ho. She adds that the current economic climate in the country has been “very challenging for small businesses and minority businesses.”

Access to capital “is a typical problem for all small businesses, not just Black businesses,” says local business owner Eugene Banks. MEDA in November opened the Minority Business Development Agency’s (MBDA) Business Center in Minneapolis. Continue Reading →

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