What I want to shine a light on is the emergence of African Americans in leadership positions across the country and how that emergence has not proportionately led to more power or a stronger powerbase for the collective cultural unit. Said differently, we have more Black mayors, Senators, and even most recently a Black president. More people of color in positions of power than any other time in history. Yet, we continue to lag across nearly every institutional metric compared to mass America. To which metrics do I allude? I will name a few; household income, homeownership, salaries, business ownership, college degrees, post graduate degrees and the list goes on.
What this has led me to believe is this. Power without economic leverage is power-less. This leads me to my specific niche of interest, Small Business Ownership. Let's start with the facts. Black businesses make up about 3% of all Small Businesses. Black people are 12% of the US population. Revenue and receipts of Black Owned Business (BOB) lag not only other small businesses as a whole but also other minority owned business including Asian and Hispanic. (SOURCE: Blackdemographics.com). Black businesses are smaller in revenue, are almost always singularly owned and operated, are concentrated in service industries, and are concentrated in just a few states in the nation.
What is the problem with this you ask? Though I could go on for days let me just give a quick regurgitation that I hope will lead to some really new thinking and some really quick action by those in "power". Here goes;
1- With small receipts there is little room for scalability
2- Without businesses in high tech industries, high commodity industries there is no lasting leverage especially in the mass market
3- Without employees, there is no legacy, no cross-pollination, no generational wealth
4- Being so concentrated in a few states there is no growth in voice as a people for our people by our people
The floor is open. I hope those in power realize the frailty of their position. Power is a trick of the mind. True power speaks with the outcomes it has created.