The common assumption is that “if you build it” - a business, that is - “they will come.”
But for Black enterprises, history confirms that’s only HALF the battle.
Long before the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade, Black people have participated in the global marketplace, undertaking great risk in order to succeed. And we succeeded in MAJOR ways.
Yet even with all our creativity, forward thinking mindset, and entrepreneurial history, there’s still a major hold up keeping our establishments from thriving today. Can you guess what it could be?
Black entrepreneurs have long been the primary target of racial violence, prejudice, and discrimination that hinder our merchants’ abilities to amass the necessary capital to cover expenses, ride out economic downturns, and even to protect our personnel and property from harm and destruction.
And it’s not just the business owners that are impacted!
Black businesses provide jobs within our communities, as well as goods and services that disrupt the oppressive mechanisms that keep us as consumers physically, mentally, and economically impaired.
So you see? Black entrepreneurship, however challenging it may be, matters to the welfare of our people.
It is imperative that we deploy our resources to financially support Black-owned businesses as consumers, and make sure when we engage politically that our representatives prioritize initiatives that will direct resources into the businesses that stand to uplift us all!