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June 28, 2007

Business and Finance

Do black people do business with black people?

Blogging the conversation in the room...

Deciding where to shop: do we shop black businesses? Do we shop locally? Do we buy American? Would we buy from Walmart because it's cheaper, though the money doesn't stay in town? I.e. to what extent do we, or can we, make economic decisions based on factors that aren't purely economic?

Do we invest in ourselves to create the things that we spend money on? How can you buy from a black-owned business, when there's so few of them? The reality is that it's hard for you to invest in yourself, if you're black.

A black financial advisor finds it hard to get other blacks to work with him because they don't trust him, as a financial advisor, as readily as they might white advisor.

Another commenter: If a black people really wants to do business with other blacks, they need to go out and find them.

We need to set the right kind of expectations. The book doesn't talk about the abject poverty in our community, and it's a poverty of the spirit as well as a poverty of means. Children have the ability to create a positive world, but not if you tell them they're in a box and they can't get out. You have to tell them that they can be creative.

Positive reinforcement starts at home: if they don't get it at home, it's going to be hard for them to get it anywhere else.

Race is a factor in this, but individuality is a factor as well... it's a combination. You can't assess based on race alone... it's a combination of humanity, race, and drive.

Blacks are only 12% of the country, and 9% of Austin's population. White people may not work together all that well or that much, but there's a larger pool of them.

(The people in the room just formed a circle, so they could see who's speaking.)

Posted by Jon Lebkowsky at June 28, 2007 5:04 PM


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