Friday, September 6, 2013

The Gospel Truth

"If we were as good at saving money as we are at saving souls many of  African Americans problems would be solved."  this is a paraphrase from the 'wealth choice' by Dennis Kimbro.

      I just left church this Sunday June the 2nd 2013. My preacher just announced that the church will be purchasing the former JCPenney building that was an anchor store at the  once prominent Northland Mall in Southfield, Michigan. I had mixed feelings concerning the announcement. On 1 hand I was happy and proud that the JCPenney building was going to be under African-American control. On the other hand, I was a little disappointed that no African-american private sector funding team was involved in the deal. And yes, I was a little upset that me and my team did not get a chance to place a bid on the property. But beyond my own personal interest the deal made me do some thinking and some counting. In the detroit area there over 10 new churches with development cost over 10 million dollars. Simple math says that 10 properties at 10 million dollars each equal 100 million how can ten new churches be built in less than a decade at a cost of over a tenth of a billion dollars in a city that has filed for bankruptcy? The answer is the only time African American pool their money on a regular basis is on Sunday mornings.
       The rise of so many mega million dollar churches pays testament to the power of the black dollar when it is pooled together for a common goal. The problem is Detroit has grand churches but crumbling schools. Dan Gilbert the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans has bought over 25 buildings in Downtown Detroit for under 100 million. I salute Mr. Gilbert on his vision to invest in Detroit.  That said the fact that black churches build multi-million dollar buildings with money from the black community, yet the black community has not pooled any funds together to buy any of the prime real estate.  This phenomenon goes on all over the nation. African Americans have all the resources needed to redevelop our neighborhoods and cities all that is lacking is the understanding of how many people with a little money equals a lot of money.

     As always this is some food for thought from the good people at Big Boss Filmworks and High Exposure Consulting the proud sponsors of the Gittin' Off Zero project.  Join the movement like us on facebook for more information.

Friday, November 11, 2011

I'm not a business-man, I'm a BUSINESS man.

I'm Not A Business-Man. I’m A Business Man.

The above quote is from a Jay Z song it expresses a boast that he himself is a business. He is not just a business man, Jay Z is speaking about his clothing line, bar ownership and sports brands, which makes the Jay Z brand a business, all of its own. Listening to this song led me to ask. Why are there so few black businessmen on TV? When you watch business channels like CNBC you can go weeks without seeing an African-American speaking on topics of finance or the world economy. I have thought that one of the great problems in the African-American community is the fact that its leadership is mainly made up of preachers and politicians. Don't get me wrong, I have great respect for the majority of preachers in the black community. I am fully aware of the long and proud tradition of black preachers acting as spiritual adviser, along with being political activists. That's said  the skill sets that make you a great businessman are different from the skill sets of being great preacher. Of course there are a few that do both very well, TD Jakes is a great preacher an excellent business man. As for the as for the politicians being the leaders of the black community, I cannot be so kind. The majority of black politicians lack the understanding of business and global economy to be of any real service to the black community, which is beset by high unemployment and failing schools. I think it is of utmost importance that men like Quintin Primo III, Robert Johnson, Earl Graves and Len Burnett become the voice of the black community. If you do not know these gentlemen are that's the problem. They're all black CEOs of very successful companies. People like Mitt Romney, Donald Trump, and H. Ross Perot have all used their success as businessmen as justification for the qualifications to be President of the United States. There are few Asian politicians yet a majority of Asians Americans are very successful and have a very strong business leadership tradition.
I believe if Black America is to address its many issues its elected and non elected leadership must come out of the business community. With all due respect to Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Cornell West and Mike Eric Dyson, what do they know about business? That is to say, what do they know about the real steps needed to address the decaying urban cities of America? It's time for African-Americans to find the voices of those who proven they know how to get paid and get off zero.
 Courtney Robert Brown Jr. 
CEO, High Exposure Consulting.