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.