Part of Shoppe Black’s mission is to help reduce the rate at which Black Businesses fail. To help identify and understand some of these reasons, we’ve enlisted the help of economist Dr. Brooks Robinson for a multi part series entitled “Why Black Businesses Fail.” Enjoy and stay tuned for upcoming parts!
It is propitious to expound on the necessity for Black Americans to not discriminate against each other, to unite, and to reap the benefits of unification. For example, one noted social critic said: “Blacks should be like the so-called Jews. See how unified and successful they are.”
Another social critic responded: “That’s too much to ask. Jews have supposedly been around for thousands of years and have learned well the hard lessons of disunity.
Black Americans have only been around for 400 years—only 150 of those years free from chattel slavery. Give us another 500 years and see where we will be.”
The thinking of the latter social critic is logical. However, as learned people who can read the history of the Jews and know our own history, it is perplexing that Black Americans should take another 500 years to respond appropriately to the painful lessons of disunity.
What we know is that there are three primary reasons why Black Americans discriminate against Black businesses. First, some Black Americans simply hate themselves and everything Black. Second, some have been duped psychologically into thinking that “someone else’s ice is colder.” Third, some Blacks have experienced negative outcomes with Black businesses.
The first two reasons cannot be resolved by Black businesses—these are issues that can only be overcome by self-introspection by Black Americans.
However, the third reason can be rationalized. Simply put, Black businesses must ensure that their products and services are of the highest possible quality so that no aspect of business performance serves as a reason for Black Americans to discriminate against Black businesses.
The thinking is that few Black Americans discriminate for the first reason, and the number discriminating for the second reason is declining. Therefore, if Black businesses provide high-quality goods and services, discrimination should become less and less of a failure factor going forward.
Contributed by Dr. Brooks Robinson
Founder of BlackEconomics.org