Cover image for Black entrepreneurship in America
Black entrepreneurship in America
Green, Shelley.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New Brunswick, N.J., U.S.A. : Transaction Publishers, [1990]

Physical Description:
xi, 194 pages ; 24 cm
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Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E185.8 .G776 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
E185.8 .G776 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ

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At a time of rapid economic change in black American communities, this important study provides fresh thinking about black values, institutions and economics. Black Entrepreneurship in America defines the cultural context of economic changes taking place in this most critical segment of American life.

It is well known that economic culture undergoes constant generation and regeneration, and with sufficient motivation, culture change; analysts also agree that entrepreneurship is the driving force behind sustained economic progress in modern industrial societies. This volume shows how black Americans can become equal participants in the American dream. To do this, the authors argue, they must overcome their former lack of participation, and galvanize the entrepreneurial potential of their own families and communities. This bold and pioneering effort outlines a strategy for translating the overall expansion of the American economy into specific modes of black economic development. As the authors emphasize, the impetus for change must come from within the black communities.

Despite good intentions and a twenty-five fold increase in welfare spending since 1967, centrally designed and administered social programs have largely failed to strengthen the indigenous cultural institutions upon which economic advancement depends. Low levels of business growth have retarded savings, investments, and jobs within black communities. This book describes how public policy decisions can support community-based entrepreneurship. Solidly grounded, the conclusions are based on interview data, consultations with a wide variety of academic and business experts, and a thorough review of relevant literature. The book will be of great interest to social researchers and policy analysts interested in black studies and social and economic change.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

While there have been some major events like the recent takeover of Beatrice Foods by a black-controlled conglomerate, by and large things have been quiet on the black independent business front. As the authors indicate in this highly readable book, there are relatively few black-owned businesses compared to the abundance, for example, of Korean and Vietnamese enterprises. Green and Pryde are vexed by this situation, which, as they stress, can no longer be attributed as in times past to external prejudice and discrimination. Public and private funding is available, along with a growing pool of black financial resources which could be tapped. Ambitious blacks, however, seem to prefer corporate life or public service to entrepreneurship. Although somewhat skimpy on anecdotal content and lacking in-depth analysis, this provides a good overall view of a somewhat perplexing aspect of the black cultural experience in America.-- Norman Lederer, UAW, Woodbridge, N.J. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The thesis of this book is that increased black entrepreneurship (self-employment or business ownership) is needed to improve the economic condition of blacks, particularly since the decline in the availability of well-paying industrial jobs that require relatively little education or vocational skills. Classic studies of black economic status, such as that by W.E.B. Du Bois, are reviewed. The authors present an overview of the change in status of blacks relative to whites in income, wealth, educational attainment, unemployment rates, and entrepreneurship by means of census data. There is a discussion of the black underground economy as well as a report on a survey conducted by the authors, in which black youths in lower-class and middle-class neighborhoods were asked about their attitudes toward businesses and starting a business; about their work experience, goals and aspirations; and for information on their background and personal life. Green and Pryde conclude that black youth need sucessful black-business owners as role models for business ownership to appear feasible to them. They propose that the major problem of obtaining capital could be solved by the black community itself, through voluntary mutual-aid associations providing economic and social support to black entrepreneurs. This very interesting book is strongly recommended for upper-division and graduate collections. -E. P. Hoffman, Western Michigan University