Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Get The Scoop On The War on African American Entrepreneurs By Highly Regarded Financer and Entrepreneur Gary L. Smith

The War On
African American Entrepreneurs

By Gary Smith

We've witnessed the War on Poverty and endured the War on Drugs, but the ongoing War on Black Entrepreneurship is a different battle altogether. The assault on black entrepreneurs, traces back to the late 1800s when black landowners, primarily farmers, were either cheated out of their land or forcibly expelled.

The Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a thriving hub of Black-owned businesses known as Black Wall Street, exemplified the prosperity of black entrepreneurs with over 35 city blocks of shops, hotels, and theaters in the early 20th century.

Similar vibrant black economies existed in various cities across the nation, like Black Bottom in Detroit, only to face destruction, such as the demolition, for a freeway. Despite the passage of time, the struggle persists into 2024, with systemic barriers disproportionately affecting Black entrepreneurs.

The aftermath of the Great Recession saw the top 20% wealthiest Americans gaining wealth, while 80% of black families fell behind, illustrating the deep-seated inequities.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, people of color, women, and rural Americans encountered barriers hindering entrepreneurship. Disparities in wealth, limited access to funding, and systemic biases in loan approval processes persist, intensifying the challenges faced by Black and Latino entrepreneurs.

The pandemic further exacerbated these inequities, revealing the racial, gender, and geographic disparities in access to government relief and the subsequent closure of businesses owned by entrepreneurs of color.

Get The Scoop On How New York Is Closer To Reparations

Senator James Sanders Historic Reparations Bill Signed into Law: New York State Charts Path to Healing and Justice

New York, NY – December 19, 2023 – In a momentous victory for advocates of racial justice, Governor Katchy Hochul today signed into law the (S.1163-A/SANDERS Same as A.7691/Solages), a groundbreaking bill sponsored by Senator Sanders that establishes the “New York State Community Commission on Reparations Remedies.” The Commission will research the harm from slavery and after slavery, including racial discrimination, in New York and recommend remedies and reparations. This legislation marks a historic turning point for the City of New York and the State of New York  and sets a powerful example for the nation to follow. 

Senator James Sanders Jr.
, Chair of the NY State Senate Select Majority Task Force on Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises, and Assemblymember Michaelle C. Solages, Chair of The New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus, are both Chief Sponsors of the legislation. In 2020, California created a task force to study reparations. New York is the second state to study whether to issue reparations.
"This is a day that will be etched in the annals of our state's history," said Senator James Sanders, who has championed reparations for years. This commission marks a crucial step towards acknowledging that pain, understanding its present consequences, and finally taking action to build a more equitable future.