written by Mike Green, @BlackInnovation.com
They are competitive, creative, innovative, resilient and courageous. If those sound like core characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, they are, and we need to build on them.
It’s no secret that America’s black boys are considered the most difficult to educate, recalcitrant, truant, lost, confused, angry and dangerous demographic in the public-education system. The “school-to-prison pipeline” is an apt description for the millions of black male teenagers who must navigate the tumultuous channels of failed high poverty schools and communities without a committed, knowledgeable adult male to guide them through the daily dilemmas and risk assessments that far too often force them to choose between life and death. This horrific paradigm persists primarily because educators, policymakers, investors and CEOs have also failed at math and risk assessment.
One of the solutions to America’s current crisis of flailing economics in its metro regions and flagging global economic competitiveness lies in the potential of one of the nation’s most promising assets: black boys. America has seen consistent resiliency and success from black males in each generation, despite centuries of degradation and deliberate institutional hostility. In today’s knowledge-based, tech-driven, globally competitive innovation economy, the key to discovering a solution to America’s economic woes requires a different lens through which leaders view investing in black boys. That lens is math.
The nation’s highest growth in entrepreneurship from 2002 to 2007 was among black Americans: 60 percent, more than three times the national average during the same period, resulting in the creation of 1.9 million black-owned businesses.
Saving America’s black boys, by investing in their innovative competitive intelligence through policies of inclusive competitiveness, would yield a future bumper crop of American innovators prepared to compete in a globally competitive, tech-based workforce and to become high-growth, job-creating entrepreneurs. Investing in saving America’s most disconnected demographic is an investment in saving America.