Mike Green, co-founder of ScaleUp Partners, is passionate about competitiveness and moving a 1% needle that has never been moved. All black-owned businesses today produce less than 1% of GDP and virtually no job growth. That 1% for the African-American sector has never been breached in the history of this nation. Combined with Hispanic businesses, the number is less than 4%. By mid-century that will mean 42% of the US population is producing 4% of its business productivity. That equation undermines America’s global competitiveness.
As the USA observes National African American History Month in February, it’s an opportune time to examine several critically important issues confronting the black community. That’s because for America to truly thrive as “one nation undivided” then all citizens must be afforded equal opportunities to rise as high as their God-given talents and abilities allow — without discriminatory barriers.
This is the only way we can effectuate “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” for all, as articulated in the Declaration of Independence. But, first, some background:
The debate over Black History Month is not new, but it intensified when this year’s Oscar nominees were all Caucasian. For the second year in a row, the Oscars earned the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. The Los Angeles Times noted that, “It’s another embarrassing Hollywood sequel … the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has nominated an all-white group of acting nominees…The news again provoked an outcry and raised fresh questions over a familiar issue: whether an industry that prides itself on its progressiveness remains stubbornly stuck in the past.”