After reading "The Reluctant Entrepreneurs," I was a little disappointed to see that no one mentioned what I -- as a successful black entrepreneur of 14 years -- believe is a bottom-line cause for the lack of black entrepreneurial spirit, and that is a common support line. It's the support line that all of the other ethnic groups mentioned in the article share, including the general multinational white American. That support line is any one and in some cases all of the following: a common language, a religion, another place other than America that they can call home and be accepted by their own kind. That is something that seems to be constantly overlooked, and I sincerely feel that that has been a major factor in stymieing our growth as a group.
The support line is what causes these groups to band together among themselves and create economic strength. No man is an island unto himself, as the article pointed out, and that is the dilemma faced by many black entrepreneurs forced to try and survive as an island in the vast economic sea.
Did INC. "blame the victim" in its story about blacks and black businessmen in the September issue ("The Reluctant Entrepreneurs")? That was the charge from several readers, including the head of the NAACP and the publisher of the nation's largest black business magazine. Their letters are among those printed below, along with a brief reply from writer Joel Kotkin, who looks to the Asian and Cuban communities as models for other minority groups that have overcome poverty and prejudice.