"The Reluctant Entrepreneurs" is the best article I have read regarding minority businesses. The truth about support among blacks couldn't have been better worded by real estate developer Bondie Gambrell, who said, "It's still the damn slave mentality."
Having a small business myself, it hurts to say -- yet it is true -- that most of my supporters are whites, foreigners, and close family members. It seems that my own people, including the majority of those that I grew up with, resent my venture.
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.