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February 19, 2004


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The group you represent has unigue abilitys ,some acquire thru demographic i.e.Ralph Ellison invisible man or W.E.Dubois duality of purpose,middle class value's in a black skin.How can you profit by that, the answer is easy go back home.In the aggregate black people want what all people want, sell it to them.Black people should purchase stock create a school and teach them how for a price.


I hear you. But that's always been a tough question for my generation. I always like to say that black MBAs didn't go to predominantly white universities just to become the equivalent of Korean 7/11 merchants. Many if not most of them applied no small measure of cultural capital to assume 'face' jobs in corporate corridors where, quite frankly, few if any Asians have succeeded.

So there are concrete advantages to being African American middle class kinda Blair Underwood-y that we've had for a long while before the now stereotypical asian babe is getting in dramatic representation. Those people have already said their price is too high for ghetto uplift and their success in the Fortune 500 demonstrates it. There's no way that Bob Herbert is going to give up his job at the NYTimes to go rescue the black newspaper in his hometown.

But as the black middleclass grows, all of these places are going to become more and more representative of who blackfolks are. I see that meaning that it will be cool for blackfolks to dominate larger spaces. Where in 1970 it probably didn't mean much for a black woman to try and be a PTA president in the black ghetto, nor would she try in the white suburb. In 2010 a black suburb makes this a much more attractive proposition. That might lead to School Board stuff that bears no resemblance to the uglieness of the legendary Ocean Hill - Brownsville standoff.

I'm also talking about the imbalance in black politics that owes to over-reliance on the federal government. I don't mean this in a stereotypical Republican way. I mean it in light of the fact that blacks *couldn't* get elected to local and state offices and *had* to rely on federal civil rights guarantees for their political representation. That's why the Congressional Black Caucus has been so big and black representation on City Councils has been relatively small. So we literally had to make everything a Federal Case. But now we are seeing more black Chiefs of Police and President of City Councils. We're getting down to local.

This again, is why I cannot stand the focus on presidential politics.

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