Fear of Black Success

Fear of Black Success


Could the Fear of Black Success Be Crippling Black-Owned Businesses?


Taylor Gordon

For quite some time, leaders in the Black community have been urging people to support Black-owned businesses. It’s all too often that the public sees Black-owned businesses struggle to match the success of their competitors even when they offer services and products that are of equal quality.

Many theories have been pitched as to why this disconcerting trend continues even today.

Experts have pointed to the discriminatory practices that plague the financial industry and make it difficult for Black entrepreneurs to obtain business loans. Others insist that racial bias simply keeps too many consumers at bay. Others argue the case of a limited network and towering barriers to entry that are uniquely and disproportionately faced by Black business owners.

But a more interesting proposal has suddenly emerged.

Is a fear of Black success driving the failure of some Black businesses?

Tuscaloosa, Alabama, resident and established engineer Ben Baxter took to his social media to make a simple request of his Black followers. Get out there, and make sure you support Black businesses.

After economists predicted that the Black community has more than $1 trillion in spending power, it has become far from unusual to hear people push for the community to make sure they are supporting their very own.

Statistics have long shown that a disproportionate amount of the Black community is still trapped in poverty and find it extremely difficult to make the transition from one socioeconomic class to the next.

Perhaps supporting Black entrepreneurship can help change this?

Baxter fears that the community may never find out because implicit racial bias may have already struck a fear of Black business into the hearts of many.

After urging his followers to support Black businesses, he received tons of online backlash from those who deemed his comments “racist” and insisted that such a discriminatory proposal was unacceptable.

“That is analogous to calling me ‘uppity’ for being in favor of giving additional support to locally-owned restaurants instead of always blindly eating food at corporate chains,” he wrote in an article published by the Alabama-based news source AL.com. “Regardless of the absurdity of these claims one thing is apparent: there are many people in our region and in our state who are uncomfortable with the thought of having too many successful black-owned businesses.”