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The Family Business: A Cornerstone of the African-American Entrepreneurial Tradition

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Abstract:

For more than 250 years the family business has been a cornerstone of the black entrepreneurial tradition by providing job security, economic stability and opportunities for social progress. In the early 19th century, free Negroes combined their talents with relatives to perform skilled trades in a repressive economic environment that devalued their labor. Nevertheless, as blacksmiths, bricklayers and seamstresses, families of color existing outside the institution of slavery survived by merging the meager wages of brothers, fathers and sons, husbands and wives. By the Civil War, a number of notable black businesses had emerged in larger cities across the country.

Initially their clientele was drawn exclusively from the larger white society, but Reconstruction created two new markets: a Southern population no longer served by free labor, as well as the black community. Whether the era was characterized by Jim Crow, Civil Rights, disco, hip-hop, a brand new millennium, or global recession, family businesses have been a gateway to the middle class for African Americans.

The challenge hasn’t been building viable businesses; it has been the ability to pass it on from one generation to the next. In this paper, Sharon Brooks Hodge, executive director of Black Family Preservation Group, Inc., will look at the obstacles black family businesses have overcome. Ms. Hodge is an award-winning journalist who has written extensively about African-American family and social issues.
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Association:
Name: 95th Annual Convention
URL:
http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435739_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Hodge, Sharon. "The Family Business: A Cornerstone of the African-American Entrepreneurial Tradition" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, Sep 29, 2010 <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435739_index.html>

APA Citation:

Hodge, S. B. , 2010-09-29 "The Family Business: A Cornerstone of the African-American Entrepreneurial Tradition" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435739_index.html

Publication Type: Individual Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: For more than 250 years the family business has been a cornerstone of the black entrepreneurial tradition by providing job security, economic stability and opportunities for social progress. In the early 19th century, free Negroes combined their talents with relatives to perform skilled trades in a repressive economic environment that devalued their labor. Nevertheless, as blacksmiths, bricklayers and seamstresses, families of color existing outside the institution of slavery survived by merging the meager wages of brothers, fathers and sons, husbands and wives. By the Civil War, a number of notable black businesses had emerged in larger cities across the country.

Initially their clientele was drawn exclusively from the larger white society, but Reconstruction created two new markets: a Southern population no longer served by free labor, as well as the black community. Whether the era was characterized by Jim Crow, Civil Rights, disco, hip-hop, a brand new millennium, or global recession, family businesses have been a gateway to the middle class for African Americans.

The challenge hasn’t been building viable businesses; it has been the ability to pass it on from one generation to the next. In this paper, Sharon Brooks Hodge, executive director of Black Family Preservation Group, Inc., will look at the obstacles black family businesses have overcome. Ms. Hodge is an award-winning journalist who has written extensively about African-American family and social issues.


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