Where are the Up and Coming Black Economists?

I was working from home on Monday and I took a short break. I was channel surfing to watch something of interest and I came across one channel that had sort of a debate happening between two groups. The show was called Power Lunch and it showcased the best and brightest of future economists. There were Asians, Indians, and Caucasians. But there were no Blacks. What was wrong with this picture?

Are we holding such low expectations for this younger generation that the only positions or careers they can aspire to be are rap artists, basketball players, football players, musicians, and actors?

Shamefully, some individuals in the black community see impossibilities for pursuing careers in engineering, science, law, architecture, and medicine. Even if we pursue a degree in business how much knowledge is applied to either develop a business or move up the corporate ladder? Keep in mind, I am not implying getting a degree in business is the only way to have one because there are plenty of entrepreneurs who do not have degrees.

Here is where I find a dilemma. We complain about systemic racism and white supremacy, yet we fail to evaluate the priorities that we assume or presume upon others? It is almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy of societal failure and economic deprivation.

I am not saying systemic racism does not exist because it does and it is very real. We know this to be true because there are laws that raise the issue and shed light on the successful attempts of whites to exclude people of color from having equal economic access. And since we know these struggles exist, are we so discouraged with what we see and experience that we eventually become disillusioned,  resort to living a less than mediocre life and discourage our children and ourselves from entering into fields that are intellectually demanding but financially rewarding?

I get it. There are those who go into these fields and many are black balled. People, this is the United States of America, and if we don’t want to work for a check, we have the freedom to create a check.

I don’t want to stray too far away from my point about where are the Black Economists? Today there are six living and two deceased: Ronald G. Fryer, Thomas Sewell, Glen Loury, Walter E. Williams, Julianne Malveaux, Roger W. Fergusen Jr., and the deceased Abram Lincoln Harris and Andrew Brimmer.

I will be frank with you. We can talk about systemic racism and the non-existent or low points of entry into these different fields, but let’s not confuse talking about being economically disenfranchised as the same as making a change for ourselves in the work place or society.

The real change is going to take place when we put sneakers to our faith. Change will happen when we promote higher aspirations, discourage low level thinking and live in a way that is congruent to a sound strategy.

Furthermore, we have to decide to cut connections with toxic dream killers because when they raise objections to your plan, it is not a reflection of your ability, but their inability. And lastly I would like to end with this. Just because a black man or woman speaks intelligently, and has good grades, and doesn’t look like they are straight out of a rapper video doesn’t mean they are trying to be white.

Any time you hear this kind of rhetoric, the person is revealing to you they have low self-esteem and believe they are inferior. The best thing is to disconnect and walk away because it is futile to convince this kind of person against their will.


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