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 "It doesn't make sense to ship people across the country while trained workers

and entrepreneurs sit in shelters looking for work," he added. The scale of

the job ahead could spawn another 5,000 black contractors in those states.



Potential to Double Black Entrepreneurship

"From the President on down, we as a society should make sure we do not recreate poverty-stricken neighborhoods"

A Report from

John William Templeton, Editor


SAN FRANCISCO -- The author of the annual State of Black Business reports calculates that the 70,000 black businesses in Louisiana, MIssissippi and Alabama could be almost doubled if a wise and equitable economic development strategy is employed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Louisiana and Mississippi are the two states with the largest proportion of African-American residents, notes John WIlliam Templeton, editor of  

Alabama has the seventh largest ratio of black citizens.

A Hurricane Katrina recovery appendix has been added to Unfinished Dream: State of Black Business, Second Edition with an industry by industry analysis of the potential growth of black businesses which can occur in the impacted region.

"The economic boom enabled by the civil rights movement that opened the South to  international trade and technology has largely passed African-American firms by," notes Templeton.  "A significant proportion of the black labor force has moved into managerial and professional jobs which prepare them to go into business."

An analysis of the disparity between black employment by industry and black self-employment, which is 4.1 percent on average nationally, indicates that there could be another 66,000 firms in those states with the right economic incentives. 

"The pictures we saw at the Superdome reflect communities without the business base to provide such amenities as hotel rooms, taxicabs, tour buses which would have been available in the emergency and the job base to quell hyperpoverty," said Templeton.

The first industry sector to focus on should be construction.  

In recognition of the national observance of Minority Enterprise Development Week through Wednesday, he urged Congress to add provisions to the two already-passed disaster relief bills totalling $62 billion to insure that small businesses based in and employing persons from the disaster zone, particularly from census tracts with high unemployment even before the hurricane, do much of the reconstruction work.  

"It doesn't make sense to ship people across the country while trained workers and entrepreneurs sit in shelters looking for work," he added. The scale of the job ahead could spawn another 5,000 black contractors in those states.

Current policy puts the onus on individuals to come to various agencies for limited assistance.  A more effective approach would be to identify talent in impacted communities, particularly experienced managers, provide the support to get firms off the ground and match them with larger companies such as the mentor-protege program currently used by the Department of Defense. 

Other industry sectors which could immediately handle new entrepreneurs include the food and hospitality sector, where black self-employment was less than half the national average, particularly in tourism rich areas like New Orleans and the Mississippi gambling coast.  Templeton participates in a campaign to promote black restaurants in San Francisco that has sparked six new restaurants in the past quarter to join more than 50 eateries employing more than 500 persons.

"We don't want to send people back to hollowed-out communities filled with liquor stores and check cashing joints like they lived in before,"  he said. "Part of the vitality of the Black Belt is the cuisine and it should be reflected in new and revived restaurants that serve the communities."   Food service entrepreneurs can get a start by gaining contracts to feed the disaster relief workers as the recovery begins.

Other sectors include repair businesses, personal services firms, light manufacturing, technology services and retailing.

"Policymakers should not assume that the free market will take care of the issues, because the redlining that had already flooded those neighborhoods with poverty puts potential entrepreneurs at a distinct disadvantage," said Templeton.  "From the President on down, we as a society should make sure we do not recreate poverty-stricken neighborhoods as we have for the past 60 years through government policies."

A task force of top officials and legislators should be specifically tasked with the economic revitalization of the black communities of the Deep South.  "Otherwise, the tendency will be to continue to ignore their plight," said Templeton.

Visit for the latest in curriculum resources.  Jazz Genesis: Birth of Jazz on the West Coast begins with tours to the birthplace of "fillin' and fakin" in October and November and an exhibition in February.

posted 14 September 2005

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John William Templeton

Templeton is regarded as the top independent content provider on the African-American experience as president/executive editor of San Francisco-based eAccess Corp.   He is the founder of Black Business Month in August, the 50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology and SFSoul: Taste the Excitement.

In the field of technology, he has compiled the annual Silicon Ceiling report on the status of African-Americans in Technology since 1998 and was the author of Industry Ignores $447 Billion Market for Technology Marketing in 1998.  In 2000, he created the 50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology to raise the visibility of black technology pioneers.  In 1997, he curated an exhibition on blacks in Silicon Valley for the Tech Museum of Innovation. 

As a co-convenor of the Coalition for Fair Employment in Silicon Valley, he is credited with leading the nationwide effort to scale back the H1-B guest worker program through testimony at the House Judiciary Committee and creating an alliance of civil rights, labor and professional groups.  That effort included involvement in the remarkable campaign to defeat H1-B author then-Sen. Spencer Abraham in Michigan in 2000.

An investigative journalist for 32 years, Templeton holds seven national journalism awards and was the editor of the first African-American newspaper to celebrate a centennial. He was also the first black editor of a business newspaper and created the affirmative action committee for American City Business Journals. 

In 1995, he created the first black international business daily, Griot, the African-American, African and Caribbean business daily, now published online as .   Templeton was commissioned to compile the annual State of Black Business report in 2004, which led to the creation of Black Business Month each August.  The second report, Unfinished Dream, has been featured nationally this summer due to the revelation that women are now the majority of black business owners.

Author of 16 books, he received the Laureate award in 2002 from the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library and the Unsung Hero award from the San Francisco Public Library in 1998.  He received a Sesquicentennial Commendation in 1998 from the California Sesquicentennial Commission for writing the four-volume definitive history of African-Americans in California, Our Roots Run Deep: the Black Experience in California, Vols. 1-4.  His history of blacks in 23 Western states will appear in Oxford University Press' African-American Heritage Reference Series in 2005.  He has curated 29 exhibitions at such venues as the California State Capitol Museum, Los Angeles Central Library, California Academy of Sciences, Tech Museum of Innovation and San Francisco Main Library.

As a curriculum developer, his company is a leader in the development of integrated learning systems for learners of African descent.  He was a consultant to the Commission on Research in Black Education of the American Educational Research Association and helped draft the 2000 policy statement on education for the National Black Caucus of State Legislators.

As a speaker, he has spoken to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, World Affairs Council of San Francisco, the national conventions of the NAACP, National Urban League, Black Data Processing Associates, National Black MBA Association, UCLA, UC-Berkeley, Xavier University and was an expert  in the Microsoft anti-trust trial.

He is an elder at New Liberation Presbyterian Church in San Francisco, board member of the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, and member of the arts advisory committee of the Museum of the African Diaspora.

Templeton is a cum laude graduate of the initial freshman class of the John H. Johnson School of Communications at Howard University with further graduate study in survey research from UNC-Chapel Hill.  He is also a graduate of the Stanford Professional Publishing Course and of the Minority Science Writers Seminar of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

His most recent exhibition--SFSoul: Taste the Excitement features 58 black-owned restaurants in the world's top tourist city and is described in a September issue of Restaurants and Institutions magazine.

Contact  John William Templeton 415-265-9455

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Malcolm X

A Life of Reinvention

By Manning Marable

Years in the making-the definitive biography of the legendary black activist.

Of the great figure in twentieth-century American history perhaps none is more complex and controversial than Malcolm X. Constantly rewriting his own story, he became a criminal, a minister, a leader, and an icon, all before being felled by assassins' bullets at age thirty-nine. Through his tireless work and countless speeches he empowered hundreds of thousands of black Americans to create better lives and stronger communities while establishing the template for the self-actualized, independent African American man. In death he became a broad symbol of both resistance and reconciliation for millions around the world. Manning Marable's new biography of Malcolm is a stunning achievement. Filled with new information and shocking revelations that go beyond the Autobiography, Malcolm X unfolds a sweeping story of race and class in America, from the rise of Marcus Garvey and the Ku Klux Klan to the struggles of the civil rights movement in the fifties and sixties

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The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama's political success and Oprah Winfrey's financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today... than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don't know the truth about mass incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 16 March 2012




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