Rebound: how Black America recovers from its depression

Blackmoney Worldwide ( begins a series of reports entitled REBOUND: How Black America Recovers from Its Depression City by City.
The first focus is on Los Angeles, site of the Shaping the Black Culture of the Diaspora conference Oct. 7-10. I’ll be participating in the 3 p.m. panel on Saturday, Oct. 9 discussing how the Vision Theatre and the surrounding Leimert Park area can be the catalyst for rejuvenating the African-American economy locally and nationally.
It is drawn from several of our research reports prepared for the seventh annual National Black Business Month, including FIND IT FAST: Local Guide to Business Inclusion and Striking Gold in the Golden State: the California Guide to National Black Business Month.
With $18.5 billion in aggregate household income and the third largest pool of black science and technology workers, Los Angeles has the scale to spark major employment magnets.
I’ll use the example of Central Avenue between 1919 and 1945 as a model for how it has already been done in Los Angeles, under much more forbidding circumstances.
Benjamin Franklin and John Spikes, the Spikes Brothers, married the arts, commerce and innovation to connect black musicians into the movie industry and to provide some of the few black movie stars an opportunity to invest back into businesses.
They followed an example set earlier along Pacific Street in San Francisco by entrepreneurs like Lew Purcell and Sam King, featured in the historical novel Cakewalk.
The term depression is not overblown. The number of African-Americans not in the labor force exceeded 11 million in today’s unemployment situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate for black teens between 16 and 19 is 49 percent. For black males, it is 16.4 percent.
Yet the solutions will take place in local communities, by wisely matching resources to opportunities.
REBOUND pulls apart those dire national statistics to point out the locally based advantages which can propel growth.