When building your business means hiding that it's black-owned

Discussion in 'Getting Ahead: Careers, Finance and Productivity' started by 4north1side2, Apr 17, 2016.

  1. 4north1side2

    4north1side2 Well-Known Member

    When building your business means hiding that it's black-owned


    In growing his patio-installation company, Duane Draughon erased all clues to the public that he, a black man, owned the business.

    That meant no photos of him or his family on his website; giving potential customers the impression the business was part of a franchise and that he was a project manager, not the owner; and recruiting a white insurance company representative to conduct job interviews in assembling his white sales team.

    The covert tactics helped him to bill more than $6 million over nine years to a white clientele he perceived as racist, as he often encountered potential customers who slammed doors in his face or refused to allow him in their homes, he said.

    "I never said I wasn't the owner. If asked, I would admit it. But I always said I was either the project manager or a designer," he said.

    "Other business owners have reached out to me. I am closing deals. But I'm so used to protecting myself, every time I knock on the door, I do have a fear," he said.

    He's even put his photo on his company's website and Facebook page.

    That's not a move Chicago tech entrepreneur James Parker is ready to make. He's opted to keep his image out of the promotion of his BestDateNight.com, which offers discounted date outings.

    "The idea in any tech startup is to grow it, make a lot of money and dump it for more money," he said. "As soon as you say it's black-owned, white people will believe it's only for black people, and black people will look for something wrong with it."

    According to a 2014 Nielsen report, 55 percent of blacks with household incomes of at least $50,000 said they would buy or support a product if it was sold or supported by a person of color or minority-owned business. Only 20 percent of non-African Americans in the same income bracket felt the same.

    Go Dutch Today is a trio of African-American women, only one of five couples featured on the website for the dating and meeting app is black.

    That plays out across all of the team's connection businesses to broaden appeal and help attract investors, said CEO Alysia Sargent.

    "At the end of the day, we don't want our brand to be black," said Sargent, a former digital account executive at BET. "Obviously, we want black people to utilize it. However, marketing has to be very broad and multicultural.

    "It's kind of unfortunate, but if we want to go further and appeal to venture capitalists and angel investors, we can't just be black."

    Pepper Miller, president of The Hunter-Miller Group market research and strategic planning firm in Chicago, said she understands some decisions to downplay black ownership.

    "It's not about anybody selling out. People are trying to survive. There's a perception that black people can only do black stuff," said Miller, who began focusing on black consumer marketing when she was denied broader work when starting out in the 1980s.

    "It ain't pretty, but it's the truth," she said. "It's called racism. As much as we want to feel like we're not dealing with that, we are."

    But Joni Jackson, assistant professor of marketing at Chicago State University, sees little advantage to the tactic and said it encourages a perception of inferiority among black-owned businesses.

    "I understand startup businesses might think this is a way to get some traction. But at what point do you reveal that the company is black-owned-and-operated?" Jackson said, "If you're concerned about negative stereotypes that are triggered by associations with that, who's to say they won't be triggered once someone realizes that it is, in fact, a black-owned company?"

    Parker said he'll worry about that later.

    "I need people to look at the app, and not the app developer yet," said Parker, who is the former operator of a website that promoted black-owned businesses. "After I've milked the opportunities, then I'll come out as CEO."

    Cheryl V. Jackson is a freelance writer.
  2. goodlove

    goodlove New Member

    Y'all may be mad at what they are saying but I get it.
  3. Shulz021

    Shulz021 Well-Known Member

    Absolutely agree on why they thought up this plan since racial perception is a huge problem in society.
  4. K

    K Well-Known Member

    This has been going on for many many years. People of different ethnicities, gender, race have done this forever.
  5. The Dark King

    The Dark King Well-Known Member

    I've been thinking about this for years and truthfully I can't hate on them if you want to be successful unfortunately image matters more than the actual product or service.
    Even in finance if I were to start my own equity firm telling people I could get them 10% on their investment annually they'd gladly go to the other guy down street who is offering 4% with higher commission rates because he looks more "trustworthy"
  6. goodlove

    goodlove New Member

    Exactly. You can make an argument that integration killed black business
  7. The Dark King

    The Dark King Well-Known Member

    That had so little to do with it. Personally I think drugs killed black businesses.
  8. samson1701

    samson1701 Well-Known Member

    Thi. All mutha fuckin' day.

    You must spread some rep around before giving it to The Dark King again.
  9. goodlove

    goodlove New Member

    When integration happened black business dwindled. When segregation was in black business was thrived. Why do I say that?

    Think on it.

    Why would drugs hurt black business?
  10. The Dark King

    The Dark King Well-Known Member

    drugs brought violence and poverty to black areas. It became more attractive to leave black areas taking away wealth from those communities. Still say it was drugs all the way. Me being able to eat in a white establishment isn't gonna make me go there. Moving away from my own neighborhood because dope heads are running around will.
  11. beccaomecca

    beccaomecca Well-Known Member

    Well that is some seriously sad shit. White bastards. It's 2016 people need to wake the fuck up and grow the fuck up and get the fuck over the colour 'issue'.
  12. RicardoCooper

    RicardoCooper Well-Known Member

    I always said if I ran such a business I'd hire a white actor to play the "boss" while I'd be the "second in command."

    Much like HR people tossing resumes with "ghetto names" on them, this is how you navigate racist 'Murca
  13. 4north1side2

    4north1side2 Well-Known Member


    Even blacks rather not do business with blacks if other options are available, this isn't inclusive to whites.
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  14. K

    K Well-Known Member

    I have a very unique name that was made up and different cultures will grab onto it as being part of their own. At one point in life, many years ago, it was a positive thing and it may have actually opened some doors for me. In the past several years, I have come to realize that it has become a negative and that there is an expectation that I would look a certain way/be a certain way based on my name. The expectation can be very different depending on the group of people, but no matter, it brings up bias.

    It's a weird thing....it's like going back in time many many years ago when my grandfather used a different name to not be so "Italian".
  15. K

    K Well-Known Member

    Businesses have hired "figure heads" and show men throughout time. Good or bad, it's all a part of marketing.
  16. DudeNY12

    DudeNY12 Well-Known Member

    So true. I always say that we (minorities as a group) have to do better. While we face much in the way of racism and so on, we can stand to do a lot more for our own cause. Some seem receptive to such a statement, and others see me as being a sellout for saying it. While I don't have a desire to be a business owner... I am part of the group who fled da hood for a nicer area. My feeling is that I lived in the bad areas when I had to as that's what I was born into. However, I've always wanted better, even if it meant leaving for a better area.

    So true, and despite many improvments... Dr King's dream is far from being realized.

    It's so true. My brother and I was cautioning my niece (when she was pregnant) to avoid certain names for her child. It's sad that it's necessary, but you don't want to be identified as a minority/ethicity by your name as it could definitely set up a person for discrimination.
  17. goodlove

    goodlove New Member

    U gave an example of you running your own firm...are you setting up shop next to pookie?

    A lot of black business aren't in a crack infested neighborhood.

    Its the perception that blacks do inferior work.

    Hell just a week ago Hillary Clinton joked about "CP" time. So what does that tell you?

    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
  18. 4north1side2

    4north1side2 Well-Known Member

    I'm really interested to know what your name is, I bet it's so pretty.

    I wanted to name my sons unique uncommon names but I agreed with my ex wife to name our oldest jadyn... I really didn't want to because shit is common as fuck but that's what she wanted. I named our youngest jelani tho.
  19. K

    K Well-Known Member

    I named my kids all traditional names with strong meanings. It took the last child to get a clearly Italian name in there.

    I didn't like having an original name when I was a kid. I ended up liking it when I was a teen.

    It mostly has been a lot of years of people misspelling and mispronouncing.

    I remember when Jayden (and variations) first came out, it became popular very quickly.
  20. beccaomecca

    beccaomecca Well-Known Member

    Lol Okkkkkkkkkk...... weird.

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