Not the race card: The People & Places series (2)

Best place to be black

I swear I’m not pulling the race card (and yes, I am a black woman). But the other option was unthinkable, that is, to completely ignore the fact that it is more comfortable to be black in some countries than others.  What I’m referring to specifically is the opportunities to make something good out of your life, your career, and your dreams. My 2 cents is that one of the best places in the world to be black is the United States of America. The way I see it, a country like the US more than ever has given a perspective of the world to youngsters that I think will change the way they think forever. For example, the image of poverty versus wealth in many multi-racial countries is one of: black people are poor and white people are rich. A country where a youngster, like my 5-year old black son can look at the top of the society and see educated, respected black men and women is priceless. In the same vein, he can see black people begging on the streets. This is fine with me as  long as he also sees white people begging and educated, respected white people at the helm of society’s affairs. It’s a balanced perspective where the glass ceiling evaporates and anything is possible if you work hard.

Seeing a world of opportunities (photographed by R "Doc Enigma")

In the US, this is possible, making  it (in my mind) one of the best places in the world to be black.

Black entrepreneurs

Many African countries have prosperous black entrepreneurs. Of course, these countries are fantastic places to be black. I think African countries do count in my argument as some African countries make doing business a little easier for indigenes. In South Africa, there are several incentives for black aspiring business owners as the nation breaks away from their past of apartheid.

Also in Nigeria, dozens of indigenous companies have erupted that directly compete for the market e.g. the oil and gas services market. The government encourages a certain percentage of indigenes to be employed in international corporations. In addition, entrepreneurs like Aliko Dangote and Mike Adenuga have proven that it’s great to be black in Nigeria.

Conclusion

I’m writing about blacks because I’m black. I haven’t walked in the shoes of any other minority group. So overall, I think there are countless opportunities for smart, ambitious people, regardless of race. It may feel at times that a black person  (or any minority group for that matter) has much more to prove. And it’s probably true but it is my experience so far at most of the time, once you prove yourself, everyone else usually gives way. In the corporate world, diversity is becoming more and more important…and fashionable. Diversity makes companies look good. So if you are in the minority, put your best foot forward and I believe you’ll go places. Dust off that business idea or proposal, re-write your CV with a renewed confidence. I wonder… where else is it cool to be in-the-minority?


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