Building Neighborhood Economies From Within

Phillip Blog post

NDC Staff member Phillip Porter recently reflected on the Star Tribune article reporting that Black household income has plunged in Minnesota. This report states that the one-year drop puts Minnesota behind Mississippi for median Black household earnings.

Phillip, who grew up in Kansas City but moved to Minnesota in 1978 is a NDC Loan Officer and Business Entrepreneur Trainer. Regarding this article, Phillip reflected, “As an African American, this article was very surprising to African Americans in my community who moved here from the south 20+ years ago. Some of the reasons many African Americans moved to Minnesota from the south was for a better paying job, better and faster job promotions, better education, less racism, etc. Now, after living in Minnesota for over 20 years, you read this article and in your mind it translates into the uneasiness that you may have made the biggest mistake of your life by moving to Minnesota. Plus 20 years later you now have kids and you are wondering if you should strongly encourage them to move south once they get their college degree.”

Phillip explains that many African Americans would love to change this trend but they feel powerless on many levels to change this huge gap in Minnesota. He states the following reasons for why it’s difficult for African Americans in Minnesota to help change this trend:

  1. Some lack the educational know-how
  2. Most lack the economic power to make change (discretionary income)
  3. Many lack a personal network
  4. Most lack media resources to bring attention to this
  5. People don’t want to lose their job trying to make changes
  6. Many people are just too busy working their job and taking care of their family to address these concerns.
  7. Some people leave it to African American leadership organizations such as the Urban League, NAACP, etc. While many organizations are working on this issue and making progress, their success is rarely heard from mainstream media.

When asked what Phillip cites as some of the reasons that he suspects the disparity is widening, he said, “From a very high level, I contribute the widening of the disparity to four areas of concern.”

  1. There are no large African American owned businesses or colleges/universities that will hire large numbers of African Americans and purchases product and services from small African American businesses. None of the top 25 largest African American businesses are headquartered in Minnesota. See here.
  1. There is a limited representation of African Americans in top leadership (decision making) positions in all areas including education, teachers, business owners, coaches, E-Suite Executives, politicians, nonprofits, mega churches, etc.
  1. There is no formal network to connect wealthy African Americans in Minnesota with aspiring middle or low-income African American entrepreneurs in Minnesota that have great business ideas.
  1. There are no banks in Minnesota that are owned by Black people that specialize in servicing the black community by offering home mortgages, business loans, jobs, etc.

In our next post, Phillip will discuss solutions and suggestions for this statewide problem that must be addressed.