How to Succeed in Business Without Being White: Straight Talk on Making It in America

Earl G. Graves, Author, Wes Smith, With, Robert L. Crandall, Foreword by
Earl G. Graves, Author, Wes Smith, With, Robert L. Crandall, Foreword by HarperCollins Publishers $25 (295p) ISBN 978-0-88730-808-6
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-694-51839-5
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-88730-909-0
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""Economic power is the key to success in a capitalistic society,"" declares Graves, founder of Black Enterprise magazine and a central figure in the black business community. This mix of handbook and memoir is several parts boilerplate business advice (on job search, networking, franchising, business plans, etc.) plus, which is more interesting, Graves's own reflections on the challenges faced by blacks in business. While the author doesn't discount racism--the ""30 percent nuisance factor""--he offers solid tips on getting beyond it, stressing that business deals must make economic sense, race notwithstanding. Yet he accepts with relatively little discussion affirmative action and minority set-asides. He explains how networks of high-powered black business folk have helped one another thrive, and he urges that business be promoted to black children; he has even launched a ""Kidpreneur Program"" to do that. He closes with a laundry list of challenges facing black America, suggesting, based on little hard analysis, that government and private enterprise should work with black churches to reinvigorate community development. Graves might have been more pointed in places; for example, he notes that black coaches are lacking in pro sports but does not suggest that black athletes use their leverage to change this. Photos not seen by PW. (May)
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