As I continue to consider business models and test various marketing strategies, I find my Self comparing Asylum to other blogs, and a dangerous thought process creeps in. This particular mold of thinking starts out with a recognition of ethnicity regarding those who are more successful than I. The words slowly slide off my cerebral tongue, “Is it because I’m Black?” Which, I suppose, in many ways isn’t the worst question I could be asking, as a bit of attention should be paid to how my audience will respond to that. Yet, I don’t need it to become my last line of thinking because it doesn’t allow for many other solutions. In fact, for my Self, it can be debilitating.
As a Black man, there is not much I can do about xenophobia except for continuing to excel as a Black man. This, I have come to realize, is even more so in the realm of business, especially one dominated with images of White men. Capturing the imagination of any demographic-whether it be Black people or Fuchsia people- demands: an ability to provide services that either:
- meet a need,
- provide a solution,
- equip with a new perspective,
- or entertain.
As stated, this can be done by a Black person no matter who they are positioning them Selves to reach. It helps if the product or service is neutral politically, but in many instances, we as Black people feel the urge to announce that we are Black, and are serving a Black product. Which by no means is always a “bad” thing. MSNBC, CNN, McDonald’s, The Democratic Party have all developed marketing strategies aimed at the Black person. Black people spend money.
It would be an act of sheer intellectual listlessness for me to not point out that companies that are Black owned and target Black markets tend to do worse than White establishments with the same people group in mind. Resources are resources, and there are always psychological elements at play. Could it be that Black people feel at ease with White products, and feel tension supporting Black businesses? Are some Blacks alienated from the bulk of the Black population and sense a lack of shared social struggle? Are there Blacks that simply aren’t accustomed to doing business or trusting Blacks? Is the image of Black people in many of our own minds worthy of credibility? To all of these questions, I say sure. Should that stop me from operating in that space, though? Emphatically NO(Like, hell the fuck no…).
What does it mean?