In the article "Inside the black business network" (People, Nov. 29), Andrew Brimmer states that he does not see why black business should have any more responsibility than anyone else to improve life for blacks. I am both saddened and amazed by such an arrogant and selfish statement. The predicament of many historical African American communities today is shameful. Communities that once produced entrepreneurs, doctors, teachers, and loving families now produce bitter, misdirected youths who are creating duplicates of themselves every day. Many black professionals began their abandonment of their historical communities 30-plus years ago and continue to do so today. Historically, our youth had people like Brimmer to look to for guidance and direction. The black communities that nurtured our finest business, political, and social leaders are crying out for direction, guidance, and love from their extended family. If we as African American professionals do not answer the call, the death and despair we see in our communities today will continue unending.
Harvard Business School
MBA Class of 1993
It was with great pleasure that I read your positive and enlightening article. As a young, professional African American, such an article serves as an elixir, soothing the pain I feel every day reading about and viewing episode after episode of African American men, who look not very dissimilar to me, committing crimes, abandoning their offspring, and retreating from the challenges and opportunities that life offers.
Ironically, the population of individuals who would stand to benefit the most from reading about the success stories chronicled in your article will never read it. The population I speak of are the inner-city, at-risk youths who lack exposure to positive role models. I will show this article to the sixth-through-ninth-grade students involved in Project Reachback, the nonprofit, role-model program I coordinate in the Philadelphia public school system.
I was honored to be included in your article. I found it to be a refreshing spin on business strategies that black entrepreneurs take for granted. However, there are two factual errors that I would like to correct.
First, Jerry Wexler was not an African American. He was one of my closest friends and a sincere supporter of the African American diaspora. Although his pigmentation was not black, he had unlimited "soul."
Second, Jerry passed away in October, 1992. Given his outstanding career, your archives should reflect this important fact concerning one of America's greatest dealmakers.
Peter C.B. Bynoe