Skip to content
CityLab
Economy

How Black-Owned Businesses Help Reduce Youth Violence

A new study links growth in African American entrepreneurship to a decline in black youth violence between 1990 and 2000.
New research finds that a growth in black-owned businesses was strongly linked to a reduction in black youth violence (above, Perry Carrington stands outside his Farmville, Virginia, music shop in 2006).
New research finds that a growth in black-owned businesses was strongly linked to a reduction in black youth violence (above, Perry Carrington stands outside his Farmville, Virginia, music shop in 2006).AP Photo/Lisa Billings

African American communities are often seen through a narrow lens of negatives: unemployment, poverty, and crime. While those problems do plague majority-black neighborhoods, they often overshadow more positive trends in these communities, says sociologist Karen F. Parker of the University of Delaware.

One such trend recently tracked by Parker is the opening of small businesses by black entrepreneurs. In a new study published in Urban Affairs Review, Parker reports that a growth of African American-owned businesses was strongly linked to a reduction in black youth violence between 1990 to 2000.