Mar­cia Chate­lain

OF ‘BOSS: THE BLACK EX­PE­RI­ENCE IN BUSI­NESS’ ON PBS

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - On Tv -

Be­ing an as­so­ci­ate pro­fes­sor of his­tory and African Amer­i­can stud­ies at Ge­orge­town Univer­sity, what is a ma­jor point that you want to help “Boss: The Black Ex­pe­ri­ence in Busi­ness” em­pha­size?

Some­thing to keep in mind is that this film re­ally cap­tures the long his­tor­i­cal tra­jec­tory of com­mu­ni­ties us­ing busi­ness as not only a means of wealth pro­duc­tion, but in or­der to ar­tic­u­late them­selves as cit­i­zens. We do have a ro­bust tra­di­tion of state re­sources go­ing into in­vest­ing in African Amer­i­can busi­nesses, but we also have to keep in mind that African Amer­i­cans’ ac­cess to wealth in terms of lend­ing abil­ity – to pass on gen­er­a­tional wealth – is still a chal­lenge that’s shaped by race.

What do you be­lieve his­tory has to say to present-day en­trepreneur­s?

I think that his­tory’s re­ally im­por­tant, be­cause for many African Amer­i­cans who en­ter busi­ness, they are com­ing from a per­spec­tive of learn­ing about the great black busi­nesses that are no longer. And I think that def­i­nitely has an im­pres­sion on how peo­ple strate­gize how they’re go­ing to do their own busi­ness.

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