The Center for the Study of Black Business, History, Entrepreneurship and Technology was founded at the University of Texas at Austin in 2002 by Professor Juliet E. K. Walker, considered the foremost scholar in African American Business History.
The Center for the Study of Black Business, History, Entrepreneurship and Technology is the first center established at any American college or university that will provide a comprehensive, inclusive and collaborative study of all aspects of black business from various disciplines in the liberal arts, specifically within the context of the impact of racial capitalism on black business activity.
The Center for the Study of Black Business, History, Entrepreneurship and Technology was founded in response to the glaring racial economic disparities in wealth holding, employment opportunities, income and business profits, which underscore the extent to which Black America has yet to achieve economic parity with White America, whether as employees in White Corporate America or as business owners in Black Corporate America.
Wealth in a capitalist free enterprise society is generated in the private sector but the greatest expansion of black business since the 1960s has been a result of federal government affirmative action and black capitalism policies and initiatives in the 1970s.
Yet, how really successful have those policies been if blacks in business at the end of the twentieth century generated .4 of one percent of the nation's total business receipts. , while in less than one decade, the 1990s, black business performance was outstripped in both numbers of business enterprises and business receipts by other minority ethnic groups.
Even more, despite a virtual four century tradition or black business activities from slavery to freedom, economists as well as public policy analysts who chart the economic position of blacks, especially since the Civil Rights era, still continue to attribute the comparative poor performance of blacks to the absence of a historical tradition of business participation,
CENTER ESTABLISHED IN LIBERAL ARTS:
Black business does not operate in a vacuum, separate and apart from other economic, political and societal institutions and policies that influence all aspects of American life.
While business schools emphasize the various ways White Corporate American can improve its performance, there have been few systematic attempts or even serious formulations of theoretical constructs and strategies that consider the full societal, political and economic factors that continue to impede the profitability of black business in America.
Particularly, business schools fail to factor in the impact
of racial capitalism on black business activity. Rather, there is an
increasing emphasis on ways through corporate communication, advertising
and diversity hires to capitalize on the tremendous buying power of
black consumers, while reciprocal strategies that could promote black
business expansion are seldom, if at all, considered in courses offered
in business schools.
In meeting the University of Texas's commitment to public service, community business people will be encouraged to attend and participate in Center's seminars and forums.
With economic empowerment being the goal of the next Civil
Rights movement, it becomes imperative that there should be a formal
coherent concerted effort to provide for the study of black business
history entrepreneurship, and technology within the context of the political,
economic and social setting of America's free enterprise system.
The Center will also serve as a clearing house for information on Black Business and Black Consumers in every state and will include the following activities: