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How to Succeed in Business Without Being White:

Straight Talk On Making it in America

by: Earl G. Graves

On December 4, 1991, less than two years after his release from 27 years’ imprisonment, South African hero Nelson Mandela came to meet with many of the most powerful African American business and political leaders in the country at the corporate office of Black Enterprise and Earl Graves Ltd. on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

In our executive boardroom, Mandela met with professional black men and women who have led the way in creating unprecedented wealth in this country. He met with leaders of government, founders of multimillion-dollar international corporations, investors, bankers, lawyers, industrialists, religious leaders visionaries and entrepreneurs. All of them with skin as richly colored as his.

Mandela’s powerful voice echoed themes near and dear to my heart and, I believe, to yours too…

Economic empowerment for African Americans and blacks around the world.

The creation of a strong business class with the ability to leverage its might for the good of the entire black community.

Equal opportunity for blacks to achieve success at whatever it is that we want to do with our talents and initiative.

Economic power is the key to success in a capitalistic society. Business is the means to that power. African Americans can play this game and we can win at it. “You succeed in business without being white.” We are doing it today in numbers greater than ever before.

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