Wednesday, November 07, 2007
The Racial Environment At The Top of Corporate America
In the 1960s when Blacks had virtually no access to even middle management in corporate America, James Brown sang, "I don't want nobody to give me nothing, open up the door, I'll get it myself." Well four decades later things seem to be changing a bit. Now not only do Blacks work in middle management, a handful have made it to the top.
E. Stanley O'Neal headed Merrill Lynch for five years. Dick Parsons headed Timer Warner for about five years. Ken Chenault is the CEO of American Express. And Bob Johnson created Black Entertainment Television (BET), sold it for $3 billion to Viacom and heads his own billion dollar operation.
Our coverage of race irritates some people. The thinking being that we are all Americans so why keep harping on race. Quite simply it is because racism is still experienced by virtually every African American, even today. Not the burn the cross on the lawn hang'em high brand but the treat'em any kind of way brand. Moreover, American communities are still as segregated as ever. So when racism goes away we will stop pointing out racial distinctions.