I must admit, being a single father of two Black boys isn’t easy, especially since my wife passed away 12 years ago. From breaking up fights, to discussing college and career choices, I’ve learned that being a good father means more than just “being there.” Decisions are made, things happen, but despite the inevitable bumps in the road of parenthood, I am always proud to see how my two sons have grown into bright young men. Recently, you have heard lots about President Obama’s laudable effort to ensure bright futures for America’s young men of color. We agree it makes sense to use his bully pulpit to highlight the challenges faced by Black and Latino males and to galvanize solution providers around a common work plan.
What makes a lot less sense to us is how—in the face of dwindling contract awards to Black-owned businesses—we are to remain hopeful that equitable opportunity is within the grasp of Black businesses. For sure, there is lots of happy talk in the president’s proposed budget about commitments to SBA loan guarantees, certified development companies, small business investment companies, millions to infrastructure rehab and surface transportation projects, millions to the Minority Business Development Agency for technical assistance and money for expansion of Promise Zones designed to focus federal resources in targeted areas, both urban and rural.