It’s the dawning of a new era. Despite the recent financial firestorm, much of the nation has pushed aside their angst and embraced a new spirit of optimism. On Jan. 20, change will come to America. And the catalyst will be Barack Obama. When he is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States—the first African American to occupy the Oval Office—he will not come to power as a 21st century messiah who will cure all our ills overnight. He will provide what’s been lacking for eight long years: presidential leadership.
There’s also electricity crackling through the offices of black enterprise. We, too, are euphoric about the prospects of an Obama administration and what it means to the world. In fact, we were the first national magazine to endorse our new president—at the beginning of the primary season. However, we are just as jazzed about the myriad changes occurring at our company.
Read this issue and you’ll see a demonstration of our brand of leadership. We’ve put a fresh coat of paint on every page, from the Table of Contents to Backtalk. For roughly 12 months, our editors, designers, and production team have expended their energy, passion, and intellectual horsepower to revitalize our publication. Their mission: ensuring that each item provides you with vital content that matches the urgency of our times.
No one advocates our agenda with more vigor than CEO Earl “Butch” Graves Jr. A true representative of the “Obama generation,” he has fueled the advancement of our media company through deft management and creative collaboration. For more than a decade, his mantra has been that wealth building, from investing to entrepreneurship, is the key to the progression of African American professionals and entrepreneurs. On more than one occasion, he has declared that the ills that plague the African American community—whether they involve education, health, or technology—can largely be fixed by closing the wealth gap. Each month in his new Executive Memo column, he will offer his unique insights into the ever-evolving world of commerce as well as indispensable lessons about business, finance, and life.
Another major development has been the introduction of a revamped version of our signature money management program: Wealth for Life. By reconstructing the decade-old Black Wealth Initiative, we improved our most important vehicle to promote multigenerational wealth building among African Americans. So now at any stage in your financial life, our principles can direct you to take the appropriate action to place you on the path to achieving your goals.
In the same vein, our entire editorial team spent months reshaping our coverage. Editor-At-Large Carolyn M. Brown