Talking Points

Minority Female Firms Outpace All Others

Businesses owned by minority women are growing faster than those owned by men or nonminority women. Women of color are establishing businesses at twice the rate of their male counterparts and more than four times that of nonminority entrepreneurs, reports a new study released by the Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency. Minority female-owned firms grew by 57% between 1997 and 2002, compared with 31% for minority male-owned businesses. Female minority firms grew by 57%, whereas all firms grew by 10%. Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander women-owned businesses grew the most, at a rate of 84%, followed by African American women entrepreneurs, at 75%.

BEing Green

Black colleges are teaming up with Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection and the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative to “go green.” EJCC staff will train students to promote the greening of university grounds and to generate support for environmental justice. Among the participating schools are Spelman, Clark Atlanta, and Morris Brown. According to an EJCC study, African Americans emit 20% less greenhouse gases than whites on average, but they are more vulnerable to the effects of industrial pollution.

One out of every 4

black women over age 55 is diabetic. Some 2.7 million or 11.4% of all African Americans over age 20 have diabetes—more troubling is that one-third of them don’t know it. African Americans are 1.6 times more likely to have diabetes than whites, reports the American Diabetes Association. African Americans with diabetes are at increased risk for blindness, kidney disease, and amputations. The most serious consequences of diabetes are heart disease and stroke. Diabetes, the fifth deadliest disease in the U.S., has no cure.

Southern Blacks Receive More Subprime Loans

The percentage of subprime loans going to black borrowers is highest below the Mason-Dixon line, according to data compiled by PolicyMap. All 10 states where blacks
accounted for more than 20% of subprime loans in 2006 were Southern states.

Four million Blacks have a B.A. degree

Nearly 2 million African Americans are attending college or are enrolled in graduate and professional schools in spite of legislative restrictions on affirmative action in higher education. According to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, 4 million African Americans of all ages hold a bachelor’s degree; of African Americans 25 years and older, 18.5% have a B.A., up from 13.8% in 1996. Nearly 1 million also hold a master’s degree, and more than 100,000 African Americans have a Ph.D.

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