L.L.C. (No. 2 on the BE PRIVATE EQUITY FIRMS list with $500 million in capital under management), and John Ware of the 21st Century Group L.L.C., a private equity group with more than $80 million of institutional capital under management, rank among BE’s 75 Most Powerful Blacks on Wall Street.
Overall, Dallas received a lot of praise from survey respondents. One of its greatest attributes is its low cost of living, which is 8.2 percentage points below the national average. “It’s affordable, so someone who is single could buy a home,” says Wilson, who purchased her first home for $311,000. Dallas has one of the lowest average home values ($133,900) of BE’s top 10 cities, and 43% of black residents are homeowners. Property taxes, however, are among the highest of our cities, second only to Houston. According to the Website Sperling’s Best Places, residents shell out an average of $23.73 per $1,000 of their home’s value in taxes.
Considered a family-oriented town, about 45% of Dallas’ residents are married. As a single person, Wilson still can choose from a variety of social activities, all with the Southern charm that has made Dallas so endearing.
“Music City U.S.A.” lives up to its name. But country music is not the only sound dominating the area’s airwaves and concert halls. Nashville is quickly becoming one of the capitals for gospel music, maintains Allison Hatcher, anchorwoman at WKRN-TV, a local television station. The 22nd Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards, considered one of the industry’s biggest events, brought thousands of attendees to the Grand Ole Opry House.
Hatcher, 30, grew up in Nashville listening to music. Her mother sings, her father plays bass, and Hatcher plays piano. At one time she envisioned a musical career for herself, but shifted gears in college and found that “being on television is like performing.” She has worked as an associate producer and reporter in a myriad of places, including Indiana, where she was crowned Miss Indiana and participated in the 2001 Miss America pageant. But by 2002, she came back home.
As much as she loved her experience as a Hoosier, Hatcher, a wife and mother, found herself drawn back to Nashville. The city’s cost of living, higher education, healthcare, access to technology, and housing scored big with our survey respondents. Nashville’s median home is valued at $148,500, and residents pay less in property taxes here than in any other city on our list except Washington, D.C. But of BE’s top 10 cities, Nashville’s black residents earn the least: The median hou
sehold income is $27,153.
“There is a lot of growth going on,” says Hatcher. “We’ve had large companies moving in and offering jobs and other business opportunities. For example, Nissan just moved its North American headquarters to a suburb of Nashville. And new subdivisions and homes are being built here.”
–Carolyn M. Brown
For Denise Hamilton, Houston is one of the country’s undiscovered gems. Although she spent her college years in Abilene, Texas, at Abilene Christian University, Hamilton never thought she would