Blog Posts Related to the African American Community
- Posted byon February 16, 2012 at 10:25 AM EST
As we celebrate African American History Month, we are reminded of the remarkable men and women who have made an impact in our communities. For me, one of those individuals is my grandfather, an entrepreneur and business owner. My grandfather owned a landscaping company that became the first African American-owned firm in Indiana to win a state contract—for cutting the grass along state highways.
My grandfather’s business exemplified the positive role that small business owners play throughout the country. He made a point of supporting our community by hiring African Americans who had been cut out of the job market by segregation. Many of his employees prospered and some went on to start their own businesses.
I’ve seen firsthand the effect that small business ownership can have in all our communities, including communities of color. In fact, it is small business owners who are leading us down the path to economic recovery and prosperity once again. And, minority-owned small businesses are helping lead this effort.
Minority-owned businesses are some of the fastest growing segments of the economy. From 2002-2007, the number of small businesses owned by African Americans increased 60%. That’s more than triple the rate of businesses overall.SBA plays a key role in helping minority-owned businesses start and succeed. In the area of accessing capital, SBA is three to five times more likely to guarantee a loan to a minority- or woman-owned small business than a conventional lender.
When I joined the SBA team, I knew there was more I could do to help the underserved community. That’s why I helped to create the Council on Underserved Communities which advises SBA on ways we can further expand our reach into underserved communities. The council provides advice on everything from technical assistance, to access to capital, to outreach and education. We are honored to have Cathy Hughes, the founder of Radio One and TV One, and a former SBA borrower, serving as chair of the council. Here experience as a female, African American business owner has been a tremendous asset to the council and the SBA.
As President Obama mentioned during his State of the Union Address, our government is committed to ensuring that every aspiring entrepreneur gets a fair shot at small business ownership. It is a priority for us to support underserved communities and help small businesses in those areas create an economy built to last.
President Obama to Deliver Remarks at the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and CulturePosted byon February 15, 2012 at 3:53 PM EST
On Wednesday, February 22, the President will deliver remarks at the construction site of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. The museum is scheduled to open in 2015 and will be the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, art, history and culture. The event is by invitation only and not open to the public; the entire ceremony will be webcast.
- Posted byon February 14, 2012 at 6:27 PM EST
In celebration of National African American History Month, the Office of Public Engagement hosted a screening of the movie “Red Tails.” The movie tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, a crew of African- American pilots, who fought during World War II. This movie depicts the heroism and perseverance of the Tuskegee airmen and was most appropriate to show this month as the White House highlights the achievements of African Americans.
- Posted byon February 14, 2012 at 10:01 AM EST
President Obama laid out a blueprint in his State of the Union address for an economy that’s built to last – an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values. The President released a budget that illustrates how we put that blueprint to work.
Yesterday in his message to Congress, the President explained that we are in a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and for all those who are fighting to get there. The Budget targets scarce federal resources to the areas critical to growing the economy and restoring middle-class security: education and skills for American workers, innovation and manufacturing, clean energy, and infrastructure. It is built around the idea that our country does best when everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules.
To construct an economy that is built to last and provide security for African American families, the 2013 Budget will:
- Strengthen Anti-Discrimination Enforcement.
- Improve Higher Education for Students from Minority Backgrounds.
- Support Minority Businesses.
- Take Immediate Action to Support Growth and Job Creation.
- Spur Job Creation through Infrastructure Investment.
- Give Every American a Fair Shot at Success by Improving and Reforming K-12 Education.
- Expand Access to College.
- Equip American Workers for Good-Paying Jobs Today and in the Future.
- Preserve Affordable Rental Opportunities.
- Promote Affordable Homeownership.
- Support Responsible Homeowners and Help Them Stay in Their Homes.
- Help States Provide Paid Family Leave to Workers.
- Extend Expanded Tax Cuts for Lower-Income Families.
- Prevent Hunger and Improve Nutrition.
- Support Prisoner Re-entry Programs.
- Continue Construction of National Museum of African American History and Culture.
- Revitalize Distressed Urban Neighborhoods.
- Invest in Regional and Community Planning Efforts for Sustainable Development.
Read more about how the President’s 2013 budget will work to provide further opportunities for African American families: HERE.
- Posted byon February 13, 2012 at 2:34 PM EST
Ed. Note: This has been cross-posted from the OMB blog
Earlier today, the President sent to Congress his budget for the 2013 fiscal year. This year’s budget reflects the President’s firm belief that our country has always done best when everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules. It’s a document built around the recognition that this is a make or break moment for the middle class and those trying to reach it. What’s at stake is the very survival of the basic American promise that if you work hard, you can do well enough to raise a family, own a home, and put a little away for retirement.
The Budget continues our commitment to keeping that promise alive by creating an economy that’s built to last – with good jobs that pay well and security for the middle class.
It’s a commitment that starts with jumpstarting job creation so that our economic recovery quickens and more Americans are able to get back to work. The Budget proposes more than $350 billion in short-term measures for job growth starting this year. These proposals include the extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance benefits for rest of 2012; an upfront investment of $50 billion from the surface transportation reauthorization bill for roads, rails, and runways to create thousands of quality jobs in the short term; continuing to allow businesses to write-off the full amount of new investments; and $30 billion to modernize at least 35,000 schools, and $30 billion to help states and localities retain and hire teachers and first responders.
Building an economy that is built to last also requires that we transform our economy from one focused on speculating, spending, and borrowing to one constructed on the solid foundation of educating, innovating, and building. We need to make America the place with the highest-skilled, highest-educated workers; the most advanced transportation and communications networks; and cutting-edge research that will lead to the innovations and industries of tomorrow. To get us there, the Budget targets resources to the areas critical to growing the economy and restoring middle-class security: education and skills for American workers, innovation and research and development, clean energy, and infrastructure.
- Posted byon February 10, 2012 at 7:00 AM EST
Last week, President Obama signed a proclamation, declaring February National African American History Month. This year's theme, "Black Women in American Culture and History," specifically recognizes the numerous, unique contributions that African-American women have made to the advancement of the Nation.
Today, the White House released a video message from the First Lady in honor of African-American History Month. In the video, the First Lady said, “You don’t have to be in a history book to make a contribution to our country.”
Mrs. Obama urges others to not only celebrate African-American heroes such as Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman, whose contributions to the improvement of the country are depicted in many history books; but to also honor the women of today, “our aunts … our best friends … all those women who live each day with a spirit that is uniquely their own, and who continue to write our country’s story every single day.”
The First Lady’s message includes a challenge, for others to, “reinvest in those around us…and pledge to continue their story by contributing our own gifts for the good of our families, our communities, and our country.” Together, we can be the difference we search for while recognizing there are those around us who have continued to positively contribute to our community.