Africapitalism on Wall Street

Tony O. Elumelu, CON, is the first African to win the Dwight D. Eisnenhower Global Entrepreneurship Award on Wall Street from the Business Council for International Understanding.  More from the gala in the January Journal of Black Innovation.


Financial services reduces black executives   Employment of African-Americans in the financial services industry fell from 3.1 percent to 2.7 percent from 2008 to 2015, according to the Government Accountability Office.   Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA and Rep. Al Green, D-TX, requested the study with Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-OH. First and mid-level management employment fell from 7.2 percent to 6.9 percent.


Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, a native of Columbia, S.C., gets his third star as new Chief Information Officer of  the U.S. Army during a ceremony with his family at Ft. McNair.


Aliko Dangote and Tony Elumelu meet a Congressional delegation led by Sen. Chris Coons, D-DE and six members of the House of Representatives in Nigeria Aug. 31.


Africapitalism comes to Marriott Marquis for Mandela Fellows

"What does it profit anyone to keep everything if you do not share?...We don't want a society in Africa where some have all the wealth."
Tony O. Elumelu, Chairman, Heirs Holdings, United Bank for Africa, founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation, pictured left with Sen. Chris Coons, D-DE


"Africa must take its destiny in its own hands; we must be able to tell our stories ourselves; we must not allow our agenda to be set for us," billionaire banker-industrialist Tony O. Elumelu told 1,000 Mandela Washington Fellows in the black-owned Marriott Marquis on the second day of the 14th annual National Black Business Month.

Calling himself "a typical African boy, schooled in Africa, everything was in Africa," Elumelu described how he acquired a bank about to close in Nigeria and set a series of milestones for it to become one of the top 10 banks; then one of the top three and now to be "a huge financial services group that's in 19 African countries."

"If you're Mandela Fellows, you must always remember what Mandela stood for," Elumelu told the cheering audience. "Your generation should not be a psssive generation. If we have failed, you should do things differently."  Elumelu has committed $100 million for the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program which has reached 110,000 in its first two years.


Farmer Brown in San Francisco was started as a direct result of the second National Black Business Month in 2005.  Enjoy dishes like this catfish sandwich there and at 1,000 other restaurants in Say Grace and Wipe Yo' Hands: BLACKRESTAURANT.NET Guide to America's Black Restaurants.


New York ranked at top of scale for black business affinity:Our10Plan

James Weeks built a community in the 1830s where blacks could live free.  That enclave, pictured right, has been preserved as the Weeksville Historic District in Brooklyn.   That commitment to cultural heritage tourism and a transparent approach to improvement are among the reasons Our10Plan: State of Black Business, 14th edtion ranks the Empire State as the friendliest state for black businesses.   Another landmark is the African Burial Ground, 290 Broadway, in Manhattan, developed over the past 25 years after Rev. Dr.Herbert Daughtry laid in front of bulldozers to stop the disruption of 15,000 grraves from the 1700s.  Celebrate the nexus of black entrepreneurship and the black church Sunday, Aug. 6.


510Nano CEO Dr. Reginald Parker, guest editor of the Journal of Black Innovation, introduces the National Black Business Month Innovation Exchange at the Black Entrepreneurship Week of Carolina Small Business Development Fund and Shaw University.   Lenwood Long, CEO of the Fund, with guests during five days of activities culminating with an after-party at Red Hat Inc and $50,000 in grants.. Apply for the Exchange's $5,000 prize


Make the African Burial Ground National Monument part of your vacation or business travel plans in New York City to honor the sacrifice of 15,000 buried there who built lower Manhattan in the 1700s and Rev. Dr. Herbert Daughtry, National Presiding Minister of the House of Our Lord Churhces, who led the movement

to make the national landmark one of the jewels of the National Park Service.  Forest City Ratner Companies sponsored the 25th anniversary tribute with hosting by Jimmy Cleckley, lead ranger and Barbara Applebaum, chief of interpretation for Manhattan sites on behalf of Superintendent Shirley McKinney..

Brooklyn's Five Spot is worth the trip to a borough which is sometimes overlooked by New York City visitors with live entertainment nightly, a huge bar and some great food at inexpensive prices.


Here's the view of Rep. Bobby Scott, D-VA, and Hampton Mayor Donnie Tuck as they prepare to open the 103d Hampton University Ministers Conference.  Using historically-black colleges is a great way to keep black tourism dollars in our communities and 10,000 delegates were filled with the spirit inside the Convocation Center.  We brought them a message from our partners in BlackWealth 2020.


BlackWealth 2020 brings together National IAsciation of Investment Companies, U.S. Black Chamber, National Bankers Association, Nartional Assoicaiion of Black-Owned Broadcasters, National Associaton of  Real Estate Brokers, HomeFree USA, Enlightened, Collective Empowerment Group and National Black Business Month to promote a three-pronged strategy to boost black businesses, increase black home ownership and grow the capital of black owned banks. We've presented at the Hampton University Minsiters Conference, A.M.E. District 2 Conference and at the opening of last week's National Urban League convention.


The Good News                                         

 Third generation pastor Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II grew up in the Presbyterian Church, attended Johnson C. Smith and Interdenominational Theological Seminary, pastored St. James Presbyterian in Greensboro and was elected in June as the Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., the first African-American to lead the denomination's staff.  He is joined by San Francisco Presbytery Pastor of Mission and Vision Rev. Jeff Hutcheson at First Presbyterian-Oakland during the service of witness to the resurrection for the late Rev. Benjamin Weir.



In New Hampshire, which some analysts consider the most closely contested state on Tuesday, Nov. 8, the results may determine the Presidential and Senate majority as well as whether the Supreme Court vacancy is filled.  Dr. Juan Gilbert's Prime III universal voting system, here being demonstrated to House Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn, D-SC, is conducting the election, as it did for the New Hampshire primary in February.


Thiam beats analyst estimates

CREDIT SUISSE CEO reports  “In 3Q16, we remained focused on implementing our strategy with discipline. The hard work of our teams across our divisions has allowed us to confirm the positive trends that were visible in our 2Q16 results.


Ga. Tech dean honors Silicon Valley great

Dr. Gary S. May, dean of engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, is the keynote speaker for the Innovation&Equity 17: 50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology on Jan. 15, 2017 where the Roy L. Clay Technology Pinnacle Awards will be presented and innovators from across the country will present their discoveries during scientific proceedings.

The Honorable Malia Cohen , president of the San Francisco Retirement System, is part of a panel on providing investment capital for black businesses.




Hitting all the right notes for the opening of NMAAHC as the bell from the First African Baptist Church in Petersburg from the 1770s is rung by the first  African-American President and First Lady along with a 99-year-old daughter of an ex-slave and her seven-year-old granddaughter during the anniversary week of the Emancipation Proclamation. Bells then chimed across the nation's capital. Join us Jan. 13 for a tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History in Washington, D.C.


everyone can participate by using the 31 tabs at to find different black business sectors


Last straw

Rep. Alma Adams, D-NC, representing Charlotte, joins Congressional Black Caucus outside Justice Dept. asking Attorney General Loretta Lynch to take action to stop police brutality.


Calling the Play

When 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick announced he will donate $100,000 per month for the next 10 months, we wondered what if every black athlete followed his lead.   There are 1,627 African-American major league football, basketball and baseball players (plus Venus, Serena, Tiger, Floyd and Simone).  If they all invested $1 million in constructive ways, the total would be $1.627 billion.  In the aggregate, they make $4.3 billion in player contracts.

49ers photo


Sen. Chris Coons discusses Opportunity Africa with keynote speaker United Bank for Africa Chair Tony Elumelu


#Where's The Love after debuting remake video at Apple Store San Francisco Sept. 1.


Dr. Stuart Hamilton, founder of Eau Claire Cooperative Health Centers, pictured with the Eau Claire Community Council, leads HBCU Day activities during the 13th annual National Black Business Month at Allen University in Columbia Aug. 30. Eau Claire Cooperative Health Center (ECCHC), a local Federally Qualified Health Center, has been selected as one of six community health centers out of 1200 across the country by The National Institutes of Health as a Healthcare Provider Organization to help launch the Cohort Program of the Precision Medicine Initiative. The National Institutes of Health announced $55 million in awards in fiscal year 2016 to build the foundational partnerships and infrastructure needed to launch the Cohort Program of President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative


Every Patty Matters during West Indian Day Parade and Carnival, America's largest parade , as Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Borough President Eric Adams hold the annual pattie eating contest.  With fired plantains and ginger beer, #EATBLACKEVERYDAY!


Prime Minister of Niger Brigi Rafini, Kassoum Denon, Coordinating Minister of CILSS (the Permanent Institute for Drought Control in the Sahel), NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, and Alex Deprez, USAID West Africa Mission Director joined in opening SERVIR-West Africa, a new environmental monitoring program in that will enhance the role of space-based observations in the management of climate-sensitive issues.  More details in the August issue of the Journal of African-American Innovation.

Credits: USAID/Sharon Kellman Yett


SAN FRANCISCO -- The Honorable Denise Turner Roth, Administrator of the General Services Administration, leads the 17th annual 50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology, announced to mark African-American Technology Day on Wednesday, Aug. 24, during the 13th annual National Black Business Month.

Roth, whose $50 billion portfolio includes the bulk of the federal civilian technology establishment and government purchasing and propety management, is part of a cybersecurity elite featured in the NBBM edition of the Journal of African-American Innovation.  Also shaping the response to the threat are : The Honorable Willie E. May, Undersecretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology; The Honorable Andre Gudger, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy; Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency; and The Honorable Dr. Reginald Brothers, Undersecretary of Homeland Security for Science and Technology.

Michel F. "Mike" Molaire, CEO of Rochester-based Molecular Glasses Inc., about to reveal a new printing technology for making Organic Light Emitting Diodes inexpensively which will dramatically reduce the cost of making screens; Mary E. Spio, developer of a virtual reality headset and content platform; Dr. Juan Gilbert, creator of a universal voting system; Dr. Trevor Castor, creator of new drugs using nanotechnology manufacturing and Richard Patterson, the first African-American automaker in a century with a 2,000 HP $1.7 million supercar; are among the innovators featured in the first phase of the selection, made since 1999 by John William Templeton, former editor of the San Jose Business Journal and author of the annual Silicon Ceiling study of African-Americans in technology.

In a cover article for the Journal, Roth encouraged small businesses to respond to the expected $19 billion in new cybersecurity spending in the next budget.  Another 50 Most perennial member, Darrell G. Mottley, editor in chief of the American Bar Association's Landslide intellectual property journal, is guest editor of the August issue of the Journal of African-American Innovation.  He is principal shareholder of Banner Witcoff in Washington, D.C. and former president of the Washington, D.C. Bar.

Selectees will receive Roy L. Clay Technology Pinnacle Awards during Innovation & Equity Symposium 17 in San Francisco on Jan. 15, 2017.  A second phase of the 50 Most between now and then involves the selection of authors for the scientific proceedings on Jan. 15 which present promising industrial discoveries.   Those selectees will enter an innovation competition to vie for startup capital and assistance to commercialize their products.

Subscriptions to the Journal include a ticket to the Innovation and Equity Symposium.  Templeton receives the Visionary Award Saturday, Aug. 27 from the California Black Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles. He was featured on NBC Bay Area in February in a series of spots for Black History Month and was chosen among the Profiles of Excellence by KGO-TV, the local ABC affiliate.

This weekend also features #EatBlackDays Aug. 25-28.  Say Grace and Wipe Yo' Hands: BLACKRESTAURANT.NET Guide to America's Black Restaurants is Templeton's first nationwide guide to the $6 billion African-American food industry, with more than 30 venues in the top 25 cities to choose from.

Profiles from the 50 Most will be featured during the school year on ReUNION: Education-Arts-Heritage, the African-American children's educational network, along with the series Road to Ratification, the narrative of the passage of the 13th Amendment.


GSA Administrator Denise Turner Roth provides cover article for National Black Business Month special edition of Journal of African-American Innovation.


LOS ANGELES -- The founder of the 13th annual National Black Business Month suggests #DemonstratingWith$$ to address the root causes of excessive violence in the United States by using the site to open accounts in African-American banks.
John William Templeton, author of Our10Plan: State of Black Business, 13th edition, says the root cause is the 1.2 million job deficit because of the lack of commercial credit to African-American businesses.  "Although the 2.6 million black businesses are nine percent of all enterprises, the 990,000 jobs they create are only four percent of the 24 million small business jobs in the U.S.," Templeton finds in the annual study. "By increasing the deposits of the 25 African-American banks, which make 60 percent of business loans in their service areas, we can bring liquidity back into these stressed communities."
At, links to online banking at each of the black owned banks are easily accessible.  Our10Plan gives a detailed road map for growing African-American income from $1.2 trillion, just six percent of gross domestic product, to $2.1 trillion by 2020, ten percent of the projected total.  "Meeting the $40 billion demand for business credit will grow the number of black companies with employees to 250,000 from the current 100,000, and generate more than 1 million jobs," Templeton asserts. "It is a target that consumers can meet without any new legislation or initiatives, particularly if they are looking for ways to express themselves after the recent epidemic of tragic deaths. We respond to disasters in a massive way. We need to respond to disastrous conditions equally."
Two years ago, after the killing of Mike Brown Jr. in Ferguson, National Black Business Month organized Black Restaurant Day to combine protest with positive action.  In Portland, OR alone, 6,000 visited the city's 60 black eateries.
Our10Plan is available at  It includes 31Ways 31Days to support black businesses each day of August and the black business affinity index ranking for each of the 50 states.
Templeton, former editor of the San Jose Business JournalRichmond AFRO-AMERICAN, and Winston-Salem Chronicle, has published the online daily since 1995.  He launched National Black Business Month in 2004. 

Dr. Wesley Johnson, a San Francisco pharmacist and frequent traveler to Africa, with close friend Alex Haley, author of ROOTS, in a candid moment in the 1970s.  Photo Wesley and Marion Johnson Family Collection.


Why Roots is important 40 years later

HOLLYWOOD -- Never were truer words spoken than the utterance of Calvin Broaddus Sr. about watching the new version of Roots:   "A n----r like me wouldn't be watching that..."  Above is a photo of Alex Haley in San Francisco with friend Dr. Wesley Johnson, a pharmacist who shared Haley's penchant for traveling to Africa.  Were Haley still around to speak to Snoop Dogg, he would share the profound liberation from exploring one's past in all aspects.

Haley, like I did when writing a novel based on my family history, Grampa Jacks Secret, felt the inexorable pull of ancestors clamoring to have their story told.   Many chose to write the story in real time in slaver narratives which were the fuel for the abolition movement.   If those who lived through unimaginable torture were willing to write about it, why should those who benefit from their  sacrifice feel ashamed.

aDespite the hypocrisy of a gangsta rapper calling for positive images, Snoop's sentiments are widely held, particularly among students.  We call it "Anti-knowing" in my papers on personal authenticity and perceived chance of success. It happens because the history is told incorrectly.   The most noble pursuit of humanity, according to every major religion, is the pursuit of freedom in the face of oppression.   When black students who shunned their history are asked, "what if you saw yourself as the descendent of people who OVERCAME slavery?" they have a whole new perspective.

To address what Snoop is feeling, we developed Road to Ratification: How 27 States Tackled the Most Pressing Issue in American History as an instructional video series and book to tell the saga in a non-degrading way free of stereotypes with an authentic timeline that goes back before the first slave ships landed in the Caribbean.  Our starting point is the Dec. 6 passage of the resolution of ratification by the Georgia legislature for the 13th Amendment, the most important event in black history.  We trace the similar document in the 26 other states which approved the amendment and go backward to the first African-American in the area.   Slavery was not a monolithic institution, but a range of various adaptations to circumstances.  The one constant was the unyielding resistance of Africans who exhausted every opportunity to overthrow their captivity and eventually succeeded.

My issue with th ermine is that it should have moved the story forward into the present to see what today's generation of Haleys are doing.  The daughter of one such family is sitting in the White House as First Lady.  The first airing inspired millions to research their family history.  Now DNA testing speeds the process, but we hope that the new version has the same effect.    Contrary to Snoop, you can't move forward until you deal with the past.

Energy dominates African Development Bank meeting in Zambia

Hundreds of participants have converged on Lusaka for the 51st Annual Meetings of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the 42nd Meetings of the African Development Fund (ADB) Board of Governors, which takes place in the Zambian Capital from May 23 to 27, 2016.

President Edgar Lungu of Zambia opened the meetings on Tuesday along with his peers from several African countries, Governors of the Bank Group and its 8th elected President, Akinwumi Adesina.

Presidents Idriss Deby of Chad, Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya have confirmed their attendance. Nigeria will be represented by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, while Tanzania and Mozambique will be represented by their Prime Ministers - Kassim Majaliwa and Carlos Agostinho do Rosário - respectively.

Other high-profile attendees include Akon, Kofi Annan, Aliko Dangote, Ashish Thakkar, John Kufuor, Mary Robinson, Mo Ibrahim, Nancy Lee, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Tony Elumelu, among others.

The AfDB Group will unveil its new agenda for the continent's economic transformation - The New Deal on Energy for Africa 2016-2025, the Strategy for Jobs for Youth in Africa 2016-2025, and plan for Africa's Agricultural transformation.

Silicon Valley Rising points out inequality

An array of researchers pointed to structural discrimination in Silicon Valley at the home church of Cesar Chavez in San Jose.   Liz Farber, secretary-treasurer of AFL-CIO, above right, opened the panels by noting the erosion of labor standards as a factor in the declining middle class. executive editor John William Templeton shared his Silicon Ceiling 15: Equal Opportunity in High Technology findings for education and employment.   He noted that Detroit did a better job with its union, underpaid teachers of preparing black students for tech careers.


​Opportunity unleashed

Abimbola Adebakin, chief operating officer of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, tells business leaders on a conference call organized by that the success of the Tony Elumelu  Entrepreneurship Program can easily be duplicated in the United States.   45,000 applied for the second year's 1,000 slots in the entrepreneurship bootcamp, receiving $5,000 grants to begin their ventures.

Guest editor for our new Journal of African-American Innovation, Mary Spio, describes her revolutionary virtual reality products in Johannesburg today.   The next guest editor, Darrell Mottley, Esq. is editor in chief of the American Bar Association's intellectual property journal.

New interim dean at  UC-Berkeley law school

 Law professor Melissa Murray has been named interim dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law. Her appointment, which begins today, was decided with broad input from Berkeley Law faculty, students, staff, and alumni. 

A graduate of Yale Law School, Murray, 40, joined the Berkeley Law faculty in 2006, and was tenured in 2011. She has taught a range of courses that include family law, constitutional law and criminal law. She is faculty director of Berkeley Law’s Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice, a multidisciplinary research center.


Take me to Havana

This restaurant in downtown Havana is happy to greet President Obama and family because thousands of American tourists are likely to follow in his wake.   Carnival Cruise Lines CEO Arnold Donald said its first cruise will take off for Havana May 1.


The big winner in N.H.

The one clear winner in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary is Dr. Juan Gilbert,  Andrew Banks Family Preeminence Chair at the University of Florida, because his Prime III Universal Voting System will manage its first presidential primary.   Gilbert managed the research for the Electoral Assistance Commission, founded after the 2000 voting difficulties, with additional grants from the National Science Foundation.  He is the pioneer in human-centered computing.


Journal of African-American Innovation

Presenters in the inaugural edition made scientific proceedings at Innovation&Equity16: 50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology on the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Dr. Ahimsa Porter Sumchai, author of the 21st Century Upright Woman; George McKinney, president of Better Life Technologies; Derek Lawson, vice president of technology at Cornerstone Concilium;  Charlene Childers-Coleman, CEO of Sensory Acumen;  Richard Patterson, CEO of Trion Supercars; Henry Jones, chair of the investment committee of CalPERS;  Rhonda Wallen, COO of Andarix Pharmaceuticals; editor John William Templeton; Arthur Bart-Williams, CEO of Canoodle.


Richard Patterson, CEO of Trion Supercars, doesn't think twice about giving the keys to his $1.6 million Trion Nemesis RR to 16-year-old Jaden Conwright, after checking with parents Craig and Kimberly Lee Conwright.  Jaden started driving competitively at age 10; won the VMR Motorsports Scholarship in 2014 and drives for Pro Mazda.  The Trion Nemesis packs 2,000 HP in a 9-liter, dual turbo, 8-cylinder that goes from 0 to 60 in two seconds and reaches a top speed of 270 MPH.  Jaden just returned from Italy where he tested with Maserati and Ferrari.  All were at Innovation&Equity16: 50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology on the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Hall of Culture of the African-American Art & Culture Complex.


Nichol Bradford, CEO of Willow Group Inc., a transformative technology company, shares Harriet Tubman 2.0: A Field Guide for Heroes encouraging her fellow presenters in the Journal of African-American Innovation to practice exponential technology to "go where the walls haven't been built yet" like Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame member Roy L. Clay Sr.   Bradford gave her presentation and then left to have surgery on her broken ankle.

Richard Patterson brings Trion Nemesis as a supercar to Silicon Valley

2,000 Horse Power 

$1.6 million list price.  

One man's dream.  
Richard Patterson created Trion Supercars to make the best car in the world.  He's at the Silicon Valley Auto Show to make a statement.

Pictures worth a thousand words on company job sites

SAN FRANCISCO -- "I'm dreaming of a white workforce" could be the theme song of technology companies in San Francisco, based on our annual investigation of equal employment opportunity in cutting edge industries in Silicon Ceiling 15: Equal Opportunity in High Technology

Using 243 large software or online firms with global markets based in San Francisco from the reference book Rich's Business Directories, only 22 had a photograph of at least one  African-American person on their Careers or Jobs page in mid to late December 2015.  Only 18 listed themselves as "equal opportunity employers," something that has been standard in employment recruiting since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. See Reitman,  Uncovering the White Place.

Our findings are being provided to the regional office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which enforces the Unruh Civil Rights Act of 1957, which C.L. Dellums fought to achieve for 35 years beginning in 1922.

More companies listed themselves as "dog-friendly" or actually pictured dogs at work than took note of their EEO responsibility.   During Innovation&Equity16: 50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology, a 10,000 in 12 months challenge during 2016 will be issued to the 7,000 tech firms in northern California to bring the area into balance with African-American technology employment in other metropolitan areas.


Our10Plan in Beverly Hills


The African-American Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee hosted executive editor John William Templeton to describe Our10Plan, the African-American economic strategy to double black income by 2020, and to present the California African-American Freedom Trail in a three hour tour through Beverly Hills, downtown Los Angeles, Leimert Park and Crenshaw.  Flanking him are NBCSL President Sen. Catherine Pugh, the Maryland Senate Majority Leader and Allyson Sneed, AALSCC President and aide to Rep. Johnny Shaw of Tennessee.  Also pictured are: Sylvia Copper (LA), Cassaundra Cooper (KY), Danica Key (GA), Nellie Humphries (AL), Juanzena Johnson (SC), Lisa Davis (MS)

France's highest award 

French Chief of Staff Adm. Bernard Rogel stands by Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michelle Howard after presenting her with the Legion d'Honneur Award at the Crypt of John Paul Jones in the chapel of the U.S. Naval Academy.


Legislators learn to heal from Charleston 9, other stresses

Dr. Jeffrey Gardere takes NBCSL members through a self assessment on their own health.   He told them that cortisol, the hormone triggered by the flight or fight instinct, can have harmful effects when constantly present during periods of emergency or anxiety.  However, taking deep breaths for 60 seconds can replace that with dopamine, which has positive health impacts.  He also said 30 minutes of device free time increases melatonin, the hormone which helps sleep and creativity.

LOS ANGELES -- They take on a job that can get oneself killed, yet is almost never appreciated; find themselves in the middle of America's racial divide and still have to maintain family life.

It should be enough to drive African-American state legislators to their nearest therapist, a point "America's psychologist" Dr. Jeffrey Gardere  emphasized in his session with the National Black Caucus of State Legislators on how to stay fit enough to serve.

In the wake of the killing of member Sen. Clementa Pinckney in his own church in Charleston, NBCSL President Sen. Catherine Pugh , the Maryland Majority Leader, called on the celebrity doctor to give what many members said was the first time they had ever discussed the stresses of elective life as a black politician.  Pugh found herself in the midst of protesters after the Freddie Gray incident, hugging one in a celebrated photo.

Gardere is planning a National Day of Healing at noon Eastern on Dec. 15, asking everyone to pause for five seconds of silence, prayer or meditation.


Her taste is right

 Former Price is Right model Starr Campbell is owner chef of MamaSoul at 5068 W. Pico in Los Angeles.

Black jobs crisis=economic violence

LOS ANGELES -Donna Richardson got cheated out of $1 million by a prime contractor in 2001 so she created Prism compliance software to deal with the problem.  Although the program is used to monitor billions in contracts for supplier diversity, she says the news is bad--black businesses are winning fewer bids.    Rule changes to "small business" setasides mean more awards are going to women-owned firms or even majority owned companies.  As a result, fewer jobs are created for African-Americans.

Lola Smallwood Cuevas, founder of the Black Worker Center in Los Angeles, said two percent of the workers on the $12.5 billion L.A. transit expansion are black.  "Local hiring rules actually have resulted in fewer African-Americans," she said, terming the situation a "black jobs crisis."   Additional Black Worker Centers are opening in six other cities.  Both spoke at the National Black Caucus of State Legislators conference here in a panel moderated by N.J. Sen. Ronald Rice.

Today's job report showed black unemployment at 9.4 percent compared to the national average of 5.0. Smallwood-Cuevar said the problem is being framed as lack of training.  "We have men with certificates up the gills who still are facing discrimination."


Spread Love in Chicago

Quentin Love brings the city together for  Thanksgiving at his TurkeyChop restaurant as volunteers help serve the needy at a time when the entire city is on edge after the indictment of a police officer for firing 16 shots into an unarmed young black man.


Ellison turning around J.C. Penney

PLANO, Texas  -- J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE: JCP) reported net sales of $2.9for t0 billion  for the third quarter ended Oct. 31, 2015 compared to $2.76 billion in the third quarter of 2014. Same store sales increased 6.4 % for the period.

Marvin Ellison, chief executive officer, said, “The continuation of our strong sales performance this quarter demonstrates ongoing progress towards achieving the Company’s long-term financial targets. We grew the top line, improved margin and intensified our expense discipline. As we look ahead to the fourth quarter, we are well positioned to compete effectively during the key holiday shopping period thanks to the hard work and dedication of all our associates.” Ellison continued, “While there is significant work to do to improve our Company, the JCPenney team remains determined to regain our status as a world-class retailer.”


The name is the brand

Siza Mzimela, CEO of Fly Blue Crane airlines, begins Dec. 1 service  between Kimberley and Cape Town.  South Africa's newest airline fulfills her  goal to provide affordable service to regional airports from a hub at Tambo Airport.


Talari CEO Emerick Woods

Talari offers new network pricing options

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Nov. 17, 2015 — Talari, the technology innovator and market share leader of Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) solutions that help businesses perform brilliantly with the creation of a smart network that proactively manages capacity, quality and performance, announced today the availability of subscription pricing for physical and virtual appliances and Talari Aware, Talari’s central management tool. Subscription pricing allows Talari to expand the SD-WAN market by offering an option to organizations that wish to pursue an OPEX-based SD-WAN acquisition model that distributes costs over time.

"We have seen a growing interest from enterprises that are struggling with lower CAPEX budgets looking for financial options that allow them to introduce new technology without having to pay the full amount up front," said Emerick Woods, president and CEO, Talari. "To support these organizations, we are introducing a subscription pricing model that offers customers the ability to deploy our SD-WAN solution for a low monthly rate, while simplifying the billing process and offering hardware investment protection. With Talari, customers are free to choose either a CAPEX-centric traditional perpetual license or OPEX-friendly subscription model to deploy their SD-WAN."

Protect your precious strand of pearls in your back

SAN FRANCISCO -- Spine researcher and sports medicine specialist Dr. Ahimsa Porter Sumchai waxes poetic about the spine in her new book The 21st Century Upright Woman (Lambert Academic Publishing).   "The human spine is like a precious strand of pearls linked together by ligaments, muscles and connective tissues."

She traced the importance of the spine to the first humans to walk upright, beginning with a 2010 lecture here, and expanded the theme in the book.

"Occupational injury, strain and sports overuse, morbid obesity, poor posture and spinal malalignments, extended sitting, standing, sedentary lifestyles and poor nutrition contribute to the disabling impact of this most ancient- most common- most human malady," said Porter Sumchai.

     "A mounting body of credible and irrefutable evidence supports the simple role of weight loss, lifestyle change, occupational impact mitigation and exercise in the treatment and prevention of chronic low back pain," she adds.

Ahimsa Porter Sumchai, MD


Star architect

David Adjaye, whose credits include the soon-to-open  Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is among the distinguished speakers for the 2015 Mo Ibrahim Foundation Governance Weekend in Accra, Ghana Nov. 21.  


Adm. Haney in command


Much of the West Coast was illuminated by this test  Trident missile launch as Adm. Cecil Haney, left, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, shows visiting Congressmen how the submarine leg of America's nuclear forces maintains readiness.  The Washington, D.C. native and public school graduate is among the Roy Clay Sr. Technology Pinnacle Award winners as one of the 50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology. US Navy photo

Gilbert launches open source universal voting system after successful trials nationwide with all types of voters

Dr. Juan Gilbert of the University of Florida tells S.F. Election Commission that open-source voting systems are no longer a dream.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The first election of 2016, the pivotal New Hampshire primaries, will use an open source, universal election system developed by Dr. Juan Gilbert and his teams of multicultural researchers in human-centered computing.

The Andrew Banks Family Preeminence Professor and Chair of Computing, Information Technology and Engineering at the University of Florida told the San Francisco Election Commission Wednesday night that he had placed the "only working open source voting system used in binding elections" on GitHub Sept. 28.    Prime III has been used in Oregon, Wisconsin and New Hampshire.  A selection among the Roy Clay Sr. Technology Pinnacle Awards on Jan. 16, 2016, he is a also winner of the presidential award for mentoring in mathematics, engineering and science and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Tim Mayer of the California Association of Voting Officials urged the commission to take steps to introduce Gilbert's Prime III system into the local election machinery.  Open source software saves clients money in expernsive licensing fees, avoiding what Mayer called the "vendor trap" when governments are forced to take what software makers sell instead of what they actually need.

Officials in New Hampshire were so impressed with Prime III’s performance that they plan to use it in additional precincts in the upcoming general election. “It was even more seamless than we thought it would be,” said New Hampshire Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Manning. “Our intention long range is to get to the point where every one of our polling places uses Prime III.” The uniqueness of Prime III lies in its ability to allow voters to cast ballots by tapping a touch screen or speaking into a microphone. Those who can’t articulate a candidate’s name have the option of blowing into the microphone, and those who have trouble reading or seeing the screen receive audio instructions via headphones.

He developed Prime III technology with help from more than a dozen research assistants and a $4.5 million grant from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Along with the funding came the charge to lead a three-year project to increase the accessibility of new, existing and emerging technological solutions in the design of voting systems. The result is an electronic voting system that Gilbert describes as the world’s most accessible voting technology every created.

“It allows people from all walks of life, abilities or disabilities to vote universally on the same machine,” Gilbert said. “It also gives voters peace of mind that their vote is secure and will be counted.”

That sort of confidence is assured, Gilbert said, with the insertion of a blank ballot into a printer for each voter. Only the choices the voter makes regarding contests and candidates are recorded, eliminating potential confusion about intent. Each ballot then goes into a ballot box and is later scanned, creating a paper trail.

According to a research report compiled at Rutgers University, 15.6 million people with disabilities reported voting in the November 2012 elections, a turnout 5.7 percentage points lower than that for people without disabilities. There would be 3 million more voters with disabilities if they voted at the same rate as people without disabilities who are otherwise similar in age and other demographic characteristics, according to the report. Gilbert first introduced Prime III at the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind. Residents at several Oregon rehabilitation and independent-living centers used the system to vote during the 2012 presidential primary, and last spring, Gilbert introduced it to disabled voters during Wisconsin’s mid-term election.

Gilbert has won more than $25 million in research grants during his career.  He previewed Prime III at the 2010 Innovation&Equity Symposium in San Francisco along with several other products from his Human Centered Computing Lab.


Calpers' Henry Jones says diversity is a good investment for pension funds.

California pension funds expanding leverage to produce corporate inclusion

SACRAMENTO -- The $500 billion California public pension funds are turning up the heat on the companies they invest in to practice diversity in every aspect of their operations, starting with their boards of directors and executive suites.

Henry Jones, chair of the investment committee of the $330 billion California Public Employees Retirement Fund, told after opening remarks at Calpers Diversity Forum that a growing array of statistics show that diverse companies are better investments.   Christopher Ailman, chief investment officer of the California State Teachers Retirement System, said corporate boards continue to be "pale, male and stale," referring to the group think which led to the economic collapse of 2008.

State Treasurer John Chang began pushing for the pension funds to support more inclusive management eight years ago as state controller.  The two funds established a Diverse Director Directory to help companies find candidates for leadership roles.

During two days of meetings, Calpers met with investment specialists in its emerging managers program, which Jones said places $4.5 billion in investments with minority-owned and women-owned money managers.

Policymakers driving the global research agenda and standards

WASHINGTON -- From space to agriculture to transportation, priorities for the research defining the future are being set by selectees among the Roy Clay Sr. Technology Pinnacle Awards for the 50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology.   Dr. Willie E. May is director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the body which determines the technical specifications at the heart of modern society.  Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young runs the U.S. Department of Agriculture's $1.4 billion Agricultural Research Service, which funds land-grant institutions and extension programs across the country.  Maj. Gen. (ret.) Charles Bolden has gone from deploying the Hubble Space Telescope as an astronaut to a seven-year tenure as administrator of the $17 billion National Aeronautics and Space Administration.   Gregory Winfree is administrator of the Research and Special Projects Administration in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

ARS Director Dr. Jacobs-Young, left  NIST interim director Dr. Willie E. May  NASA Administrator Charles Bolden    DOT RSPA Administrator Gregory Winfree

Research into Industry: Innovation&Equity16: Jan. 15, 2016

Introducing Roy Clay Sr. Technology Pinnacle: the 16th annual 50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology

Top, KP CIO Richard Daniels, Right, VA CIO LaVerne Council Below, Lt. Gen. Ronnie Hawkins


490,000 in science, engineering, math occupations 831,000 in STEM related jobs
24 % of federal technology workers (80,000)

SAN FRANCISCO -- Richard Daniels was treated like a conquering hero by the mayor and media in Atlanta when he came to make the announcement of 900 jobs for a new information technology center.   As executive vice president and chief information officer of Kaiser Permanente, it is the kind of decision he recommends to his leadership as steward of $3 billion in technology purchases.

LaVerne Council was confirmed in June as the new chief information officer of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the largest civilian department and one that operates the largest health system in the nation.  She'll run a $4 billion technology budget.

They are examples of the absolutely critical leadership of African-American technologists in the most demanding environments, one of the hallmarks of the selectees for the Roy Clay Sr. Technology Pinnacle Awards for the 16th annual 50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Ronnie D. Hawkins is the director of the $9 billion Defense Information Systems Agency, which commands the entire information architecture in the U.S. armed forces.    In daily profiles at souloftechnology,com, learn about the extraordinary service of these overlooked overachievers.

#BLACKBUSINESSMATTERS         Our 12th State of Black Business report is the most complete source of information on the $187 billion African-American enterprise sector, including 2.6 million firms with 1 million employees.    Dr. Trevor P. Castor, CEO of Woburn, MA-based Aphios, founded a company 20 years ago which has obtained 46 patents for nature based therapies.  Providing additional capital for the $22 billion African-American manufacturing sector is one of the primary goals of the 12th National Black Business Month. Castor is also one of the selectees for the 50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology.  More than 200,000 black businesses operate in professional and scientific industries.


This is how we do it

The concept of the 12th National Black Business Month is so very, very simple.  For a whole month, figure out how to find and support an African-American in business and take some other folks with you.  Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed demonstrates on the opening night of Straight Outta Compton with Ludacris, director F. Gary Gray, Will Power and Usher.  So you've got 15 more days to follow this lesson.  31Ways31Days every day at


Hair liberator

Diishan Imira has freed more than 20,000 black hair dressers from the tyranny of purchasing hair extensions from distributors who gave them nothing back.  Mayvenn also has been a pioneer for gaining $10 million in venture capital from Silicon Valley for a product geared to African-American consumers.  The beauty shops make a percentage from the online hair sales, boosting their income.  It's an example of what can happen when capital is matched with talent and drive by black businesses.

Working with nature

Biotech-Aug. 11

George Washington Carver made bioengineering a practical reality in homes and communities globally. Companies like Amarantus BioScience Holdings, Aphios and the Auguste Bioengineering Lab at City University of New York are continuing the legacy.

Kenneth Frazier, CEO of Merck, one of the five largest pharmaceutical firms globally.


Job Rebound not shared by African-American veterans

WASHINGTON -- With national unemployment rates falling to 5.1 percent, African-American veterans are not reaping the benefits of the job recovery.   New statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that Gulf War veterans, the bulk of the 2.5 million African-American veterans had an unemployment rate of 8.7 percent, close to the 9.1 percent rate for African-Americans in general.  The figures could point to discrimination in labor markets, particularly in high skills areas because veterans tend to have higher education and occupational skills than the general population.  The African-American Civil War Memorial at 12th and U Streets northwest celebrates the 250,000 African-Americans who served in the Civil War to achieve the 13th Amendment 150 years ago.  Economic liberation has proved a more fleeting objective, particularly for black veterans. 

Kelly Holder, a Census Bureau statistician, shared data that only 9.5 percent of stem jobs are held by U.S. veterans of all races, despite the intense technical training received in the armed forces.

Two Public Companies

One Dynamic Tech Superstar-Mary Spio

Jim Boeheim, John Calipari, Randi Zuckerberg and one of Warren Buffett's companies are teaming with Mary Spio, CEO of two public companies, as she sets the pace in Virtual Reality with her Ceek platform and headphones, made by Next Galaxy Corp. (NXGA).  She also leads One2One Living (LOVI) and has a new book It's Not Rocket Science.  Her first milestone was creating the technology for digital satellite video now used to transmit  motion pictures to theaters, at the age of 26.

Down2Business features our list of black-founded and black-led publicly traded companies for impact investing.


Other choices around the country range from Miss Ollie's in Oakland, CA where we had the jumbo shrimp; Sandovan's Restaurant in Washington, D.C. with jerk chicken and the historic dignity of Dorothy's Restaurant in the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center at Tuskegee University.    Another tip is to find the nearest House of Prayer while traveling for their Saints Paradise cafeteria.   The largest African-American restaurant chains are Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery; Harold's Chicken Shack and Williams Fried Chicken.


Aug. 8


Your trip to Atlanta is not complete without a visit to Paschal's, the restaurant which fed the civil rights movement and has now become the hub of a hotel-dining complex near the Georgia Dome. 31Ways31Days advocates visiting one of the 12,000 black restaurants.  Find more of them at or with our updated Say Grace and Wipe Yo' Hands: BLACKRESTAURANT.NET Guide to America's Black Restaurants, including a venue guide for meeting planners.



Cynthia Day, CEO of Citizens Trust Bank with 11 branches in Georgia and Alabama, is committed to making business loans to create jobs in her service areas of Atlanta and Columbus, GA; Eutaw and Birmingham, AL.   CTZB is publicly-traded which allows any investor to add to its capital by purchasing stock.  National Black Business Month also calls on corporate, public and philanthropic treasurers to deposit $3.1 billion in black-owned banks to create a credit market for entrepreneurship.  The bank was founded in 1919 and has $400 million in assets.


A good name

Rev. Frederick Douglass Haynes III, pastor of Friendship West Baptist Church in Dallas, comes to Third Baptist Church in San Francisco at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 9 to oppose the sale of F.D. Haynes Gardens, a 140-unit affordable family housing apartment complex in the Western Addition, built under the leadership and named for his grandfather, Dr. F.D. Haynes Sr., an associate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Paul Robeson and W.E.B. DuBois.   The loss of the housing stock for black communities, happening nationally, is why we focus on black real estate professionals as the industry to support on Aug. 6.

$3.1 billion sought in deposits to fuel $30 billion in lending for African-American entrepreneurs during 12th National Black Business Month

WASHINGTON -- The federal government has earned an incomplete grade on the policies and implementation affecting African American business, say the founders of the 12th annual National Black Business Month in August. "There has been a complete failure to use the tools created in Dodd-Frank by Rep. Maxine Waters to end discrimination in business lending, only two percent of SBA loans, transportation spending through states and localities and federal contracts go to black businesses and R&D funding for black innovators has been few and far between," according to #BLACKDOLLARSMATTER: State of Black Business, 12th edition. John William Templeton, author of the annual report since 2004, called for $3.1 billion in deposits to black-owned banks to leverage the $30 billion needed in business credit among the 2 million black businesses. Funds generated by $200 billion from business fines to banks and polluters could be utilized. "The President, Treasury Secretary and Fed must rectify the exclusion of black-owned banks from the latest round of New Markets Tax Credits by expanding the Minority Depository Program and encouraging foundations and businesses to do the same. The Fed's reluctance to do anything about black unemployment violates the intent of Humphrey-Hawkins."

Virginia, Arkansas, Georgia, New York, Texas top rankings in 

#BLACKDOLLARSMATTER: State of Black Business, 12th edition

Dr. William Lawson, chair of psychiatry at Howard University College of Medicine, won the Solomon Carter Fuller Award in 2014.  Researchers like Lawson need capital to commercialize their discoveries, a reason for the focus on $30 billion in new growth capital for African-American businesses. Fuller helped the discoverer of Alzheimer's Disease.

DETROIT--As African-American doctors meet in the Motor City; and hundreds of black chambers of commerce gather in Hollywood, FL, while black museum professionals assemble in Memphis, the question still remains -- do the $1 trillion that African-Americans make each year matter.

#BLACKDOLLARSMATTER: State of Black Business, 12th edition uses the Ten Key Factors for Black Business Success from our longitudinal studies since 1997 to rate all 50 states on our Black Business Affinity Index.

On the cover are bioengineering pioneers Dr. Trevor Castor, CEO of Cambridge, MA-based Aphios, Inc., which holds 46 patents, and Gerald Commissiong, CEO of Amarantus Bioscience Holdings.

Since first performing the ranking for the first National Black Business Month in 2004, we have seen a bipartisan consensus build around these best practices.   Yet, our 12th annual report evaluates the federal government to find that its grade is incomplete because of the failure to adjust monetary, fiscal and procurement policy to address economic inequity.   Virginia is first ranked among the states, followed by Arkansas, Georgia, Ohio and New York.

Key factors include active involvement by the executive or legislative branches, statutory authority for business inclusion, targeted loan programs for black business, the presence of large enterprises and the rate of growth.


Barbara Lee right again

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, joined Congressional Black Caucus Chair G.K. Butterfield, D-NC, in a delegation that met with executives of Facebook, Apple, Google and other companies to address their poor hiring record for African-Americans.   She joins NBBM co-founders John William Templeton and Frederick Jordan Sr., P.E., along with the Oakland Post's Carla Thomas,  to celebrate National Black Business Month.   In 2000, Lee, with Sheila Jackson-Lee and Maxine Waters, encouraged tech companies to make a commitment to equal opportunity, but the effort was dropped once George Bush took office as President



Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom, watched  President Barack Obama in the Safaricom Arena in Nairobi.   With 17 million subscribers, publicly-traded Safaricom is a global innovator with its Mpesa mobile payment system.


Deborah Ale Flint, former aviation director for the Port of Oakland, is the new executive director of Los Angeles World Airports, including Los Angeles International, the third busiest airport in the United States, and sixth worldwide.The signature building was designed in 1960 by African-American architect Paul Revere Williams, known as the "architect to the stars" since the 1920s.



President Obama celebrates passage of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act at a reception before leaving for a visit to Kenya and Ethiopia to address the African Union.  He also said the White House would host African leaders again next year.


Nigeria numbers count

Despite the global attention to Boko Haram, Nigeria has become the largest economic force on the African continent with $560 billion GDP in 2014, more than $150 billion more than South Africa and a thriving stock market.  

Bex Nwawudu, founder and managing partner of CBO Capital Partners, says agribusiness and food processing as well as real estate, energy, health, technology and local manufacturing are ripe fields for American investors.

Nigerian President  Muhammadou Buhari begins state visit at White House with President Barack Obama, praising the Obama administration for insisting on a transparent election.  Tuesday meetings with Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Secretary of State John Kerry underscored the new working relationship


Mapping the California African-American Freedom Trail this week from the Sierra Mountains to San Diego.   See the results Friday at


Black hotels matter

Thanks to Andy Ingraham and NABHOOD, there are more than 500 hotels owned by African-Americans, as the owners/operators/developers met with other industry players and Caribbean leaders in Miami.

Black business by subscription

Kendra Cook's KolourConscious provides a variety of products by black manufacturers online and in a subscription package.  She exhibited during the Black Love Festival in San Francisco.


Utilizing small business vendors

DKW Communications in Washington, D.C.  was among 25 small businesses awarded the Enhanced Solutions for the Information Technology Enterprise (E-SITE) contract by the Defense Intelligence Agency today.

Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, the new director of the DIA, is the first African-American to head an intelligence agency.


Dial Up

"...we will never settle for trickle-down justice that serves a fortunate few, because we know what that feels like and we will never condemn another to that fate."

Attorney General Loretta Lynch to National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives  7/13/15

Color of Change and are calling on Lynch to investigate the Texas death of a Prairie View A&M employee arrested on the way to her first day of work.


 Calling the tune

In the past few years, African-Americans have assumed leadership of some of the wealthiest foundations globally, with more than $50 billion in assets.   It gave Darren Walker, background, president of the Ford Foundation, the latitude to announce that equity would be the overriding principle of all Ford's grantmaking.   And when Fred Blackwell, above, president of the San Francisco Foundation, got a call with a $34 million anonymous donation geared to Oakland, he was able to distribute the funds in time for this summer as the city's former administrator.  Others include (L-R below) Risa Lavisso-Tourey, MD, president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation;  Emmitt Carson, president of the Silicon Valley Foundation; Robert Ross, M.D., president of the California Endowment and LaJune Montgomery Tabron, president of the Kellogg Foundation.


Off to the NAACP

After announcing a nuclear deal with Iran and world powers, President Barack Obama is briefed by schedulers on the way to an address at the NAACP national conference in Philadelphia.   Later in the week, Obama highlights his focus on criminal justice reform by visiting a federal prison.  In Philadelphia, he said prisoners are Americans too.


Tidjane Thiam  

The new face

of Swiss


French--Ivorian wunderkind takes helm as CEO of flagship global financial power.  Pamela Thomas Graham also joins the executive committee..


By John William Templeton, Executive Editor

ZURICH -- Tidjane Thiam can break down derivatives in German, French and English, break down the defense on the basketball court, and and survive a West African coup, but the reason he became the new chief executive officer of Credit-Suisse is his success in selling wealth management from a British insurer to Asian financial powers.

In my book Success Secrets of Black Executives, venture capitalist Ken Coleman said, "We never get easy assignments," referring to how blacks break through into coveted business positions.  Thiam not only has the task of mollifying investors in the bank, including sovereign wealth funds of Arab nations, but implicitly has to defend the premise that has made the small country of Switzerland the world's banker, banking secrecy.

Credit-Suisse took the rare step of pleading guilty to charges from the U.S. Justice Department in connection with American citizens avoiding taxes through Swiss accounts, but in the settlement did not directly wipe out its ability to maintain the secrecy of account holders.   Thiam has been CEO of British insurance company Prudential for the past six years.

Also, this year, Pamela Thomas Graham, the former head of CNBC, became the global head of marketing for Credit-Suisse, and launched a new initiative to create wealth among African-American innovators, focusing on a small group of entrepreneurs to create large ventures.

San Francisco generational wealth attorney Jeannette Fisher-Koaudio knew him when they both lived in Cote D'Ivore.  "It was clear he was destined to do great things."


Amarantus BioScience Holdings, Inc.  (OTCQX:AMBS), a biotechnology company focused on developing therapeutic and diagnostic products for diseases in the areas of neurology, psychiatry, ophthalmology and regenerative medicine, announced that it has received approval to commence trading on the OTCQX® Best Marketplace at market open today, July 13, 2015, under its existing ticker symbol, "AMBS."

"We are very pleased to have achieved OTC Markets Group's requirements for its premier securities marketplace," said Gerald E. Commissiong, President and Chief Executive Officer of Amarantus, pictured right at Innovation&Equity 2015 with Aphios CEO Dr. Trevor Castor and editor John William Templeton.

Amarantus also completed the acquisition of Cutanogen Corporation ("Cutanogen") from Lonza Walkersville, Inc. ("Lonza"), a subsidiary of Lonza Group Ltd. Cutanogen has an exclusive worldwide license to intellectual property rights associated with Engineered Skin Substitute ("ESS"), an autologous full thickness skin replacement product in development for the treatment of severe burns. ESS has received orphan drug designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of hospitalized patients with deep partial and full thickness burns requiring grafting.


100 percent owner

Erin Energy (NYSE: ERN) began shipping oil from its Oyo 7 deep sea wells, 100 percent owned by the Houston-based company founded by Dr. Kase Lawal, and reports better than expected production from the Oyo-8 wells (pictured).   Catapulted into the ranks of the largest African-American businesses by nine offshore concessions in four African countries covering 10 million acres, Erin Energy has now been listed on the Russell Index.


A $400 billion smile

Donald Kaberuka won the praise of his board on his last day as president of the African Development Bank Friday, but also has a big smile because ADB and other international banks announced a $400 billion commitment in official development assistance in the next three years to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.  The commitment will come during the International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa July 13-16.


Putting it in perspective

As Tamam Tracy Moncur's children and grandchildren learned about her catalytic role in the movements of the 1960s as a leader of the United San Francisco Freedom Movement, which achieved 375 employer equal opportunity agreements,   EEOC Pacific Regional Director William Tamayo, right, noted that his agency typically takes years to achieve a consent agreement with a single company.

Lasting from 1963 to 1965, the movement is considered the most successful civil rights campaign of the 1960s, but has been almost completely ignored by history.   Friday's visit for the film Who Was Tracy Sims? was one of  Moncur's rare visits back to San Francisco in over 50 years.

Then only 18 years old, she led the Palace Hotel sit-ins with 2,000 demonstrators, the largest demonstration in California history to that point and achieved in 24 hours, an agreement to desegregate all 35 San Francisco hotels.

Paying Forward

Yolanda Jackson, executive director of the Bar Association of San Francisco, salutes 23 African-American law firm partners who personally underwrote summer internships.  Michael Moye, a partner at Hanson Bridgett, hosted the Summer in the City reception, where interns and partners connected.

Rozenia Cummings, vice president of the National Bar Association, reminded guests of the upcoming 90th convention in Los Angeles July 19. California Attorney General and Senate candidate Kamala Harris is among the speakers.

San Francisco was the home of the first African-American bank in 1857, a critical part of the abolition movement, along with churches and lodges.   Federal officials gather in Washington July 13-15 to look at the history of minority-owned banking and how they can craft a renewed mission to combat economic inequality.  Michael Grant, executive director of the National Bankers Association, is a key mover in those discussions.

The bailed  out big banks have shown a complete lack of interest in small business lending and, specifically, lending to African-American businesses.

Oprah effect accelerates: #BlackDollarsMatter

#BlackDollarsMatter: State of Black Business, 12th edition reports that 68 percent of the close to 600,000 new black businesses from 2000 to 2008 were headed by women, like Willow CEO Nichol Bradford, one of the 50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology.  We first noted "the Oprah effect" in 2005 in the second edition in our analysis of Social Security Administration self-employment data.   In 1997, one third of black businesses were led by women.   Ten years later, two thirds were.



Courtney Young, head librarian and associate professor of women's studies at Penn State's campus in Pittsburgh, presides over the American Library Association conference in San Francisco through Tuesday as the president of ALA.  The Black Caucus presented its book awards Sunday night.

Dr. Carla Hayden gives the Jean Coleman lecture at ALA Monday because of her work using the Enoch Pratt Free Library in the wake of community unrest in Baltimore.  Dr. Hayden is president of the Free Library.

Hitting the Right  Note

President Obama launches into Amazing Grace, a hymn transformed by the black church from its slave ship captain author to express the unique bond of faith which is the central theme of African-American history.   Two hundred years after Denmark Vesey's rebellion, an African-American president, propelled to victory by primary voters from South Carolina six years ago, would give the eulogy for Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church's pastor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney. It's enough to make one sing!


Obamacare verdict praised

Among the first to weigh in on the Supreme Court's decision in favor of the Accountable Care Act was Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President Risa Lavisso-Tourey.  Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson described health care as a right.

More than 1.7 million African-Americans gained health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

At the time that the ruling was released, Dr. Nadine Gracia, deputy assistant secretary for minority health, was leading a webinar on health equity, pointing out billions in lost productivity because of health disparities.


In 1987, Rep. Jim Clyburn, now the assistant Democratic whip, began the effort to remove what is thought to be the Confederate flag from the S.C. statehouse.   Following the Charleston tragedy, a plan was announced for its removal.  But Clyburn notes in a Time magazine article, it isn't really the flag of the Confederate states, anyway.  To learn about his battle against racism in South Carolina,  read his memoir Blessed Experiences.

Laser pioneer returns to site       of space history

Hildreth "Hal" Walker made the greatest shot in global history on Aug. 1, 1969 when he targeted a laser from Lick Observatory in San Jose to a reflector placed by Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the moon, measuring the exact distance between earth and moon.  Walker, featured in a Smithsonian Institution exhibit, also brought lasers to Silicon Valley for etching semiconductors and helped design the first laser targeting systems for weapons.   He and his educator wife launched the African Male Achievement Network and operate science education in both Los Angeles and Capetown, South Africa.  ReUNION spoke with him in San Jose Sunday.


Mo snares    $1 billion for Africa

San Francisco-based TPG Growth and Satya Capital, founded by Sudanese billionaire Mo Ibrahim, will jointly manage a $1 billion fund devoted to investments in African businesses.  Dr. Ibrahim said, "...this partnership will give African entrepreneurs a very powerful platform."