The following is the second part of JL King’s article on the Power of the Black Gay Dollar. Go to the following link for Part 1 of this article:
When asked to define wealth, Gregory Allen, co-founder of Extreme Entertainment, Inc. and host of the “State of the Black Gay Community” summit stated that wealth isn’t solely monetary. “Wealth encompasses a balance of financial, spiritual and emotional security,” he said.
Allen credits his knowledge of money to his father who was an entrepreneur with no formal education. Also influenced by his work as a human resources associate, Allen feels that corporate America helped him appreciate the importance of education stating, “I received examples of a solid business structure from my corporate experiences that helped me build on the corporate business model.”
When I asked if he felt boycotts could help force the attention of corporations on the black gay community, Gregory admitted, “I’m not opposed to boycotting companies that don’t have our best interests at heart, but that would require educating the black gay community as a whole.”
Dr. George Smith, an attorney originally from Houston and the producer of the upcoming reality show “In The Life Atlanta,” chimed in, adding that the power of the black gay dollar not only isn’t respected but is actually anesthetized. “Blacks aren’t viewed as affluent so black gays naturally fall below our heterosexual counterparts on the financial totem pole. The gay community is viewed as less than in every aspect which couldn’t be further from the truth, particularly financially.”
Smith commented that what’s even worse is the black gay community, as a whole, doesn’t realize the power of the black gay dollar. His response to what’s necessary to get white America to understand our financial power was to set examples of supporting businesses within the black gay community. “The difference between us and white gays is they are aware of their financial power,” he said. “We must demand fair treatment and respect as consumers. Once we harness the concept of our financial power, the effect will spill over to other communities.”
He went on to say there isn’t as much transparency in Atlanta’s black gay community as he expected, adding, “How can consumers intentionally support us as gay entrepreneurs if they don’t know we exist?”
I want to end this column by asking this question: If money had a sexuality, what would it be? And if it was not what you expected, would you not take it? It is time for both the LGBT community and the heterosexual community to pull our resources together to make our entire community stronger. –jl king
I welcome your feedback and comments. Feel free to contact me at: [email protected] This is JL King … Always keeping it real!!!