Operation Hope Founder Asks “What If Bill Gates Were Black?”

April 5, 2012  |  

John Hope Bryant, the founder of Operation HOPE, knows the importance of financial education. His organization launched the 700 Credit Score initiative to help those in the black community who struggle with average credit scores that make them vulnerable to predatory lending and payday loans. The organization also helps to teach underserved youth the importance of financial literacy and entrepreneurship. While Bryant’s work is certainly needed, perhaps his work would not be needed quite as much if there were, as he contemplated to Bloomberg, a black Bill Gates.

What Barack Obama and the black members of government provide in the political world is still lacking in the business world, according to Bryant. The black community still needs a business image that equals its political image. It needs to see inspiration of how blacks can succeed on a global economic scheme. The article asserts that if Bill Gates were a black man, it would have a greater impact on African Americans than even Barack Obama. While African Americans have fought for civil rights and the right to vote, they still value and understand the global power of money.

If there were a black economic player like Bill Gates, there is a greater possibility that the effects of that would extend into Silicon Valley and other areas of entrepreneurship hubs in the nation. In addition, there may be a changed value system and “culture of philanthropy” that would carry past the idea of church that would help to build up black communities.

While some may look to Oprah Winfrey as that black role model, she’s doesn’t quite match Bill Gates’ level of influence. A black entrepreneur on his level would be able to create thousands of jobs, would have a product that is used in each of our daily lives, and would inspire young people to excel. Young people would connect this image as an inspiration to be smart and to do even do better in school. A black Bill Gates would be the inspiration needed to help African Americans move forward.

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