TAP’s Top 5 Innovative Cities for African-Americans

April 5, 2010  |  

2.  Brooklyn, New York

Brooklyn is not a city, per se but for all intents and purposes, we’ve included it as such. Brooklyn’s “Kings County” has the third largest number of black-owned firms in all U.S. Counties. Additionally, New York State and New York City have the largest number of black-owned firms in the country, according to the most recent U.S. Economic Census.

Brooklyn’s social brand gets very high scores on this list, since Brooklyn serves as the home of major icons in the rap world such as Jay-Z. It’s hard to deny “where Brooklyn at?” as one of the most common phrases in the hip-hop world, which has really become the entire globe. Additionally, home-based businesses-turned-full-fledged corporations, such as Carol’s Daughter have made their marks in the African-American economy and society-at-large. Thanks to the influx of middle-class African-Americas and thriving Bohemian culture, Brooklyn hubs nab some of Harlem’s historical shine.

As for politics in Brooklyn, it’s rife with tense local elections and debates over gentrification that dramatize the city’s political score. We’re not sure whether to subtract points from the city’s former mayor, Ken Patton, who left his office abruptly in February of 2009 (then later resigned), or to add points for his establishing a Chamber of Commerce for local businesses when he took office in 2000. Thus, we gave the city a neutral political score.

The average unemployment rate for black men and women in Brooklyn registered at 14.8%, according to City-data.com. That’s a painful percentage, of course, which cost the city some points on this list.

Overall Score: 3.5


Social brand————-5.0

Political Leadership—3.0


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