It's a difficult proposition being black in America. While the laws of allowing people to be openly discriminatory are gone, the practices can still exist. Some people refuse to believe discrimination based on race still exists in our country. But it does. It does it subtle ways that people who aren't black, have no idea about. There are countless stories of discrimination based on race. Here's an example. One of the producers of the Howard Stern Radio show recounts how a business he worked for covertly treated black people.
I had started my own buy and resell business. I was delivering a big item to a customer. I had spoken with the customer to confirm delivery and iron out the particulars. Our conversation lasted about 5 minutes. When I arrived at her home at the scheduled time, I noticed that the she was looking at me in a strange way. I had seen the same "type" of look before from other customers. I didn't think much of it. Once I was inside her home and spoke with her for a little bit, I felt she became a little more comfortable with me. She then said "You know, on the phone you sounded like a white man", I laughed it off saying "No." She said "that's not a bad thing, but had I known you were not white, I probably wouldn't have bought this from you."
I've seen that look from other customers, could they have been thinking the same thing - but just didn't verbalize it? I couldn't know for sure.
That's when it hit me. Simply having your own business isn't good enough. We need a community of supporters for our businesses. If we have to rely on other people outside of our community, they can simply say - not interested - and our businesses will fail.