If one were to take a look at the American business world today, much as if one were to look at it a hundred or more years ago, one fact would be easily noticeable. The majority of positions of power and authority in most American businesses are white males. In fact, white males outnumber all other races n these positions far more than they outnumber the actual populations of these other people in our country. Specifically, black men are sorely represented in executive positions in corporations and businesses across the board. So why is that? Is there some fundamental character of black people that keeps them from success? Is society still oppressive to blacks nearly forty years after the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's? Actually, the answer lies somewhere in between. Joane Nagel states, "Ethnic Identity, then, is the result of a dialectical process involving internal and external opinions and processes, as well as the individual's self-identification - (240). So if blacks have an anti-business ethnicity, then the responsibility for that must be shared between blacks themselves and their oppressors. Similarly, upon examining Micahel Omi and Howard Winant's definition of hegemony, which they assert has been the dominant mode of rule in the United States, wee see that "hegemony [is] always constituted by a combination of coercion and consent" (152). So any societal oppression that the white males in power are able to levy against blacks must be accepted by blacks in order to be effective. In other words, both blacks and their white oppressors must share the responsibility for the decided failure of black men (and women) to take their places as leaders in business.
The issue of black success in a corporate world such as America is best understood as one of culture and ethnicity. Generally, success in business demands a certain personality and level of ability, just as does success in politics.