Before, and after his stint at the White House, Brown retained his standing as a successful businessman. He founded B&C in 1960. During the 1950s, Coleman helped President Dwight D. Eisenhower to increase minority hiring in the government, and under the Ford administration as Secretary of Transportation. He co-authored the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund's brief on Brown vs. Topeka. He successfully argued cases that compelled the admission of Blacks into segregated universities.
The event's keynote speaker happened to be the owner of the country's largest African-American-owned business. David L. Steward, is chairman and founder of World Wide Technology, Inc. (WWT), a top Black Enterprise Business. WWT is a systems integration company based in St. Louis. The company employs more than 1,700 people and operates more than 2,000,000-square-feet of warehousing, distribution and integration space in 21 facilities throughout the world. WWT's 2011 revenue was $4.1 billion. Former President George H.W. Bush said Steward's "story of success epitomizes the American Dream and ... an inspiration to us all."
Chairman Priebus is set on "taking the Republican message to the streets." The question is: "How receptive will Blacks be?" Republicans like and applaud entrepreneurs. The GOP hierarchy appreciates job generators and creators. Historically, the Republicans believe in personal responsibility and actions, and that all material things are earned, not owed. They believe private spending is usually more efficient than public spending and that the private sector and/or the individual are better suited to control their own lives. There should be a way for African Americans and the Republicans to get together.
Black party members want Priebus "to change the party's performance with minority voters." African-American RNC National Committeeman Glenn McCall of South Carolina told the gathering of Black Baby Boomers and Millennials that, "The Republican Party must compete in every state and every region, building relationships with communities we haven't before ... as we must stop talking about 'reaching out' and start 'welcoming in.'" North Carolina's Black RNC National Committeewoman Dr. Ada Fisher, MD said: "Republicans must be willing to go into local minority communities and hold town hall meetings and banter. ... It's time to advocate for issues and causes that directly affect minority populations ... and staff to tout and pursue Blacks."
A Black Republican in personal and political ascent is conservative commentator and entrepreneur, Armstrong Williams. A protégée of Brown's, Williams emphasized that GOP values mirror those of many enterprising Blacks in America who support: "safe families, good education and economic empowerment." Williams commented that "There are many conservative Blacks ... disgruntled with President Obama ... We need to hook up with them to initiate business principles and practices that work." Williams used the occasion to announce the acquisition of two television stations: WEYI-TV in the Flint/Saginaw/Michigan and WWMB-TV in the Myrtle Beach/Florence, South Carolina area.
William Reed is publisher of "Who's Who in Black Corporate America" and available for projects via the BaileyGroup.org