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Why Some Black Entrepreneurs Prefer To Remain Invisible

It’s 2018 and some black businesses are still hiding the fact that they’re black owned.

Some people still instinctively associate crime, aggression and low social status with black individuals. This isn’t the skewed viewpoint of a disgruntled black woman, it’s the finding of study after study. Take, for example, a series of seven US studies published last year. It found that when almost 1000 people were shown colour photographs of the faces of white and black men of equal height and weight, white participants judged the black men to be more harmful than the white men. Elsewhere, research conducted by University of California Los Angeles, involving 1,500 individuals, showed that people automatically associate ‘black’ sounding names like Jamal and Darnell with higher aggressive tendencies and a lower social status than ‘white’ sounding names like Colin or Wyatt – despite knowing nothing about the owner of the name. And a recent US study found that adults view young black girls as less ‘innocent’ than white girls of the same age.

These are a mere drop in an ocean of damning scientific evidence – evidence that demonstrates that black business owners who worry that their race may limit the mass market appeal of their company aren’t paranoid. But is hiding your ethnicity the best way to prevent your race from hindering your business’ success?

Some, like patio business owner Duane Draughon, say yes.