Jews have risen to the top of the pyramid through a sort of evolution and adaptation, and this can be attributed to their strong support system, education, and familial beliefs, etc., not to mention their sudden inclusion into the Euro-white population after World War II by American government; this established certain privileges that added to their financial security. Blacks, during their business boom in pre-Civil War south, displayed those same traits that can be accredited to their affluence during the age.
DIVERGED PATHS OF JEWS AND BLACKS
When reflecting on the brutal and extensive history of the Jews and blacks of America, there is a correlation of racial isolation and bigotry as they have been exploited and persecuted on an open stage where the whole world witnessed. The instant memories we all recall, were times of slavery and colonialism for Africans, who were displaced and disrupted from their native cultures and land by the invasive bombarding of the white men: and recollection provides centuries of captivity, slavery, and genocide that befell Jews all over the world for practically the whole course of their existence. The parallel drawn between these two is evident in the struggle both have had to overcome and still do of current. An illustrative road or track can be imagined as the equivalent to the progression of Jews and blacks throughout the years and what gains have come from their continuance. They, as stated previously, both have been the underdog, marginalized and degraded to less than humans in certain instances. Yet, with time a breakthrough occurred on so many levels including politics, literature, economics, socially, etc. However, in areas such as entrepreneurship, blacks have lagged behind and Jews have surged ahead at a dramatic rate of change, thus creating a diverged road, where blacks and Jews no longer continue on the same trail, but have their own paths left to pave.
Despite making up less than 2% of the adult population, according to Chua and Rubinfeld (2014:SR1), “they[Jews] account for a third of the current Supreme Court; over two-thirds of Tony Award-winning lyricists and composers; and about a third of American Nobel laureates.” It’s apparent that Jews have moved up the ranks to power in high places.
Sadly, blacks are much further behind in these fields, though results show they have pushed through in politics and labor, they still are in absolute last of the minority groups for entrepreneurial success. This makeup of black success is scary considering their common background that blacks still stay at the bottom, though at one point they too had excelled in the entrepreneurial business, while the Jews, whose history is shrouded in oppressive forces, continue to advance further. As of now, “a substantial proportion of black ﬁrms are less successful leading to average outcomes that are worse than for white ﬁrms” (Fairlie and Robb: 2), and Jews are quite opposite, now established in the professional realms with their specialized niches.
1 What has brought on this elevation of power of Jews in these positions?
2 How did blacks fall so far behind Jews in this field of growth?
3 When did this trend begin for Jews, and how have they maintained this position?
4 Why have blacks lost the same fervor of Jews and of their previous self of pre- Civil War?
5 How did the war affect Blacks and Jews?
6 Were there other instances in history where blacks showed a reflective surge of entrepreneurship from the antebellum period?
SPROUTING ROOTS IN ANTEBELLUM SOUTH
Jewish Interaction in the South The black community is where Jews began their start as business entrepreneurs, since at this time they were not considered white with their low socioeconomic status upon arrival and the large number of immigrants flowing into