Solving Black Unemployment in America

Monday, October 17, 2011

The national unemployment level continues to hover around 9 percent. But among African-Americans, that number shoots up to about 16 percent. On Friday’s program The Takeaway spoke with Robert Johnson, founder of BET and CEO or RLJ Companies. Johnson, who was the first African-American to become a billionaire, has a new idea for how to get black Americans out of poverty.

The "RLJ rule" would work something like the "Rooney rule" does in professional football franchises. Johnson explained:

“If corporate America were to interview African-Americans when they’re hiring a VP and above in a corporation, and also to interview minority companies when you’re looking for new suppliers in small businesses, it would in my opinion change the number of African-Americans that were employed at the higher eschelons of corporate America and those African Americans would succeed.”  

To discuss how realistic the RLJ Rule would be in turning back the tide of black unemployment The Takeaway speaks to Kai Wright, editor of, and Richard Copeland, founder and owner of THOR Construction Companies, the country's largest African-American-owned construction company.


Richard Copeland and Kai Wright

Produced by:

Hsi-Chang Lin

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