The Black Paper Volume 1 Discusses the Varying Definitions of Wealth and Success Within the Black Diaspora

Compiling the Data

Temeka Stanley is the founding editor and contributing writer of “The Black Paper Volume 1”, a short composition of data and information based on the insights of the global Black community’s idea of wealth and success. The study was conducted through ENC Solutions, a business consulting agency.

The Black Journal is a first-of-its-kind project that seeks to broadcast the complex and nuanced views of the Black population on success attainment. The data used in the six-page writing was taken from the responses of 120 participants of African descent from around the world.

“Most businesses are small, as we know sometimes they don’t have access to information or data on how they can make decisions and better serve their stakeholders, employees, and customers,” said Stanely. “So I thought it would be a great opportunity to create a space where that information is available to people of color.”

The research began in 2023 and was written with the help of Tolulope Alaye, Abdullahi Olaniyan, and Stanley’s son Bronton Stanley.

They are currently looking for participants for volume two which is expected to be released in the fourth quarter of this year. The second edition will focus on a specific region or group of people in the Black diaspora to get more specific data on what success and wealth mean to specific cultural groups.

The Black Paper Volume 1 is now available to be downloaded. (Picture by Envato)
The Black Paper Volume 1 is now available to be downloaded. (Picture by Envato)

The Findings

According to the study, The Black Paper is a tool for individual and collective exploration, not a definitive definition of wealth and success.

On the topic of education, 45% disagreed with the statement that if they are college-educated more people will respect them. Additionally, 37% disagreed with the statement that the more degrees that they hold, the more they can secure career success. Out of the total participants, 45% of respondents hold a bachelor’s degree, 27% hold a high school diploma, 21% hold a master’s degree, 5% hold a doctorate and 1% hold a high school education or less.

“I think this process taught me not to come with too many assumptions,” said Stanley. “We are making progress. The story isn’t so bleak as we perceive it and there are more opportunities to continue to have these papers and explore other topics.”

In terms of success and opportunity, 46% of participants agree that it is mental tenacity or the mindset of an individual that determines success. When it came down to what determined success 55% agreed that their freedom was a sign, and 75% agreed that their freedom and integrity were indicators of success. 

The Black Paper also covered career, networking, and policy in which 50% of participants agreed that non-African countries do not have the best business practices, policies, and procedures.

The Start of Something Great 

The journal was created as a counterpart of The White Pages, an online directory service, fraud screening, background checks, and identity verification for consumers and businesses. They were created in 1997. The Black Paper serves as a comprehensive study and tool for those looking to learn more about Black-owned businesses and industries.

“It’s an exploration. It’s something to make you ask questions and ask yourself where do you fit in the journey of the forward process. It is supposed to be a paper that gathers people together to ask questions and leave things open-ended to decide where you sit in contributing to the collective organization and ask where your values lie.”

– Temeka Stanley

The study implores the reader to look within themselves for their answers to questions and to contextualize the historical nuances that go into the response.

To read “The Black Papers Volume 1” click here.

Maria Peralta-Arellano is a Milwaukee-native journalist who focuses on sharing news from her local communities. She dedicates her work to accessibility and producing bilingual coverage focused on arts, culture, and politics. She looks to explore her community through a journalistic and creative lens.

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