The Gospel of Equity

A new generation of black leaders is preaching a monetary message: Get capital and build wealth

In Los Angeles, where convenience stores are as common as palm trees, the opening of yet another one would normally attract little attention. But in the burned-out zones of South Central, where the riots began just over a year ago, the grand opening of the Mom & Pop community convenience store was seen as a major event.

The excitement wasn't just because a new business had sprung up where hundreds were destroyed last spring. It was because this particular store is financed, owned and operated by African Americans. That should not seem surprising in a predominantly black neighborhood, but in fact...

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