I’m a black CEO: Discounted on Wall Street because of my skin color.
Eddie C. Brown is the founder, chairman, chief executive and senior portfolio manager of Brown Capital.
I was raised in the Jim Crow South, when the railroad tracks separated whites from blacks and African Americans were considered second-class citizens. Raised by common laborers who worked hard in Florida’s citrus groves, I had my world widened by weekend excursions to Orlando, where seeing white men in suits and ties behind desks left an impression. It was there where possibility was seeded.
I began my investment career as the first African American portfolio manager at T. Rowe Price in 1973, not because of some quota or the good graces of white executives, but because the meritocratic model made me visible and managers were supportive. After 10 years in the business, I became an entrepreneur.
My Comments: I found Mr. Brown’s piece in the Washington Post to be very insightful, timely and important reading for African Americans still trying to eek out a piece of the American dream.