I’m not “Black enough” for Inc. Magazine
Brian Brackeen

Thanks for sharing this! I, for one, and really bummed they didn’t follow through with your story as it sounds like one that I’d love to read—expressly as a counter-point to the narrative they were going for.

It seems like one of the biggest problems with this type of media coverage is an attempt to fit all people of a certain demographic into the same box, when the reality is that everyone’s experience is so different.

I’m a White male tech entrepreneur, which leads people to assume a lot of things about me, some true, many not. I didn’t come from wealth, didn’t attend a fancy university, I have a degree in vocal jazz of all things, and I spent the good part of my early career working in small marketing firms. My first startup and software experience was the company I founded.

When I tried to raise VC money, I was unable to convince anyone to invest in me—most likely because I didn’t fit in their demographic box. Even though I was a White male with a profitable, growing business that went on to be acquired for millions a couple years later, I didn’t “look the part” enough.

The really sad thing about this kind of profiling is that it promotes a sense of “otherness”—the narrative I’m supposed to buy in to is that because your skin is darker than mine, we must come from radically different backgrounds. Sure, that could be true, but in our particular case, I’m pretty sure I have more in common with you than with most people.

Thanks again for sharing—hopefully more people will think twice before blindly stereotyping POC after reading this.

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