Creating an interface: Aiding entrepreneurial success via critical pedagogy and insights from African-American management history

Purpose This paper, via the use of management and entrepreneurial philosophies from Charles Clinton Spaulding, aims to advocate the integration of African-American Entrepreneurship and Management History into the business curriculum at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) as well as predominantly white institutions (PWIs). Along with this curriculum update, the use of critical pedagogy as a form of critical thinking is also recommended to complement the learning process. Design/methodology/approach Articles from early and recent newspapers, magazines, journals and books were examined and synthesised to clarify how curriculum modification and critical pedagogy could aid in increased entrepreneurial success. Findings The paper concludes with a framework that demonstrates the curriculum interface, including Spaulding’s insights and critical pedagogy, to connect black students to entrepreneurial success. Originality/value Although African-Americans surpass Caucasian-Americans in entrepreneurial attempts, blacks lag behind whites in entrepreneurial success. A reason for their higher failure rate is a lack of exposure to positive images who are also black. Integrating African-American Entrepreneurship and Management History into the business curriculum will help ensure that these positive images are sufficiently introduced and explored as a source of learning. Critical pedagogy is also endorsed as a complementary strategy to aid learning, as it is associated with processes that deviate from traditional instruction that often ignores student diversity, to facilitate the expansion of the mind as well as social transformation.