Top Black Donors Emerge as New Force

Business leaders see parallel of their own rise in Obama
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2008 7:27 AM CDT
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, foreground, leave St. Marks United Church of Christ after a church services in Lebanon, Pa., Sunday, April 20, 2008.    (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama's rise to the top of the Democratic Party has a special resonance for one group: African-American business leaders who, like the candidate, were among the first blacks to enter into all-white industries. As the New York Times reports, black lawyers, bankers, and corporate titans see in Obama an echo of their own climbs—and are expressing their excitement by raising millions for the campaign.

Obama's top fundraising circle includes 57 African-Americans, each of whom has committed to raising $250,000 from their business networks. And while most of them are new to Democratic fundraising, they stand to become a major force in the party—several have begun raising funds for politicians who endorsed Obama early in the campaign.