On Thursday’s Glenn Beck Program, syndicated columnist and political commentator Star Parker filled in for Glenn and asked: What can be done to best remedy the challenges facing the black community in America today?

Star was joined by Marc Little, a lawyer and author of The Prodigal Republican, Texas state Representative Scott Turner, Katrina Pierson of the Dallas Tea Party, and Oklahoma Speak of the House T.W. Shannon. Each of the guests presented their own stories, and how they came to be black conservatives, before plunging into a discussion of the economic issues facing the community.

While each of the panelists is now proud to identify as a conservative, their paths to conservatism were, in many cases, long and winding. They share their remarkable stories in the clip below:

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The program focused on topics like education, culture, and the economy. “I’m wondering about black mobility and prosperity,” Star said. “There must be something that can be done about African Americans’ economic prospects and progress. What do we do to brighten this? Is there an opportunity for personal retirement accounts and social security? Would that help at all?”

Despite his current role in the Texas legislature, Rep. T.W. Shannon was adamant that black economic growth will not come from the government. “The first thing is, you don’t do it from a government standpoint,” he said. “You have to first recognize what has worked for the rest of the country, for the rest of the world. The system that has gotten more people out of generational poverty has been our system of promoting job growth, the free market system. Start a business. We have too many African Americans working for government, frankly.”

Beyond the jobs issue, Marc Little looked at confounding factors like infants born out of wedlock

Marc Little added that there are several other factors contributing to the economic situation confronting black Americans, citing in particular the rate at which infants are being born out of wedlock.“The first leader is in the home,” Star explained. “The first leader is the dad, an example to the family to get up to put his hands to do something.  So I’m wondering now again, can we reverse this trend? Who is going to be out there to say, ‘Hey, you guys, take some risks,’ without first working on this home problem?”

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