It's noted by Riley that Blacks have followed the model of the Irish - and ironically in cities where they hold the most sway they helped to restrict Blacks the most. The Irish mostly attained political power and just as happened with Blacks who followed the same path the Irish also struggled economically. That is they didn't make the same amount of gains that other ethnic groups for example Germans, Jews, or Italians made economically.
That is in exchanging political power for economic power you didn't start any businesses. No banks, restaurants, entertainment, retail, etc to ensure that there are jobs for those in those particular communities. The bread and butter is political power, and I would never dismiss it's importance however money and economic power is as important as being about to rouse people to vote. It's as important as supporting a member of your community when it's time for an election.
This could be a question is a vocal politically active community as important as a not very politically active community that has some economic might? Perhaps you need a bit of both, not more one or the other.
Other examples cited the police, what gets the attention in the news is a white police department with a white police chief and a Black just so happens to have been mistreated - or worse still killed - as a result of encounter. So having Blacks in a police department should all but eliminate these unfortunate consequences, however, Riley notes this didn't happen in Baltimore. The police chief is Black, the mayor is Black, the city council is Black, and some of those officers involved in the death of a Black person in custody were also Black. I suppose the presence of Blacks doesn't really guarantee anything in the long run, and of course if we expect different treatment then our Black public officials should be held accountable.
Another point are the examples of Asian Americas - whether or not they're Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian or Pakistani - it's safe to say many of them have economic power. They have opened businesses in their communities or perhaps in other communities such as retail, banks, restaurants, etc. We don't know many who are in positions of political power. It's hard to name one though here in Chicago we have an Ameya Pawar who is an alderman on the Chicago city council. And in the last few years in a remap of Chicago city council wards the Asian community were keen on getting a ward for their group drawn onto a map.
My deal in writing this is to say that perhaps amongst those Black politicians for whom power evidently is very important there needs to be an emphasis on business or economic development. It's OK to want to help the disadvantaged, but helping them is a small piece of the puzzle as far as true Black empowerment.