December 25, 2008

Could You 'Buy Black' For a Year?

Our country is in the midst of an economic crisis. One response ... demonstrated by the debate over the auto industry bailout ... is that we should 'Buy American'. Nothing radical about the idea. The concept is simple and effective. Spend discretionary funds in your own community in order to climb out of an economic downturn.

Can we do the same thing in the Black community? Can we recognize that the 20% unemployment in our community is a symptom of an economic crisis? Do we have the strength of mind and purpose to focus the 'Buy American' response into a more targeted 'Buy Black' campaign?

We have plenty of income in the Black community ... but, our inability to keep more than 5% of our spending with Black-owned businesses means that we have very little wealth in the Black community. Not surprising. If I give you 95 cents out of every dollar that I earn ... I'll be poor and you will be rich. The Black community gives 95 cents of every dollar to white-owned businesses. We are poor. They are rich.

One family in Chicago ... the Andersons ... plans to flip the script. For the Ebony Experiment, the Anderson Family publicly commits to exclusively ‘Buy Black’ for one year. They will live their lives as they normally do, except that each time they make an expenditure – from consumer goods to professional services to real estate and travel – they will make an exhaustive attempt to utilize Black businesses and Black professionals. In addition to actual new purchases, the Andersons will endeavor to convert any standing contracts (e.g. loans, bills, subscriptions, etc.) to adhere to their 'Buy Black' pledge.

Are you willing to support this effort? Can you find ways to 'Buy Black' in the coming weeks and months? Ken Bridges advocated for internal reparations ... and the Andersons appear to be doing it on a family level.

Please share your village voice on the 'Buy Black' concept. Will it work?

21 comments:

Revvy Rev said...

Buying Black certainly will provide economic empowerment for our community and lessen our dependency on governmental benevolence if it is sustained. In spite of the negative stories that we hear concerning black businesses we must find a way to support our businesses just as others support theirs.

Miriam said...

I read about this. Its pretty exciting and I plan on following their website.

Now seems good timing for rebuilding & supporting the company of one's choice.

Miriam said...

off topic: I see you and WAOD blog accepting donations. You need money to keep up a blog?


Thanks.

Villager said...

Revvy Rev - I agree. 'Buy Black' is a conscious decision that we can make to improve our community. It is difficult to do ... but, I agree that we need to move in that direction.

Miriam - It will be interesting to see how this family does. Anything that helps us to think constructively is important.

re: Chip-In widget: There is time involved in keeping a blog up-to-date. There is value for time. There are some widgets and other expenses associated with blogging. Anyhow, it ain't working out for this blog. My goal is to raise $100 per month or $25 per week or $5 per day. So far, we have raised a total of zero dollars (smile)...

Symphony said...

www.usebobo.com is a site lists Black owned Black operated (bobo) businesses by state (and city). Obviously it doesn't have all the businesses but its a start and hopefully businesses will add their names to the site.

Worth a shot to see if something is in your area.

Villager said...

Symphony - I hope you are enjoying your Christmas holiday in Florida! Thank you very much for this USEBOBO.com tip. I had not heard of them before. I will share the information in a post so that more of my blog readers are aware of their directory as well...

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

just wanna say happy nappy xmas

Brian - Openentrance.com said...

I doubt that it will work because there are not any good resources that identify black businesses. All of the sites that have black business listings only have a handful of listings, therefore, making it almost useless.

This type of effort will always struggle until we have a really good way to identify black businesses.

Villager said...

Raw Dawg - Merry Christmas back atcha! You're an entrepreneur and business owner. What do you think about the 'Buy Black' concept?

Brian - Would you care to test out your theory? You live in the Columbus OH area as I recall. Name a product or service you plan on using in the next 30 days. Let's see if we can find a Black-owned business where you can purchase that product or service. Game?

Words For Hire said...

This is a movement long past due. Other communities support and sustain one another while "we" draw lines of separation. We justify it by the poor performance or service of black businesses yet will continue to patronize stores in which prices are higher than average, we are followed by security, sold lower quality goods (toxic, outdated, knock-offs, etc) and treated like an unwelcome guest. If we have an issue with service and performance then why not seek to educate and raise the bar?

Villager said...

Words for Hire - Amen! I hope that each of us takes up this challenge on a personal level. I will try to do my best to keep discussing the issue on this blog over the coming weeks and months...

msladydeborah said...

Hotep Villager,

I am down with the idea. On this year's "Black Friday" I advocated that we spend our dollars within our community or with black vendors.

It would be on point and on time to start a national campaign to support black businesses. Especially since the economy is in a hot mess!

We need to realize that if we don't stop acting like crabs in the barrel we will all pay the cost for non-support.

Villager said...

Lady D - It begins with each of us. I encourage you to share the word with your blog readers. We simply need to THINK before we spend our precious dollar bills...

Brian - Openentrance.com said...

That's a deal.

In the next few days I am looking to purchase a digital voice recorder. I want one with Dragon Naturally Speaking software included so that I can transcribe my recording. Trying to take advantage of time in the car. I have priced them on Ebay and Best Buy, but I will look around to see what I can find to support the cause.

Villager said...

Brian - Digital Voice Recorder for Brian (Open Entrance)

SjP said...

I think this is a great idea and long over due. I'm going to do my part in helping BOBs. It will not only help US - but also show the power of OUR dollar!

Villager said...

SjP - I encourage you to share the concept with your blog readers. I'm convinced that we have to each be more conscious of how we spend our money. It may be more difficult ... but, we have to make the effort to 'Buy Black' whenever possible...

Tariq Nelson said...

The only thing that I find sad about it is that we need a 'movement' to get it going. Every other ethnic group does it because it is common sense. We have to be prodded to do it.

Nonetheless, I am glad to see this and I hope that it works

Villager said...

Tariq - I understand the sadness ... however, we no longer can afford it. We need to get busy to fix the economy in the Black community. We can't wait on Obama or his team. We have to make individual conscious choices. I hope that you will share this concept with your blog readers. Let's keep seeking solutions to the problems that plague our community...

lhenry said...

This is wonderful. I had to email them in the hopes of possibly showing their story and my social network, Black Business Women online. BBWO has over 5,000 women striving to build their own black businesses, this story is truly motivation and inspiration! - LaShanda

Villager said...

Sis. Henry - I hope you make the connection with them. Thank you for sharing your village voice with us this morning...