People have been saying we should support black-owned businesses for years. Which is true; we should. I know that some find it racist, which is just blatant ignorance, and some just don't care. Let me share some numbers with you all. A dollar circulates through the black community for about 6 hours until it goes back into the economy. I'm not going to post how long they circulate in other communities because that shouldn't be our focus. If you really want to know, message me, but I will tell you it's a lot longer than 6 hours. Less than 2 cents of every $1 we (Black people) spend goes to a Black-owned business. The spending power of blacks is $1.1 trillion and rising. So, we have a bunch of money flowing out and not enough staying in.
I just recently started paying attention to who my money was going to. After reading Our Black Yearby Maggie Anderson I was like, “Oh crap! Why am I not doing this???” Why are we not doing this?! Why wouldn't you want to see black communities prosper? Wouldn't you want to show your child, or children in general, that they can have their own successful businesses and they can live in vibrant neighborhoods with more people that look like them? Maybe I'm speaking for myself but I would love to see more black entrepreneurs in my community!
Everyone wants to make money off of black people due to our spending habits but they don't really care about the upkeep of our communities or our well-being. So why do we continue to support businesses that treat us like sh*t? They follow us around the store because they don't trust us even though we're the main reason why they're in business. We get low quality customer service often. We get locked out of high-class jewelry stores like John Henson. They have us arrested when we want to buy a belt in Barney's like Trayon Christian. We get thrown out of department stores for shopping too slow.
So you get a little standoffish when it comes to buying things from a Black business. Why? Some say it's because low quality products but they'll spend their last dime in a dollar store on something that may break in a few days. Others say it's due to a bad experience (please see previous paragraph). You wouldn't swear off of white-owned businesses for these exact reasons. Would you? I'll wait.
Don't give up on all Black businesses due to one experience. There's a black-owned restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio, I'll give them their discretion, with whom I've had a couple bad experiences. Once they gave my friend and I a hard time when we wanted to split a bill that was $27. I was completely irate and do plan on giving them an honest review with the intention of helping them better themselves. I'll give them time to grow and return in the future. But in the meantime, I'll just go to other Black owned restaurants. It's that simple.
Now how is buying black racist? No one says that when Asians mainly shop at their own stores and keep money in their community. What about Hispanic Americans supporting their businesses and people? Maggie Anderson wrote, “Spending your dollars in the Black community leads to strengthening lives, families, schools, and neighborhoods.” Just as it would in other neighborhoods. So again, why is it racist when black people want to support black businesses? When we buy black it gives everyone the chance to see our communities grow and flourish once again. Why wouldn't you want that? People always talk about how dangerous the ghetto is and how our children only aspire to be “thugs”, rappers, singers, athletes, barbers/beauticians, and whoever else they see “getting money.” So wouldn't you want to create an environment where black kids can see themselves as something else like an entrepreneur? Don't be a jerk. Buying Black is not racist.
Starting off won't exactly be easy, or cheap, unless you already know of places you can go. Look for local periodicals that list Black businesses. It's really as simple as Google Searching 'Black owned businesses near me'. If that's too hard check out www.blackpages.com to get you started. We can do this together; we need dedication from each other. Shun the idea of being crabs in a barrel and build each other up. I'm working on compiling a list of online businesses, Black of course, so if you know of any please feel free to share and also keep us up-to-date with your B.o.B. Journey! Don't just be a talker, be a doer.
Check out the link below for The Grio's guide to Buying Black Online: