In recent weeks on my radio program several guests have recommend that people of African Ancestry buy from businesses owned by people who look like them, or should I say look like us?
Bob Law proposes people of color should not but from companies or stores that do not employ Black people. He said if radio stations, TV stations and social media targeting the Black community supported this idea it would help not only Black businesses but the Black consumer as well.
Total spending over the four-day weekend following Thanksgiving 2011 reached a record $52.4 billion, up 16% from $45 billion last year, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation. It is a busy shopping day and is a holiday in some states. How many of those dollars were yours?
The State of the African-American Consumer Report found that black buying power is projected to reach $1.1 trillion by 2015. The study, which focuses on black spending, media habits and consumer trends, reported an increase in the amount of blacks attending college or earning a degree to 44 percent for men and 53 percent for women. It also found an increase in the number of African American households earning $75,000 or higher by almost 64 percent. My question is who benefits?
According to Target Market, a company that tracks Black consumer spending, African Americans spend a significant amount of their income on depreciable products, and among the favorite purchases are cars and liquor.
We must realize also that there are many different communities of Black folks in America. We have separate and distinct religions and dissimilar ways of life. While many are Christians, numerous are practicing Muslims, Bahia and other organized beliefs and worships.
We are also separated by social customs and health practices. There is a great number of Blacks from African countries, the West Indies, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Jamaica. However the largest parts are the descendants of slaves. Should we expect them to feel the same about buying Black? Should they celebrate Christmas and Kwanzaa? Will you?
According to a Chicago Book Essay report, “Too often, companies don’t realize the inherent differences of our community, are not aware of the market size impact and have not optimized efforts to develop messages beyond those that coincide with Black History Month,” said Cloves Campbell.
Dr. Maulana Karenga, the creator of Kwanzaa was also a guest recently on my radio program. He reminds us that Kwanzaa is a weeklong celebration held in the United States honoring universal African American Heritage and culture, observed from December 26 to January 1 each year. It was first celebrated in 1966–1967.
Karenga said his goal was to "give Blacks an alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society.
Well, you now have an alternative, either to buy Christmas gifts, Kwanzaa gifts or both. But where will those profits be in January? Whose businesses will prosper and whose neighborhoods will benefit from your dollars? Will your children have a meaningful celebration? It is just a question.
Please listen the Bernie Hayes radio program Monday through Friday at 7am and 4 pm on WGNU-920 AM, or live on the Web @ www.wgnu920am.com.
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Be Ever Wonderful!