I’m not radical, militant, or an activist. However, I heard some staggering statistics recently that have challenged me to a higher level of conscientious thought. By sharing with you, my hope is you will think a bit deeper as well.
Where do you spend your money? This is the question to ponder as you continue reading this article.
Maggie Anderson spoke at a Town Hall meeting in my city not long ago. She shared with the audience the journey she and her family went on for a year. What Mrs. Anderson and her family did took courage, sacrifice, dedication, and persistence. For an entire year, they only spent their money with Black-owned businesses. She later wrote a book about it entitled “Our Black Year”.
The statistics she generously doled out in her presentation were eye-opening, to say the least. To hear about all of the money Blacks spend with non-Black businesses and hear details on how little business non-Black companies do with Black businesses is simply sad. Blacks are helping to build empires and legacies for a lot of people but not enough for our own.
I am not suggesting anyone do what Mrs. Anderson and her family did. That is the utmost of personal choice. I am saying and strongly suggesting, however, that we support our Black-owned businesses as much as we can. I think it is our duty if we truly desire to see our people thrive. When one of us comes up a little, we all come up a little.
Making small changes collectively as a people can and will make a long-lasting difference. Making a difference may not always be convenient so we have to be willing to sacrifice for the greater good once in awhile.
Waiting until Black History month in February to write about this would not have been prudent. Too many of our businesses will close their doors between now and then without our help. Above and beyond that, I don’t think this is a matter to focus on just once a year when we are more culturally aware. The goal is to encourage year-round awareness with intentional changes in our spending.
Black people own:
Tax preparations companies
Assisted living facilities
Group homes for girls
Black people are:
Event and Meeting Planners
Movie Directors & Producers
Real estate agents
Everyone one of these professions/businesses has been mentioned because I know them personally. Take a good look in your circle. Who could you do a little more business with than you do now to help ensure the legacy they are trying to leave behind will be successful? Giving recommendations is also a great way to support Black-owned businesses.
Owning your own business is truly a labor of love because it certainly is not easy. Being an employee is usually much easier and less stressful than being an employer. Those who take the leap and start their own businesses do it because they are striving to live the ultimate American dream. The month of September begins with Americans celebrating Labor Day. I would love to see all of us make a more concerted effort, with the onset of this month, to support more Black-owned businesses. Let their labor of love not be in vain.
This article is about economic empowerment and awareness within a culture that needs a little wake-up call. That’s it.