• Putting $1.1 Trillion Of Black Spending Power To Good Use.

    With a buying power of nearly $1 trillion annually, if African-Americans were a country, they'd be the 16th largest country in the world.

    The number of African-American households earning $75,000 or higher grew by almost 64%, a rate close to 12% greater than the change in the overall population's earning between 2000 and 2009. This continued growth in affluence, social influence and household income will continue to impact the community's economic power.

    African-Americans make more shopping trips than all other groups, but spend less money per trip. African-Americans in higher income brackets, also spend 300% more in higher-end retail grocers more than any other high income household.

    Black people have no idea how much economic power they wield and how they can literally shape this country's trajectory by putting it to good use. One of the most depressing observations I've made concerning black folks' spending habits is how we, as a community and as a people, tend not to support our own centers of economic activity to the extent we support others. Black-owned and operated businesses are few and far between, and they often don't last long for both a lack of support and this odd expectation that instead of conducting business/consumer translations like others, we deserve "the hookup" based on ethnic kinship. What's left are Arab and Indian-owned "quik-marts," Korean hair supply shops, fast-food joints with black staffing but non-black ownership and the ubiquitous title loan shops run by whites.

    We also suffer from a bit of the "white man's ice is colder" thought pattern, leading us to believe that our own entrepreneurial efforts are not good enough and only the products and services rendered by other people are good, in a sense. It's something that will likely take a generation or more of positive reinforcement and mindset change to undo.

    Generally speaking, instead of spending our hard-earned dollars with other people, where seeing the returns from such economic activity back to our communities is a faint and distance chance, why not start our own businesses and spend with our own people? That way, we can reinvest in our own communities, instead of relying on others to return the money we've given them in consumer transactions in the form of positive socioeconomic improvements.