There has been a serious shift in the mindset of Black folks in America today that is leading them down the path of consciously buying Black and that’s fantastic. America is still rife with social injustice, systemic racism and a wealth gap that has us at a significant disadvantage, however, our focus on buying Black, could have a positive impact and push us further to building and fortifying our own communities across the country.
Let’s explore the numbers. The 2019 Annual Business Survey (ABS) has the number of Black or African American owned businesses in America at approximately 124,551 and about 28.5% of those businesses are in the Health Care and Social Assistance sector. Now, ABS only includes businesses with paid employees. Why does that matter? Well employer businesses are likely to make the biggest impact to the community, especially if they are hiring Black people from the community who are in turn circulating their money back into the community. What about the other Black owned businesses? According to data from the Small Business Administration, there are a total of 2.6 million Black owned businesses in the United States, but that number pales in comparison to the 19 million white-owned businesses.
These numbers are not about us against them, but it allows us to see clearer and understand more the importance of supporting, building and investing in more Black owned businesses to create our own sustainable economy. Think about the buying power we currently have, an estimated $1 trillion a year as consumers, according to Nielsen. What if, we redirected our spending to consciously support Black owned businesses? We could affect policy changes, make greater demands on education provided to our children, change the way our communities are policed, bring an end to food desserts in our community, and the list goes on.
Buying Black has to be more than a “woke mindset”, it has to be a way of life. It has to be taught and passed down from generation to generation. Buying Black also has to be directly linked to an entrepreneurial mindset, because ownership increases our strength and gives us greater options. Isn’t that what we want for ourselves and our children – the option to choose which schools they can attend, which house they can buy, what type of business they want to start as opposed to the need to work for a corporation?
There are those who will argue that we don’t have enough options to truly make an impact. To them, I say, then create something to fill that void or refine your search. Did you know we have laundry detergent products, light bulbs, toothbrushes and sneakers all made by Black owned companies? That’s just a small amount of the many products our there we could consume. There are even websites focused on encouraging us to support Black owned businesses; We Buy Black (www.webuyblack.com) is one of those sites. As stated on their website they are “more than a global marketplace for Black owned businesses, we’re a movement to see social and economical justice globally.” That is the power we can attain from consciously investing in and supporting Black owned businesses and entrepreneurs in our communities.
Many of you who have been avid readers and supporters of WhereItzAt know just how important community is to us and how much we value Black owned businesses and entrepreneurs in our community. We will continue to do our part to champion the “Buy Black” movement to ensure it becomes a way of life for us all.