African Americans are one of the largest consumer groups on the planet. With a willingness to "stunt" and "front", we will spend boat loads of cash to impress our peers or fulfill the need to boost our confidence and self image. A fresh pair of Jordans, a Gucci belt, designer clothes, some bling, and we are ready to pop bottles and throw money in the club.
It's been calculated that Black people have roughly 2 trillion dollars in spending power with the number increasing annually. A trillion dollars is a great deal of money, and the Black dollar supports many industries. The problem is the use of the word "Power" in conjunction with Black spending. The correct term which should be used is "Habits".
"Black spending power" is a phrase created to ease the minds of the black consumer and offer a false sense of leverage. As long as Black people believe that their dollars give them a voice, they will continue to consume and line the pockets of the wealthy people that could care less about the issues that plague the Black community. Every time the Black community feels disrespected or violated, the "one day boycott" on spending is the go-to strategy that seems to pacify the anger and uproar. How effective is this strategy? Well let's take a look back and analyze the data. With boycotts of H&M, Gucci, and several other brands, the Black boycott has been ineffective. The businesses don't lose sales, they just shift sales. Rather than making the daily quota due to the boycott, an alternate day exceeds the sales quota because the consumers rather than, not buy at all, they just choose to not buy on a different day. Has it created any changes within the companies boycotted? Probably not. What changes have these boycotts created in our society to foster change? None at all.
Let's look at the definition of power. Power is defined as the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events. As the Black boycotts have not directed or influenced the change of behavior of the luxury brands and retail giants that we faithfully support, nor has it had an impact on the way society treats us. I would conclude that we have no spending power.
Though we may not presently have "spending power", we do have the potential to realize and obtain this power. The one language that America and the rest of the world speaks or understands is money. Collectively we have the money, a few trillion combined, but we are not speaking the language correctly. When money is spent purposefully to obtain a calculated result, two things are happening. The first is our money will be sending a clear message, and as we obtain the desired results of our spending we will begin to realize and show our power.
I propose a simple breakdown of purposeful spending and how it will translate into power. First step involves supporting Black owned businesses, brands, and designers. Think for a minute about the impact of supporting our brother and sisters in business. We would be able to create new Black billionaires and millionaires by simply replacing brands such as Gucci with a Black designer. Not only would we create wealth among our people, but with months and maybe years of the absence of the Black dollar, many major companies would change the way they view and treat the Black consumer. As we create more Black millionaires and Billionaires we would in turn be creating more opportunities for ourselves, by becoming self sufficient, self serving, and self funded. More wealthy Black people translates into more influence politically as well. As wealthy people own more property and businesses, one benefit for the community is the tax proceeds. These proceeds are used to pay the salaries of the elected officials and police officers which results in more awareness to our needs.
So let's stop boycotting and start transferring. Start transferring the majority of your spending with Black businesses. Start the reversal of our money from leaving the hood into transforming the hood into the neighborhoods our grandparents grew up in. Stop using white standards and brands to confirm our success and create our own levels using Black creativity. Stop worrying about who else is going to participate, just do "YOUR PART" to make it happen. Make your start today by searching for a Black owned business. click here
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