On January 1, 2009, Maggie and John Anderson, a successful African American couple raising two daughters in a suburb of Chicago, engaged in a highly publicized social experiment to reinvest in the Black community and buy from only Black-owned businesses for a year. Throughout that time the Andersons combed Chicago in search of a Black-owned supermarket, dry cleaner, gas station, pharmacy, and clothing store. Our Black Year is the story of what they learned.
In this powerful new book, Maggie Anderson examines the commercial exploitation of Black neighborhoods through the lens of her year supporting Black-owned businesses. She discovers that Black businesses lag behind businesses of all other racial and ethnic groups in every measure of success. In the Asian community, a dollar circulates among local shop owners, banks and business professionals for up to twenty-eight days. In the Jewish community, a dollar circulates for nineteen days. In the African American community, a dollar is gone within six hours.
Anderson argues that the social crises that disproportionately impact Black people and underserved Black neighborhoods could be countered through "conscious consumerism" -- Anderson's phrase for supporting businesses that empower struggling communities. She urges consumers to seek and support Black-owned businesses and corporate America, especially those firms that thrive on Black consumers, to involve more Black firms in their supply chains, stock products from Black companies, and engage more Black francshisees, suppliers, dealers, and vendors. At once a personal journey and an investigation into the causes of a persistent economic suffering, Our Black Year is a hard-hitting call to action to close a gaping hole in the American economy -- one purchase at a time.
Our Black Year
Our Family's Quest to Buyb Black in America's Racially Divided Economy
by Maggie Anderson
Publisher: Public Affairs (Perseus Books)
Publication Date: February 2012
Format: Hardcover, 298
pages, 6.5" x 9.75"
Book Type: New