Chicago-Area Family ‘Buys Black’ for One Year, Publishes Experience in ‘Our Black Year’

Listen Siblings, I come in peace,

“Yes, there were some black businesses, but they are all concentrated in the stereotypical black industries: soul food restaurants, barber shops, braiding salons.  We could not find those basic things that every community needs to survive: a grocery store, dry cleaner, department store, general merchandise, mom and pop shops.” — Maggie Anderson on Chicago’s West Side.

Today’s article is worth sharing with every African. It cites the following articles:

[1] This is America: The Dependent African–CHANGEOur Conditions
[2] Maroon and Build For Self A Need

In Chicago, we have seen that Africans are very dependent on Europeans for employment[1]. This makes sense because Europeans brought Africans into America in order to employ us. However, this fact of life doesn’t explain the full gamut of why Africans have no independent, prosperous communities in, say, Brooklyn.

Maggie Anderson describes herself as “Middle-Class.” She lives in a Chicago suburb and until recently mostly patronized that European community. At one point, she decided to patronize strictly African businesses, knowing that Chicago had the most African businesses in the country: over 90,000. She found that she could not patronize a grocery store, a department store, a mom and pop shop and after four months only found one children’s clothing store. This sounds like two-million Africans New York City to me.

In “Maroon and Build For Self,”[2] a diligent student can study the poem entitled “Peace,” to understand this problem deeply. In short, this is deliberate. Below is the relevant article of Maggie Anderson’s story; also a video where an African man and a European woman interview Maggie Anderson. It should make you laugh to see this European woman pretend like its news that her people screw over our people.

Africans do something for no one else will do something for you! We can create independent, prosperous African communities when our news frequently reminds us. Subscribe your loved ones to African Blood Siblings.  Lend a hand to building African Blood Siblings Community Centers.  Write for information.  Subscribe, share, love.

Video

http://www.myfoxchicago.com/video/videoplayer.swf?dppversion=11212

Chicago-Area Family ‘Buys Black’ for One Year, Publishes Experience in ‘Our Black Year': MyFoxCHICAGO.com

Article:

Chicago-Area Family ‘Buys Black’ for One Year, Publishes Experience in ‘Our Black Year’

Updated: Thursday, 01 Mar 2012, 11:20 AM CST
Published : Thursday, 01 Mar 2012, 10:44 AM CST

FOX Chicago News

Chicago – A local mom has been making headlines with her family’s experiment to “buy black”, supporting only African-American-owned businesses, for a full year. Maggie Anderson of Oak Park has written about her family’s experience in a new book, Our Black Year.

The book is a call to action, Anderson said, in which she exposes the issues troubling the black economy.

“This came out of a conversation that happens among a lot of African-American middle class households. We remember a time when we didn’t have these problems because we had local businesses that kept our communities strong. Those businesses are gone,” Anderson said. “We figured maybe if we did something extreme to bring that issue into the national dialogue, we can get folks to start supporting the few great businesses that we do have and maybe inspire economic empowerment.”

Anderson said Chicago has the most black-owned businesses in the country, more than 90,000 of them, so they thought the experiment would just involve spending less money in their suburb of Oak Park and more in the communities they wanted to empower.

“What we found was when we went to the West Side, yes, there were some black businesses, but they are all concentrated in the stereotypical black industries: soul food restaurants, barber shops, braiding salons,” Anderson said. “We could not find those basic things that every community needs to survive: a grocery store, dry cleaner, department store, general merchandise, mom and pop shops.”

Even more troubling, Anderson said, was that none of the businesses were owned by people from the community, and most of them didn’t employ people from the community, either.

“We have all these consumers with hard-earned wealth spending money at businesses, and that money exits the community and goes to empower other people’s communities when our communities need that money,” Anderson said.

The experiment wasn’t a total bust, though, according to Anderson. They did find businesses worth supporting and Anderson hopes they can help get the word out about them.

Anderson said the first fourth months of the year, she couldn’t find a children’s clothing store with a black owner, so she couldn’t get new clothes for her kids. She finally found an excellent store in Bronzeville,

“This place was perfect. All kind of cute clothing, decorated with children’s stuff. She was a community leader employed in the community. She’s gone. Our call to action is let’s support Joslyn and Jordan’s Closets. Really support her. Maybe she can be the next Children’s Place. That’s never going to happen if the community doesn’t support her first,” Anderson said.

Now that her year is complete and the book is out, Anderson said she is optimistic about its impact. She said the Urban League and chambers of commerce from across the country have worked with their experiment, and studies have been done to back up their anecdotal research with numbers.

“It’s turning into a movement,” Anderson said.

A reading man and woman is a ready man and woman, but a writing man and woman is exact.

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