Our Black Year
One Family's Quest to Buy Black in America's Racially Divided EconomyBook - 2012
Describes the experience of two successful African American professionals who embarked on a year-long public pledge to “buy black” in an attempt to mobilize the black community but instead found little support and criticism of their efforts.
On January 1, 2009 the Andersons embarked on a year-long public pledge to "buy black." They thought that by taking a stand, the black community would be mobilized to exert its economic might. They thought that by exposing the issues, Americans of all races would see that economically empowering black neighborhoods benefits society as a whole. Instead, blacks refused to support their own, and others condemned their experiment. Drawing on economic research and social history as well as her personal story, Maggie Anderson shows why the black economy continues to suffer and issues a call to action to all of us to do our part to reverse this trend.
Describes the experience of two successful African American professionals who embarked on a year-long public pledge to only buy from Black-owned businesses in an attempt to mobilize the black community but instead found little support and criticism of their efforts.
On January 1, 2009, Maggie and John Anderson, a successful African American couple raising two daughters in a Chicago suburb, engaged in a 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. Maggie 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, and argues that the social crises that disproportionately impact Black people and underserved Black neighborhoods could be countered through "conscious consumerism"--supporting businesses that empower struggling communities. At once a personal journey and an investigation into the causes of a persistent economic suffering, this is a hard-hitting call to action to close a gaping hole in the American economy--one purchase at a time.--From publisher description.