Our Black Year: One Family's Quest to Buy Black in America's Racially Divided Economy

Our Black Year: One Family's Quest to Buy Black in America's Racially Divided Economy

by Maggie Anderson

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Maggie and John Anderson were successful African American professionals raising two daughters in a tony suburb of Chicago. But they felt uneasy over their good fortune. Most African Americans live in economically starved neighborhoods. Black wealth is about one tenth of white wealth, and black businesses lag behind businesses of all other racial groups in every measure of success. One problem is that black consumers — unlike consumers of other ethnicities — choose not to support black-owned businesses. At the same time, most of the businesses in their communities are owned by outsiders.

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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781610392280
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 05/14/2013
Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,154,755
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

As CEO and cofounder of The Empowerment Experiment Foundation, Maggie Anderson has become the leader of a self-help economics movement that supports quality black businesses and urges consumers, especially other middle and upper class African Americans, to proactively and publicly support them. She has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and CBS Morning News, among many other national television and radio shows. She received her BA from Emory University and her JD and MBA from the University of Chicago. She lives in Oak Park, Illinois, with her husband, John, and their two daughters.

Ted Gregory is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the Chicago Tribune.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

1 "You Have a Blessed Day" 1

2 Canvassing the Community 21

3 Leakage 39

4 A Dose of Reality 51

5 "A Mighty Economic Power" 69

6 The Turbulent Dew 87

7 The Colors of Racism 105

8 The Trouble Is Us 123

9 In the Groove 143

10 Our Problems, Your Solutions 169

11 A Rewired Family 187

Epilogue 203

Acknowledgments 219

Appendix 1 227

Appendix 2 233

Notes 265

Index 279

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