No, this is not another attempt to take a shot at Jay Z, who was surprisingly demonized in the New York press for his relationship with the retail store Barneys, after 2 high profile incidents of young Black people being arrested for buying expensive items. Not only did Jay Z respond with a written statement, he also reworked his Barneys deal so his foundation receives 100% of all sales, plus according to him, he’ll have, “full power to recommend, review and revise policies and guidelines moving forward.” I wonder if we realize that we have the power collectively to harm stores like Barneys and Macy’s more than Jay Z ever could?
According to Black Enterprise Magazine, the buying power of African-Americans is expected to reach 1.1 trillion dollars by 2015. That’s a Trilli y’all! The article also states, “the population of African-American consumers growth outpaces the rest of the population by 30 percent.” Just imagine what would happen to Corporate America if we decided to stop spending it in places we weren’t wanted. Or better yet, think about how different our communities would look if we spent even have that on qualified Black businesses.
Pooling Black dollars has been the topic recently, in a series of lectures by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. According to Minster Farrakhan, if 16 million Black wage earners contributed just 5 cents a day, in one year we could raise $291 million dollars. He also unveiled the website www.economicblueprint.org which takes donations and has vowed transparency, similar to when he ordered a independent audit of the Million Man March.
I’m with Minister Farrakhan on this one. We should stop trying to pressure wealthy Black celebrities to spend their money where we think they should. Together, we have the financial resources to remake our worst neighborhoods, if we spend and save properly. So, where are you gonna go to shop this Friday? Make sure the retailer has you best interest at heart or you might end up in handcuffs.