Supporting black businesses has become a goal of many black folks, but could you only “buy black” for an entire year?

That was the aim of one Chicago family who set out to patronize only black businesses for a year.  Maggie Anderson and her family chronicled their quest to “buy black” in the book Our Black Year, which encourages others  to do the same.

Anderson explained why she chose to patronize only black businesses, “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,” she told her local Fox New affiliate. “Those businesses are gone. 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.”

Because Anderson’s hometown of Chicago has the most black businesses in the country, more than 90,000, she thought the experiment would be easy. However, she quickly found out it was more difficult than she thought.

“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.”

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

Anderson hopes her book will not only highlight the benefits to supporting businesses in our own communities, but also serve as a call to action for black consumers to support black-owned businesses.

Do you support black-owned businesses? 

  • TeamSKC

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  • moss

    This is racism. Are we really trying to bring the country together?

  • http://www.blackquarter.com WB

    I started a black business directory 13 years ago while in college. The directory took off and became more than I could handle as a college student. I dropped the site and assumed that someone would take my idea and run with it. 13 years later I see a lot of regional directories but nothing that’s attempting to function on a national level. BlackQuarter.com is launching to provide an online source to quickly locate black businesses. With anything it takes support from everyone to make our businesses a success.

  • Jamillah

    I’m not sure what you are replying to, but if it was in regards to a grocery store Simply Wholesome at 4508 W Slauson Ave
    Los Angeles, CA 90043 (323) 294-2144 is black-owned.

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