Why should I buy black? On May 22, 2020 responding to a question posed by the show’s co-host, Charlamagne of the “Breakfast Club” Joe Biden made the statement “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black” (CNN.com). Joe Biden statement resonates with me and should resound with you, because it appears that his assumption is that typically black voters vote democratic regardless of who is running and what issues they stand on. I hope this is not the case for you.
Nevertheless, whether black people vote democratic, republican, or independent, it does not matter if we cast our votes without making any demands. Though we protest in the streets saying “Black Lives Matter” what political candidate has set down at the table and said how can we fix this. I hear the words “Vote”, “Vote”, Vote”. Surely, our votes will most likely put a democratic candidate in office, but what campaign promises have either of the candidates made to outright support the issues black people face in America.
I venture to say, the reason why those in public office do not hear our rage, our outcries that “Black Lives Matter” is we are not united in our efforts. The bus boycott of the 1960s was a united effort that cause a deep economic impact. If we expected our political leaders, racists though they may be, to take action, it will require that we take actions similar to the 1960s bus boycott.
Black consumers have a $1.3 trillion annual buying power. We are 47.8 million strong and we continue to ‘outpace spending nationally’ according to Cheryl Grace, Nielsen’s Senior Vice President of Community Alliances and Consumer Engagement and co-creator of the DIS Report (cite by Neilson.com). What does this say, we as Black Americans are the ones making companies rich that support political leaders who have political agenda that we oppose.
In other words, we are voting for or against public policies with our dollars when we purchase from companies that support political agendas and political leaders that we are against.
Neilsen.com in a September 2019 report stated that “African Americans want more for themselves and from corporate America, and they express it with their dollars as they move through the consumer journey, from brand awareness to purchase.”
As consumers, though we may not always buy black, we must become more “brand aware” and be more intentional about where we spend our hard-earned money.
Why buy black? When we buy, WE VOTE!