Archive for November, 2010

Cornel West Calls President Obama’s Policies “Racist,” Endorses Leftist 3rd-Party Challenge

Posted in Barack Obama, Black Interests, Politics with tags , on November 28, 2010 by Black Man

There’s an interesting article on the Firedoglake (FDL) web site about Dr. Cornel West and his recent comments that President Obama’s policies are racist. Dr. West is a professor of African American studies and Religion at Princeton University.

In a recent interview, Dr. West told Democracy Now!‘s Juan Gonzalez that, like President Bush before him, President Obama’s policies discriminate against African-Americans. West said the President’s neglect of the poor and of poverty programs has enormous racist effect, in that they disproportionately hurt Blacks, who are more likely to be more impoverished than Whites.

Gonzalez had asked Prof. West to comment on Kanye West’s assertion that “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people;” but the professor diverted into criticism of the current Administration. He said he thinks neither Bush nor Obama acts out of “racist motivation and intention,” but that both Administrations inflict(ed) “racist effect and consequence” on people of color, and that their policies have “generated levels of misery among Black people, Brown people, Red people, but especially among the working class poor.”

Cornel West echoed Kanye West in rebuking Obama: “… He doesn’t care about the Black poor: The evidence is overwhelming! … His policies [a]re racist in effect and consequence and especially classist in terms of generating misery among poor people, disproportionately Black and Brown. … The Obama Administration seems to have very little concern about poor people and their social misery: Look at the policies vis-a-vis Wall Street – downplaying  Main Street; look at the policies of Black Farmers – a settlement already in place but they don’t want to execute it because they don’t want to be associated with Black folk too explicitly; look at the policies of dilapidated housing; we can go right across the board – look at the policies of the new Jim Crow – the Prison-Industrial Complex.”

Prof. West said the system the President endorses “is tilted against poor people, against working people, disproportionately Black and Brown and Red … There’s simply no mention of poor people’s plight. Look for example of juvenile justice … the Juvenile Justice-Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 needs to be re-authorized. It’s been two years now, no re-authorization from either the Obama Administration or the public bureaucracy. Even our dear brother Eric Holder doesn’t seem to want to move on it.

Click here to read the entire article. You can visit the official Cornel West web site at www.cornelwest.com.

What do you think about Dr. West’s comments?

The Bridge: The Giving of Thanks

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, The Bridge - Darryl James with tags on November 23, 2010 by Black Man

By Darryl James

“We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock landed on us.’

–Malcolm X

The above quote from Malcolm X is in reference to the celebration of the Pilgrims landing on Plymouth Rock in what they would call New England, ultimately creating the Mayflower Compact and laying the foundation for the United States.

Malcolm used this particular reference, because he understood clearly that the hopes and dreams represented by the metaphor the Plymouth Rock landing represented had an opposing representation for Africans in the New World.

For the Pilgrims, the Plymouth Rock landing represented hopes and dreams of freedom and life filled with prosperity.

For the Africans, the Plymouth Rock landing represented the crushing of hopes and dreams, with nightmares of bondage and death and a legacy of struggle.

When America created the Thanksgiving holiday, it should have specifically called for giving thanks to the Native Americans who were killed and robbed and the African descendants who were enslaved and killed.

In the celebration of the Thanksgiving Holiday, Africans across the world should be paid a debt of thanks at the very least by every race of people in existence.

Specifically, Europeans and their descendants owe us for being the currency and unpaid workforce for the creation of the new nation.

Let’s identify some of those who owe us a debt of gratitude:

First up would be the Italians and the Spaniards, as represented early on by one Christopher Columbus. Columbus, an Italian, was commissioned by the Queen of Spain to find a sailing route to India. The idiot got lost, landed in the Americas and called the people there Indians.

The idiot’s story was romanticized and over the years, we learned in school that he “discovered” America. But what the schools didn’t focus on was that his bumbling in the new land created a storm of brutality against the Native Americans who were robbed of their land and the Africans who were forced into servitude while Europeans poured in to steal the land and the service of the slaves.

Thanks Chris!

To add even more to the gratitude the Italians owe Africans, they were the illegal merchants of pain who dumped Horse in the Black neighborhoods and ran the numbers operations before and after states made their own version of numbers, called The Lottery.

But they were hardly the only ones to prey off of the misery of the African descendant.

Middle Easterners came into our communities in the Sixties after the riots and took over everything the Negroes left behind on their way to integration, wherever that was.  They often displaced Jewish businesses as well.

When the Middle Easterners either moved on or moved over, the Koreans came behind them.

But of course the biggest debtors of all are the descendants of Great Britain and other Western European nations, who owned us and treated us like cattle.  They made the most money off of us and used us to finance and build a nation that they still don’t want us to share fully in.

Whites in America have taken everything from our inventions to our music, from our style of dress to our manner of speaking and even our hairstyles and skin tone.

Even the two political parties in America used us for political gain. The Republican Party used us to win a war that was ripping the nation apart and after less than one century, abandoned concern for us.

Currently, the Democratic Party tells us just enough sweet convincing lies to lull us into thinking that they are better for us than the party of our original loyalty, but until we become more politically savvy, neither party has to do more than make empty overtures to a few of us.

The first African American President may be a Democrat, but only time will tell if this is a true sign of lasting appreciation, or a temporary relationship based on use and abuse.

My point is that American has made promises unfulfilled and has made attempts to take back promises delivered. Yet, the African descendant is expected to give thanks for the founding of a nation with which we have had a very strange relationship.

Now, of course, much like many other holidays, Thanksgiving has taken on its own meaning for scores of Americans, including African descendants.

Many of us focus on giving thanks for the things in our lives we are grateful for, as opposed to celebrating the brutal founding of a nation that has mistreated us from its very founding.

I won’t be sending up any thanks for the dirty pirates who ransacked this land from the Native Americans; nor for them stealing my people from Africa and using us to build a nation for free and then disrespecting us during and after nation-building, treating us far less than human.

But I will give thanks for being alive and for being filled with hopes and dreams.

Those thanks will go to my God and not to America.

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.” Now, listen to Darryl live on BlogTalkRadio.com/DarrylJames every Sunday from 6-8pm, PST. View previous installments of this column at http://www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com. Reach James at djames@theblackgendergap.com.

Jim Clyburn-ed

Posted in Black Men, Guest Columnists, Politics with tags on November 18, 2010 by Black Man

Raynard Jackson

In the immortal words of civil rights legend, Fannie Lou Hamer, when will Blacks become “sick and tired of being sick and tired?”

Once again the Democratic Party has shown its disdain for the Black community and Black Democrats, as usual, just sit back and continue to allow it to happen.

Blacks vote Democratic upwards of 92% during presidential elections and about 90 % during congressional elections.  Can Blacks actually say they have received a sufficient return on their investment for that level of support?  Of course not.  So, why do Blacks continue to allow Democrats to marginalize and disrespect them?

Jim Clyburn, Congressman from South Carolina and current Majority Whip in the House of Representatives (making him the 3rd highest ranking person in the Democratic Party) was seeking reelection to his leadership post until he was forced to withdraw last Saturday night.

In the House, the leadership positions are:  Speaker of the House (Nancy Pelosi), Majority Leader (Steny Hoyer), and Majority Whip (Jim Clyburn).

Since the Democrats lost the elections, they have become the minority party, thus will lose the Majority Leader position.  As opposed to finding a new leadership position in the minority, Hoyer decided to challenge Clyburn for this position.

Not one word of protest from the first Black president of the U.S.  Not one word from the first female Speaker of the House.  Not one word from Hispanic members of Congress who constantly want Blacks to support their bids for amnesty for their people.

On Saturday night Clyburn was forced to withdraw from his bid to become Minority Whip so that Hoyer could assume the same position.  In exchange, Pelosi created a “new” leadership position so that Clyburn could have a position at the leadership table.

Are you kidding me?

Why is it that the Democrats always ask the Black candidate to back out of a race and not the white candidate?  This is the same party that makes a regular point about how “racist” the Republican Party is supposed to be.

Why didn’t Pelosi force Hoyer to drop out of the race?  She could have created a “new” leadership position for him.  This is the same party that, in September, tried to force current Congressman from Florida, Kendrick Meek, to drop out of his race to become the first Black elected U.S. senator from Florida.  The White House asked Bill Clinton to pressure Meek to withdraw from the race and support the governor of Florida, Charlie Crist. Mind you that Crist is a white Republican turned Independent.  Meek resisted the pressure and said no.

So, the Democrats care so much for the Black community that they wanted Meek to drop out of the race and endorse a de facto Republican. Again, where were the voices of the most loyal voting block within the Democratic Party?

What makes me most angry is the total silence of those in the Black community.  Clyburn has spent 4 years as Majority Whip.  During this time, Clyburn has done favors for many Democratic groups that have come to him for help.  Where were the voices of outrage from these groups?  Why didn’t they promise holy hell if the Democrats didn’t keep Clyburn in his leadership position?

Where was Marc Morial (head of the National Urban League)?  Where was Al Sharpton (head of the National Action Network)?  Where was Ben Jealous (head of the N.A.A.C.P.)?  Where were groups like the National Medical Association (Black doctors), National Council of Negro Women, Leadership Council on Civil Rights, National Newspapers Publishers of America (Black newspapers), The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, The National Association of Black Accountants, The National Black M.B.A.s, NAFEO, or all the Black Universities?

I will let you in on a little secret.  The reason why the Democrats continue to insult the Black community is because we allow them to.  Democrats fear no retribution from Blacks.  Obama has met with the Hispanic Caucus on several occasions to discuss amnesty for illegals.  How many times has he met with the Black Caucus?  Maybe 1 time!  Obama fears the Hispanic community (and their votes); but has absolutely no fear of losing the Black vote; therefore, he felt no need to intervene in Clyburn’s race or any other issue of particular concern to the Black community.

To my Republican friends, this is a classic case for the value of diversity.  Clyburn and Hoyer are both equally qualified for the position of Minority Whip.  So, if all other things are equal, you have to give the nod to diversity, lest you have an all white leadership team!

Everyone knows that I am a Republican.  But, why is it that I seem more upset and insulted by the actions of the Democratic Party, than Black Democrats?

Clyburn is a very decent man and a great political strategist.  I know he has been helpful to all of the above groups and individuals.  He has extended himself tirelessly to help with their causes.  But, yet none of these groups came to his defense.

Blacks should have made it clear to Obama, Pelosi and Hoyer, that there would be hell to pay if Clyburn was challenged.  Blacks are the most loyal voting block in the Democratic Party and they have nothing to show for it.

When all is said and done, there’s more said than done.

Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-public relations/government affairs firm.  He is also a contributing editor for ExcellStyle Magazine (www.excellstyle.com) & U.S. Africa Magazine (www.usafricaonline.com).

Book release date:  Spring 2011

Raynard Jackson has been named to Talkers Magazine’s “Frontier Fifty.” The “Frontier Fifty” is a selection of Outstanding Talk Media Webcasters.

The Bridge: In Cash We Trust, Part 1

Posted in Black Interests, Black Men, Guest Columnists, Money/Economics, The Bridge - Darryl James with tags , on November 16, 2010 by Black Man

By Darryl James

The new religion of Money has truly changed every game.

It has changed the way some Blacks think of themselves with the illusion of inclusion.

It really took off during the Eighties, when we saw many so-called Black Republicans become such not purely because of politics, but because they assumed that there was something for them based on having money and/or privilege. This was the first time that large numbers of Blacks were open about separating themselves from other Blacks based on the pursuit of individual goals, which they placed above concerns for the race.

Of course, white people had been doing it, but as a race whites could fall back on being white and having white privilege. Without a community, what could blacks go back to? Slavery?

The new religion of Money even changed religion.

Those of us with independent thinking already knew that many religious figures were in it for the money, but with the new religion kicking in, we began to see more religious icons embrace their new god unashamedly. This is why today we see so many disgustingly huge mega-church structures in the Black communities and pimped out preachers, who don’t care about hiding their avarice—openly embracing one of the seven deadly sins.

As religious people go, many Americans pursue a relationship with a church that will praise them and promise to reward them with prosperity for being faithful to the church, as though they are better than the average person who may be a good person, but not dedicated to the church.

The new religion of Money also changed the concept of being smart.

I knew that we were at a new point in time when people claimed that Puffy was smart–not because he did anything clever that they could point to, but smart because he had the aura of having money.  Intellectuals be damned—people would rather take their advice from Cosby, Oprah and Steve Harvey, rather than someone who thinks and does research.

To celebrate the likes of Sean “Puffy” Combs is horribly backward. This is a man who rhymed about “money hanging out his anus,” yet had a roster of artists who were getting pimped out of their anuses. He is such an empty human. His real claim to fame is that everyone around him got killed, locked up or financially raped.

At least Suge Knight bailed Tupac out of jail, before using him to breathe new life into Death Row. Puffy used Shyne, then when trouble came, separated himself from the rapper and completely abandoned him to languish in prison after Shyne placed himself in harm’s way for Puffy.

For people to openly revere that kind of man, shows what a debauched world we are in.

But why wouldn’t people celebrate the likes of Puff Diddy? Even so-called “leaders” have shown that they are all about the money. Take one Jesse “Cut the nuts” Jackson, who discovered early on that he could get favors and Burger King franchises as a result of threatening to boycott. Now, we see that Civil Rights is becoming as big a career as preaching—wait—he’s doing both.

Someone sells out and dead brained defenders of sellouts are quick to exclaim: “At least he got paid.” I’m sure Dave Chappelle is living a tortured life if he really had the epiphany he claims to have had. He claims that he realized that he was being used and was being laughed at, not with. Yet, some silly Negroes are still quick to celebrate his success, while dismissing his negative actions, because “at least he got paid.”

It’s so sad and so ridiculous that people see very little pure joy without finance.

Now it’s all about celebrating the rich and crapping on the poor. Those of us who worship money celebrate the message of 50 Cents—get rich or die trying. Most will die.

The rich white establishment has one game and it always works. That game is to pit the poor against the not so poor in each race—poor white trash against white elitists and impoverished Mexicans hated by Mexicans who want to become white and rich.

Now, we’ve come in to that game, where wealthy Negroes hate poor Blacks. Many of us celebrated when Cosby blamed everything on the “lower economic people.”  And why not? They are fair game during a breakdown of society.

Everything that could be counted on has failed us, and so we trust no one and nothing, except cash.

Next Week:  How We Came To Worship The Cash God

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From

The Edge.” Now, listen to Darryl live on BlogTalkRadio.com/DarrylJames every Sunday from 6-8pm, PST. View previous installments of this column at http://www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com. Reach James at djames@theblackgendergap.com.

New Study Reports Black Male Achievement In A “State of Crisis”

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Men with tags , , on November 16, 2010 by Black Man

A new study by the Council of the Great City Schools reports that 12% of black male 4th graders nationally and 11 % of those living in large central cities performed at or above proficient levels in reading on the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), compared with 38 % of white males in that grade nationwide.  The Council of the Great City Schools is a coalition of the nation’s urban school districts.

The council’s report digs into some of the factors that contribute to the lack of success this group of students shows, including higher infant mortality rates, more limited health care access, and a lower rate of participation in early-childhood education programs.

School-age black males are also more likely to be suspended, be held back a grade, and drop out of school than their white peers.

“At almost every juncture, the odds are stacked against these young men in ways that result in too much unfulfilled potential and too many fractured lives,” writes Michael Casserly, the council’s executive director.

The council’s report suggests that the underperformance of black male youths is nothing short of a national emergency, and it calls for the convening of a White House conference.

Click here to read or download the entire report or visit:  www.edweek.org/media/black_male_study.pdf.

The African-American Tradition of Giving

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Money/Economics, Women's Interests with tags , , on November 16, 2010 by Black Man


By Randal Pinkett & Jeffrey Robinson,
Author of Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness

African Americans have a long-standing tradition of philanthropy, or giving back to improve the human quality of life. It is rooted in the African concept of family, which formed the basis for social life and social values in Africa.

In the twenty-first century, giving by African Americans reflects many of the traditions that have been established over the years. Modern African American giving has distinct underlying philosophies and characteristics, namely:

  • A broad conceptualization of family and kinship ties that include not only blood relatives but also distant relatives, friends, neighbors, and long-time acquaintances. This is embodied by references to other African Americans-even when they are not related to us-as “brothers,” “sisters,” “cousins,” and the like.
  • A relative preference for giving directly to individuals as opposed to nonprofit organizations.
  • A higher value for contributions of time than money. The church is the single greatest beneficiary of African-American monetary donations. More than two-thirds of African-American charitable dollars are contributed to churches.
  • A deep feeling of obligation to help members of the Black community and others in need or crisis as a result of being helped by others. To the extent that someone is known or perceived to have abandoned this obligation they may be labeled as a “sellout” or an “Uncle Tom.
  • A sense of responsibility to not leave anyone behind, and success alone is insufficient without helping others to also be successful. Helping any part of the community is interpreted as helping the entire community.

One of the major challenges you’ll face as a successful and busy individual is making decisions about the approach you’ll take toward your giving. What is your strategy for giving? “Strategic giving” is a phrase we use to describe giving in the right way at the right time for the right reason, cause, or issue.

We believe the four foundations of giving are time, talent, treasure, and something we refer to as touch. It is our personal responsibility to find ways to give back generously in each of these areas. It’s been said that we should all donate 10 percent of our time, talent, and treasure to worthy activities and organizations that make the world a better place. The basic principle here is an ancient one called tithing – a concept that both of us wholeheartedly endorse. The idea of tithing has biblical origins. The people of God were required to give 10 percent of their earnings back to God. The priests received the tithe on God’s behalf, and their responsibility was to distribute this money, as well as other goods and in many cases livestock and crops, to widows, the fatherless, strangers, and the homeless and destitute, and keep some for the operation of the house of God – the temple or the church. Clearly, this practice had positive ramifications throughout the community.

The above is an excerpt from the book Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness by Randal Pinkett and Jeffrey Robinson. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Adapted from Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness by Randal Pinkett & Jeffrey Robinson with Philana Patterson (AMACOM; October 2010; $24.95 Hardcover; 978-0-8144-1680-8).


Author Bios
Randal Pinkett, Ph.D.
, coauthor of Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness, was the winner of season four of The Apprentice and the show’s first minority winner. He is the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of BCT Partners, an information technology and management consulting firm. Dr. Pinkett is based in Somerset, New Jersey.

For more information please visit www.randalpinkett.com and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter.

Jeffrey Robinson, Ph.D.
, coauthor of Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness, is a leading business scholar at Rutgers Business School and lives in Piscataway, New Jersey.

The Bridge: For Colored Men Who Are Blamed For Genocide: The Male Bashing is Enuf

Posted in Black Interests, Black Men, Guest Columnists, The Bridge - Darryl James with tags on November 8, 2010 by Black Man

By Darryl James

It’s not that Black men in general hate Black women.

Truthfully, a small percentage of Black men may dislike Black women, just as a small percentage of Black women may dislike Black men.

But there is money in pandering to the hatred of Black men.

There always has been.

Since the founding of this nation, there have been cartoons, literature and verbal propaganda spread about the “danger” of Black men, stoking the fire of hatred toward us for the harm we may visit upon society.

Black men have been blamed for everything from the defiling of white women to vicious crimes of varying types, and from the destruction of communities we move into as well as various and sundry crimes against humanity, except the plague.

Wait—if AIDS is the new plague, then, well, Black men have been blamed for the plague, especially if you give credence to the “down low” propaganda which dictates that Black men are secretly having sex with other men so that they can infect their wives and girlfriends with HIV and kill them and their babies.

The problem with Black male bashing used to be that it came from the hearts and minds of vicious racist mongrels who were too ignorant to realize that one group of people could not be responsible for the destruction of an entire society.  Well, perhaps one group can, but we’ll leave that for another column.

Currently, some of the meanest, hateful propaganda about Black men comes from Black women.

And, now the old Black male bashing is becoming the new Black male bashing because “The Color Purple” just won’t seem to die and thanks to the sellout of all Black manhood personified in Tyler Perry, more Black male bashing drivel is being recycled.

I wrote two years ago that while some may cheer for Perry’s success, making claims of what it may portend for other Black films, I weep for what it portends for the Black male image.

What of the Black male, relegated to specific extremes of hypermasculinity or emasculization near eunuch status?  What of the Black boys who are taught by Black women to hate/despise their fathers? What of our new culture of Black male effeminization?

Perry is demonstrating clearly where he stands in all of this.

I now consider him an enemy of Black men.

I’m shocked that he didn’t don the dress and force a role for Madea in his new male bashing film.

“For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf,” had all but died, except for the book that has been given to new generations of Black women as some pathological rite of passage. But Perry, who has enough success to create or purchase stories that uplift the entire race, has chosen this story out of all stories over time as his new watermark.

Certainly, “Sounder” was available for the remaking, as was “Imitation of Life,” or “Nothin’ But A Man.” And even though Puff Diddy nearly destroyed “A Raisin In The Sun,” the piece would still make a fine remake for the silver screen.

The problem with the likes of “Color Purple,” “Waiting to Exhale,” and “For Colored Girls…” is that they completely crap on the Black male image by presenting us as one-dimensional characters who appear in the stories for the mere purpose of harming Black women.

Seriously. Name one fully fleshed out positive Black male character in either “Color Purple” or “For Colored Girls…”

I’ll wait.

No I won’t. Because we all know there are none.

“For Colored Girls…” does nothing new, showing evil Black men who rape, toss babies from windows and, of course, have secret sex with other men.

And the subsequent destruction carried by promoting such ignorant stories is that Black women all over begin to identify with the downtrodden Black female images in the stories, which means that they identify the Black male images as representative of Black men all over.

This goes far in promoting the Black man as the omnipresent boogeyman with one true goal—the destruction of the Black female.

Of course, some Black men harm some Black women, but not all or even most. And portraying horrible images of Black men in stories proclaimed to “uplift” Black women serves only to drive a wedge between an already divided home. It makes it more and more palatable for more Black women to view Black men in general as their source of destruction and accordingly, their enemy.

So, what is the solution?

I’m not suggesting that we only present positive images of Black men. But I am suggesting that we demand and create more positive images of Black men and Black women, particularly images of us loving each other.

But that won’t happen until we show Hollywood collectively that we just don’t want to see another tired story full of Black women harmed by destructive Black men.

But first, we have to show Black women just how destructive these kinds of movies are to the Black male image and to gender relations in our community.

At some point, Black women will have to understand that their empowerment/freedom should not/cannot come at the expense of Black men. Those Black men who love them want them to be powerful with freedom–we just don’t want to be diminished in the process.

There is harm and destruction coming from both sides of the gender divide.

There is also love.

We decide which to promote, and right about now, I think that Black Love is in desperate need of promotion.

As a writer, I’ll be doing my part with my upcoming stage play and film, both scheduled for 2011.

What will you do?

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.” Now, listen to Darryl live on BlogTalkRadio.com/DarrylJames every Sunday from 6-8pm, PST. View previous installments of this column at http://www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com. Reach James at djames@theblackgendergap.com.

How Do Black People in America Spend $507 Billion Dollars Annually?

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Money/Economics with tags , on November 5, 2010 by Black Man

bling jewelry 2

Originally posted on November 5, 2010.  Updated December 27, 2013.

As we look at the year in review, the most popular article posted on this website/blog was an article detailing how black people spend their money.  The article was “How Do Black People in America Spend $507 Billion Dollars Annually?”

This article has been the most read and commented article for 3 years running.  Once I learned that this was the most popular and discussed article on the website, two questions immediately came to my mind:

  1. What does that say about the topic in terms of being relevant to our site visitors?
  2. Has anything changed?

This has been a hotly debated topic not only on this site, but in our office, at social events and in beauty and barber shops across America.

We’ve updated our original article with some information from an article written in September 2013, by Stacy M. Brown posted on the Washington Informer.com website titled, “Big Spenders, Small Investors:  Blacks Have Little to Show for Hard-Earned Dollars.”  In that article, Ms. Brown writes, “If black America counted as an independent country, its wealth would rank 11th in the world.  However, African Americans continue to squander their vast spending power, relegating blacks to economic slavery instead of financial freedom, according to several consumer reports detailing the use of cash in the black community.”

If history is any indication of future behavior, this updated article will be hotly debated in 2014.  Let’s hope that we can make some progress in this area and close the wealth gap.

Happy New Year!

Gary Johnson, Founder & Publisher – Black Men In America.com

Other highlights from Big Spenders, Small Investors:  Blacks Have Little to Show for Hard-Earned Dollars” include the following:

  • African Americans consistently outpace the total market population in overall growth, smart phone ownership, television viewing and annual shopping trips according to the new study, “Resilient, Receptive and Relevant: The African-American Consumer 2013 Report,” a collaborative effort by the Nielsen Company in New York and the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), located in Northwest Washington, D.C.
  • Black buying power continues to increase, rising from its current $1 trillion level to a forecasted $1.3 trillion by 2017.
  • Despite the strong economic outlook, blacks continue to spend most of their money outside of the African-American community and, according to Nielsen and NNPA, advertisers have repeatedly slighted the black media, spending only three percent, or $2.24 billion, of the $75 billion spent with all media last year.
  • Each year, African Americans spend more than $47 billion on Lincoln automobiles, $3.7 billion on alcohol, $2.5 billion on Toyotas, $2 billion on athletic shoes, and $600 million each year on McDonald’s and other fast foods, according to Target Market News Inc., a Chicago-based marketing research group.
  • Blacks also spend wildly to keep up their appearances.  The black hair care and cosmetics industry counts as a $9 billion a year business, but while African Americans are spending the most, they are profiting the least, said officials from the Black Owned Beauty Supply Association (BOBSA) in Palo Alto, Calif.  Beauty product lines designed for African Americans were once 100 percent owned and operated by blacks, today other ethnic groups control more than 70 percent of the market.
  • The current homeownership rate reveals that 73.5 percent of whites own homes while approximately 43.9 percent of African Americans are homeowners, according to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies State of the Nation report for 2013.
  • Sixty percent of African Americans have less than $50,000 saved in company retirement plans and only 23 percent have more than $100,000.

bling-bling-rapper-hip-hop1Bronner-Bros-Hair-Show_blog-39331

The loyalty blacks have to their church also has proven costly, said officials at Faith Communities Today, a nonprofit based in Hartford, Conn.  A 2013 study revealed that black churches have collected more than $420 billion in tithes and donations nationwide since 1980, an average of $252 million a week.

Black Churches2

“What people fail to see and understand is that, the church pastors aren’t waiting for miracles to fund their lifestyles, they don’t have to pray, day in and day out, to make their ends meet,” said Northwest resident and author, Byron Woulard.  They are getting rich off God, not from God,” he said. Woulard, whose books include, the 2011, “Pawn Queen,” noted that the money spent tithing could buy as many as 93,333 homes valued at $150,000; pay for tuition up to $15,000 a year for 933,333 college students, and feed every homeless American for a year.  “It’s the best hustle on the planet. If you don’t get it here on earth, you’ll get it when you die and go to heaven,” Woulard said. “And, it just so happens that not one person in the history of this planet has died, went to heaven, and come back to tell everyone that it’s true.”

Stacy M. Brown Stacy M. Brown’s article posted on the Washington Informer.com website concludes with what is described as an inescapable fact:    When black folks make money, they are quick to spend it!

According to Dr. Boyce Watkins, a Scholar in Residence in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Syracuse University in New York, also known as “the people’s scholar,” “We don’t use money to invest or produce,” said Watkins, 42.” When we get our tax refund, we go straight to the store.”

Tricked-Out-with-30-Inch-76-2-Cm-Wheels

The 17th annual report on “The Buying Power of Black America” also includes a dollar-by-dollar breakdown of the Black economy.

Copies of “The Buying Power of Black America” can be purchased from Target Market News for $99.00  for the hard copy version and $65.00 for the digital version.  For more information call 312-408-1881, or click here to purchase online.

Below is our original article posted in November 2010.  Have their been any improvements?  You be the judge.

credit-cards

“How Do Black People in America Spend $507 Billion Dollars Annually?”

With $836 Billion in Total Earning Power, only $321 Million Spent on Books while $7.4 Billion Spent on Hair and Personal Care Products and Services

New ‘Buying Power’ report shows black consumers spend as economy improves

New 16th edition shows expenditures rise to $507 billion

(November 1, 2010) African-American consumers are cautiously increasing their spending in some key product categories, even as they continue to make adjustments in a slowly growing economy. The finding comes from the soon to be issued 16th annual edition of “The Buying Power of Black America” report.

In 2009, black households spent an estimated $507 billion in 27 product and services categories. That’s an increase of 16.6% over the $435 billion spent in 2008. African-Americans’ total earned income for 2009 is estimated at $836 billion.

The report, which is published annually by Target Market News, also contains data that reflect the economic hardships all consumers are facing. There were significant declines in categories — like food and apparel — that have routinely shown growth in black consumers’ spending from year-to-year.

“These latest shifts in spending habits are vital for marketers to understand,” said Ken Smikle, president of Target Market News and editor of the report, “because they represent both opportunities and challenges in the competition for the billions of dollars spent by African-American households. Expenditures between 2007 and 2008 were statistically flat, so black consumers are now making purchases they have long delayed.  At the same time, they re-prioritizing their budgets, and spending more on things that add value to their homes and add to the quality of life.”

The median household income for African-Americans dropped by 1.4% in 2009, but because of students going out on their own, and couples that started their lives together, the number of black households grew 4.2%. This increase meant that many household items showed big gains. For example, purchases of appliances rose by 33%, consumer electronics increased 33%, household furnishings climbed 28%, and housewares went up by 37%.

Estimated Expenditures by Black Households – 2009

Apparel Products and Services $29.3 billion
Appliances 2.0 billion
Beverages (Alcoholic) 3.0 billion
Beverages (Non-Alcoholic) 2.8 billion
Books 321 million
Cars and Trucks – New & Used 29.1 billion
Computers 3.6 billion
Consumer Electronics 6.1 billion
Contributions 17.3 billion
Education 7.5 billion
Entertainment and Leisure 3.1 billion
Food 65.2 billion
Gifts 9.6 billion
Health Care 23.6 billion
Households Furnishings & Equipment 16.5 billion
Housewares 1.1 billion
Housing and Related Charges 203.8 billion
Insurance 21.3 billion
Media 8.8 billion
Miscellaneous 8.3 billion
Personal and Professional Services 4.1 billion
Personal Care Products and Services 7.4 billion
Sports and Recreational Equipment 995 million
Telephone Services 18.6 billion
Tobacco Products 3.3 billion
Toys, Games and Pets 3.5 billion
Travel, Transportation and Lodging 6.0 billion

Source: Target Market News,

“The Buying Power of Black American – 2010″

“The Buying Power of Black America” is one of the nation’s most quoted sources of information on African-American consumer spending. It is used by hundreds of Fortune 1000 corporations, leading advertising agencies, major media companies and research firms.

The report is an analysis of consumer expenditure (CE) data compiled annually by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The CE data is compiled from more than 3,000 black households nationally through dairies and interviews. This information is also used for, among things, computing the Consumer Price Index.

The report provides updated information in five sections:

- Black Income Data
- Purchases in the Top 30 Black Cities
- Expenditure Trends in 26 Product & Services Categories
- The 100-Plus Index of Black vs. White Expenditures
- Demographic Data on the Black Population

The Republican’s Historic Night

Posted in Barack Obama, Black America, Politics with tags on November 4, 2010 by Black Man

By Raynard Jackson

With all the pundits giving their views on Tuesday night’s election results, I found very little insightful analysis of what really happened.  So, if you want the traditional election analysis, then go on the internet and read all the conventional analysis.  I want to deal with the election results from a different slant.

Tuesday’s elections proved to be historic for the Republican Party.  Two Blacks were elected to the House of Representatives, two Hispanics were elected as governors, and one Indian female was elected governor.  Listening to all the election night coverage, you would have never known that this took place.  This is why diversity within media (at all levels) is critically important.

Tim Scott (45 years of age) was elected to represent the first congressional district of South Carolina.  He is the first Black elected from the South since Reconstruction (the period following the Civil War during the 1860s).  The district runs from Charleston to Myrtle Beach.  Scott is a member of the Tea Party and was endorsed by Sarah Palin.  In Scott’s district, white voters outnumber Blacks three to one.

Allen West, a 49 year old retired Army lieutenant colonel, won Florida’s 22nd congressional district.  Like Scott, he is also a Tea Party member and was endorsed by Sarah Palin.  The district is evenly split between Democrats and Republicans and is home to one of the highest concentrations of independent/no party voters in the state. It takes in some of the most affluent communities along the coast in Broward and Palm Beach counties. Obama won the district with 52 percent of the vote in 2008.  The district is over 82% white, with almost 4% Black.

Brian Sandoval is the incoming governor of Nevada.  He was a judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada before resigning to run for the office of attorney general of Nevada.  He was the first Hispanic to win statewide office in the history of Nevada.  Don’t be surprised to see this 47 year old Latino as a candidate for vice president in 2012.

Susana Martinez, 51, is the incoming governor of New Mexico.  She is the first Latina ever elected as governor in the history of the U.S. and the first in New Mexico.  Prior to this office, Martinez was elected as the District Attorney for the 3rd Judicial District of New Mexico.

Nimrata “Nikki” Randhawa Haley, is the newly elected governor of South Carolina.  The 38 year old Haley formerly served in South Carolina legislature.  She is the first person of Indian descent ever elected to a statewide position in the history of the state.

Despite the historic night for these candidates, I will be looking for specific signals coming from Scott and West.  Will either of them hire Blacks for the “power” positions on their staffs?  These positions are:  chief of staff, legislative director, press secretary, or state director.  I don’t expect either of them to put a Black in any one of these positions.

Republicans (and especially Black Republicans) always claim to not hire based on race.  Well, if one is so colorblind that one doesn’t realize that one has no Blacks in positions of power on their staffs, then maybe they are just blind to people of color.

Now, juxtapose this with Sandoval and Martinez.  I can almost guarantee you that they will have Hispanics in one of the power positions.  It’s not about being race conscious, but rather being cognizant that you have the opportunity to open the doors for the next wave of operatives from within your own community.

Whites from both parties always complain about Blacks (and other minorities) don’t have the necessary experience for the power positions, yet they rarely give them the opportunity to rise to those positions.  When Blacks get into a position of power, it is incumbent upon us to provide opportunities for those who are underrepresented to get the necessary skill set to ascend to these higher levels of power.  If we don’t open the doors to those from within our own communities, then who will?

I have operated at the highest levels of the Republican Party and have yet to see Blacks in power open doors of opportunities to other Blacks in any significant way.

I hope I am proven wrong.  To do so would truly be historic!

Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-public relations/government affairs firm.  He is also a contributing editor for ExcellStyle Magazine (www.excellstyle.com) & U.S. Africa Magazine (www.usafricaonline.com).

Book release date:  Spring 2011

Raynard Jackson has been named to Talkers Magazine’s “Frontier Fifty.” The “Frontier Fifty” is a selection of Outstanding Talk Media Webcasters.

THE FACES OF PRESIDENTIAL RACISM IN AMERICA

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Guest Columnists, Politics with tags on November 1, 2010 by Black Man

By Harold Bell

In 2010 some white folks feel that since there is a black man in the White House this gives them a reason to attack black folks verbally or physically.

These attacks are taking place all across America.

It does not matter whether it is the President of the United States or unsuspecting black men in a Detroit suburb or a Bowie, Maryland suburb near the Nation’s Capitol.

For the first time ever Essence Magazine has devoted an issue (November 2010) to discuss race in America and how far we have not come!

Segment One: On Why Race Still Matters

Segment Two: White Hate Groups

Segment Three: Racism at Work

First, cheers to Editor-In-Chief Angela Burt-Murray.  The magazine assembles a cast of characters who you will discover that five out of the seven are a part of the problem and not a part of the solution.  Despite their shortcomings Essence deserves the credit for having the “balls” to put this topic on the top burner.

The panel includes: Rev. Al Sharpton, Soledad O’Brien (CNN), Ben Jealous (NAACP), Tricia Rose (Brown University), Lenny McAllister (Tea Party), Stephen A. Smith (Sports Talk Show Host) and Sheryl Underwood (Comedian).

Essence Magazine’s Deputy Editor Bob Evans led the discussion.

When all was said and done it was the blind leading the blind.  For example check out this exchange and response to Bob Evans’ question:  “What grade would you give President Obama on race relations?”

Al Sharpton gave him an “A.”  He says, “People ask is he black enough.  I tell them the real question is ‘Is he President enough?’  Rev. Sharpton is the official carrier of the White House toilet tissue brigade. (When the President goes to the bathroom he is assigned to the nearest toilet, instead of kissing he is wiping).

Ben Jealous, says, “President Obama would receive an excellent score.”  Conclusion; “It is best to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

This is Mr. Jealous’ second go around in opening his mouth before he has done his homework.  He spoke out of turn as it related to Shirley Sherrod. She was the black USDA official fired after being accused of being a racist against some white clients.

Mr. Jealous criticized Ms. Sherrod before checking out the source and the facts. Ms. Sherrod was force to resign from her position as a Georgia State Director of Rual Development for the United States Department of Agriculture.

The NAACP has lost most its credibility in the black community and now its new President puts his foot in his mouth again.

There is also the appearance of him being a “Follower instead of a Leader.”  You can bet what ever position that his “Ace boon Coon” Rev. Sharpton takes he won’t be far behind.

Lenny McAllister. He gives the President a “C”-and says, “The President has remained silent on racial matters, even as race is re-emerging as a key issue.  (The C- was still a little too generous.)

Tricia Rose gives the President a “B”- and says, “I give him that grade for managing the racial firestorms that have escalated.” ( Makes sense, still a little too generous).

Sheryl Underwood, says, “I give him a qualified “A”, although I know he’s trying to be President for every person in this country, I wish he would concentrate on us.”  (There is little doubt what her profession is.  She just told one of the biggest jokes of her career.  Wishing the President would concentrate on us is wishful thinking!)

When it comes to trying to do the “Right thing” black folks are the only people trying to play fair.  The rest of America is cheating, robbing, stealing and committing every type of violent act there is to hold on to their piece of the rock.

Stephen A. Smith, says, “I give him a “B,” he hasn’t done very much for race relations, but he has not hurt it much either.”

This is typical Stephen A. Smith talking out of both sides of his mouth and sitting on the fence.  How can you give him a B and he hasn’t done much for race relations?

I wonder what school in Philly did he attend where they gave you a B for not doing anything?

The next question was “Does the heightened racism surprised you or disappoint you?

Jealous: “It was disappointing but not surprising.  Racism so infects our national discourse that we still think the majority of crack users in this country are black.  White people are 65 percent of crack users.”

Stephen Smith’s response:  “If I went on my radio show and said that, we would have a problem.”

Tricia Rose asked why?

Smith: I’m in 207 markets across the country and most of it is middle America, which is a term for white America.  They don’t want to hear that.”

Rose: “How do you now that?”

Smith: Because the white folks who make the decisions, who show you numbers, will point out white America doesn’t want to hear it.  It’s like pulling teeth to get them to engage in a dialogue about (race).

Smith then says to Soledad O’Brien “You should have your own show on CNN in prime time.”

Sheryl Underwood: says, “Tell me why?”

Smith: “If you give her a platform what is the likelihood of her addressing the very issues we are discussing?  She is not going to hesitate.”

Smith is admitting that Soledad O’Brien has more balls than he has and to him it is all about the dollar.  He has access to 207 markets and can’t tell the truth about race relations in America!

How can you believe anything else he has to say, his Mode of Operation guarantees he will sell you out somewhere down the line.

This dialogue proves that the black faces you see anchoring the local news and on your major television and Cable Networks never have “The last word.”

The lack of power of blacks in so-called major media is so transparent because none have the ability to make their own evaluations, write their own scripts or tell the truth according to Smith.

This “Plantation Mentality” will continue to exist until blacks own their own media outlets in America.  In the meantime they are just satisfied in “show me the money” and going to the bank!

We can’t be mislead by BET and Radio One television outlets.  White folks are still calling all the shots and have “The Last Word.”

In Washington, DC, I have known only two black television anchors to have had the freedom to suggest stories and write their own commentaries.  The late WUSA TV 9 News Anchor Max Robinson and WRC TV-4 News Anchor Jim Vance.

Max was a pioneer in local television news and hailed from Richmond, Virginia.  He was a bigger than life personality and he delivered the evening news with a swagger.  He was tall and handsome and marched to his own drum beat.  He was “Black and Proud” long before James Brown made his classic the rallying cry of Black America.

Max did something that is unheard of in television news today he fought for racial equality and a more positive portrayals of Black Americans.  In Washington, DC the only thing you will find black anchors like Bruce Johnson, Derek McGinty, Leon Harris and Jim Vance fighting for is a paycheck.

When Max was seen in the black community you could count on good news and a Bruce Johnson appearance today means you could count on ”bad news.”  Johnson is also known as “Dr. Death.”  You could count on someone being dead if he was in your community covering a story.  Nothing has changed!

Max was beloved and respected in the inner-city.  Unlike today’s black anchors he was trusted to get the story right.

He was the first black to be promoted to anchor on a national news program.  The network was ABC and the program was “ABC World News Tonight.”

His independence and demands for racial equality kept him in hot water with his bosses at ABC News.

Max’s battles with alcohol were well known throughout the industry but he would eventually lose his life to aids in 1988.

My last encounter with Max was in Richmond at the CIAA Basketball Tournament.  I was in the Marriott Hotel having lunch when he spotted me and waved to me over to his table.

He introduced me to members of his family and said “I want you to meet my friend Harold Bell, the most courageous voice in talk radio in DC.”  I was stunned, because Max and I had been like passing ships in the night in DC.  I was honored that he felt that way about my work on the radio.  He died later that year in Washington, DC.

Derrick McGinty has no track record of ever doing any thing constructive in the black community before he was selected as “The Chosen One” on WUSA TV 9.

Leon Harris is the new kid on the block at ABC news affiliate WJLA.  He’s just another pretty face pretending like he knows what is going on.

NBC affiliate WRC-TV 4 Anchor Jim Vance, a former teacher from Philadelphia followed Max into Washington television media.  He was once a fighter for fair play through his one of a kind on air written commentaries and reach back community endeavors.  He helped and encouraged me to write my own commentaries for my sports talk show.

His on-going drug habit would silence his on-air commentaries and his reach back efforts in the inner-city.  We were tennis partners until I showed him a check he had written to one of DC’s notorious drug boys.  He made it clear to me he was not interested in me trying to save his job or his life.

We went our separate ways.  He is tested weekly to maintain his on-air status.

In the past several months President Obama has been popping up on black oriented radio and television shows.  Some of these black media personalities have been trying to get an interview with him since he took up residence in the White House.

Radio One’s Joe Madison said, “I have been trying to get an interview with him since he first took office but there was someone always there blocking the way in.  I understand that person is no longer onboard and I think that opened the door for us (blacks).  Going into the meeting I was told that I had 10 minutes for my interview but he gave me 20 minutes.”

The President has had one-on-one interviews with TV One’s Roland Martin, radio interviews with Tom Joyner, Steve Harvey and he showed up on MTV.

The biggest White House media sham was a reported Summit with Online African-American Bloggers at the White House.

The media (major outlets) reported that President Obama had met with the bloggers to discuss how he could help make their jobs easier!  Nothing could be further from the truth.

No President in U. S. history has been kicked around like a football by the media more than President Barak Obama.

He has received more death threats than any President occupying the White House.  His wife has been called a chimpanzee and some other names we rather not mention.

The signs and posters he and his family have encountered on his ventures outside of the White House have been disgusting.

It would seem like he would finally say “It is time I reached out to black media and stopped making them the last to know.”

No such luck.  While as many as 25 black media bloggers waited for his appearance, the President was announced and walked through the door giving everyone high fives and a handshake and disappeared out of the door never to return.  When the dust had cleared, left standing and holding court were “the usual suspects,” white staffers.

One blogger described the experience as, “Now you see me, and now you don’t.  We have been duped again.”

“The meeting” with the President did little to convince black media that he is serious about including them into the main stream media mix.

The charade continues as minorities and folks of color are still being excluded instead of included.  For example; there are White House staffers who have offices in the White House who are assigned to meet with Hispanic, Asian and black media separately.

Juan Williams former Washington Post columnist played the “If you can’t beat them join them game” to perfection.

Williams, a FOX News Political Analyst and correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR) was fired for saying, “Since 911 I am scared to death when I see a Muslim on an airplane dressed in full Muslim garb.”

NPR fired him because they said he had crossed the line of editorial boundaries.  FOX News gave Mr. Williams a raise and a new 2 million dollar contract.  He played NPR like an old drum.  He beat them to death.

You want to know why blacks in media are not taken serious.  We are separate and still not equal even though there is a black man in the White House.

Harold Bell is the Godfather of Sports Talk radio and television. Throughout the mid-sixties, seventies and eighties, Harold embarked upon a relatively new medium–sports talk radio with classic interviews with athletes and sports celebrities.  The show and format became wildly popular. Who better than Harold Bell to put together classic interviews with his legendary celebrity friends.

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