Archive for the Money/Economics Category

Year In Review: How Do Black People Spend Their Money?

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Money/Economics, Women's Interests with tags , , , , , on December 27, 2013 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 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

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 home-ownership 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.


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 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.”


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.


“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

Click here to read comments in response to the original article.

Tavis Smiley: Black People Are Not Better Off Under Obama

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Money/Economics, Politics, President Barack Obama with tags , , , on October 16, 2013 by Black Man


By Black Men In Staff Writer

Last week Tavis Smiley, who seems to show up more frequently on the FOX News Channel appeared on the Sean Hannity Show.  While discussing the government shutdown the conversation shifted near the end of the interview.

Host Hannity“Are black Americans better off five years into the Obama presidency?”

Smiley“Let me answer your question very forthrightly: No, they are not,” Smiley said. “The data is going to indicate, sadly, that when the Obama administration is over, black people will have lost ground in every single leading economic indicator category.”

Smiley:  “On that regard,” he added, “the president ought to be held responsible.”

Smiley:  “I respect the president. I will protect the president. And I will correct the president. He’s right on this government shutdown. Republicans are thwarting the rule of law with the Constitution. If they let this debt go into default, they’re trampling again on the Constitution.”

You can click here to watch the entire interview Of course, not everyone agrees with Tavis.  James E. Causey, of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Tavis is wrong. Causey writes:  “Things are bad, but blacks are better off than we were before Obama took office.  Click here to read Mr. Causey’s article.
What do you think?

Reasons an Emerging Black Middle Class Can Fail

Posted in African Americans, Black Men, Guest Columnists, Money/Economics with tags on August 25, 2013 by Black Man

Thomas Duffy

By Thomas Duffy

The strange and tranquil response about the so-called one percent controlling all the wealth, which seemed to have tried to take hold of how politics are played also, should have brought the worst out in most people. But I realize there’s a segment of the white social structure that’s more distinct by middle class status and locale that seem not to care, so they usually help to give rise to those types. Their ignorance is the failure to understand there are usually no rewards for compliance. Regardless if it’s done because of race, [which I believe is more likely] or any other underline reason, it always affect people who need some support and even when their people end up on the short end of the stick, their justification is to fight against big government. Strange but few are careful to not totally agree to change what some believe are entitlements, primarily because it sounds like it would be their Social Security and Medicare. Adding to this is the rhetoric of politicians that some believe gives it more credence, yet few would believe the alter interest for these politicians, could take them back to more difficult times also. Of course it shouldn’t be surprising why they’re supportive to dump what they have adapted to be Obama-care, but again few would believe it would have any effect on them or their people. Furthermore to their ignorance, they fail to understand all politicians have government jobs, besides some of these same guys who really care more about the one percent, receive federal money from the government they said they despise, to not grow crops on farms they purchased just for that purpose. So maybe their hardships should get little government help if and when tragedies occur, because “fools are as fools do.”

For the first time in many years blacks were involved in something as a group without conflict, and that was helping to elect this president, I say helping because others voted for him also. The exhilaration and tears of happiness leading up to when we believed our chance had finally come, only festered in the demeanor of political diehard’s who lost their vision of how they would restore old traditions back to their favor. Only the most depressing for them suddenly became a gift, with the midterm elections being the catalysts.

So surprisingly their first step took little effort, because it was the old tradition of some of us not showing up to vote on important matters that gave it a push. Although there were political watchdogs, keeping an eye and ear on things, they still didn’t detect what was really taking place early on. The sudden negative rhetoric in town hall meetings and street rally’s from a new formed group took us away from discovery, so more of us concentrated on what seemed to have always pushed our buttons, [taunts of bigotry]. We grumbled with anger, disgusted about the way it was disrespecting the new president. But those who needed someone to blame, pointed the finger at that new group [tea party], with some belief it could change its frequency. But it only allowed it to spring up from everywhere, which helped to produce the distorted claims from white politicians in many states about alleged voting frauds, that was really a cover up towards changing voter’s rights.

Anyway, I believe the ability to rise to the equivalent of our antagonist is to only recognize reality as a motivator, not probability, which should warn the naive to limit any belief that they’re [really free] to do whatever they choose if they work hard and follow the rules.

We may feel proud of the few that have jumped the broom so to speak, but since it’s a small number compared to time and population growth giving that notion some validation, it has in no way completely turned things around for us. Remember, institutional bias and limited opportunity, still cause many of us to end up on the short list. Furthermore most of us have seen over the years if we do anything that’s positive, but to them is threatening, it’s referred to a certain group of white guys with the [supreme power] to change the rules. Oddly enough the push towards complicating our lives more than it is already, started to emerge in certain parts of the country soon after these same guys rulings on voting rights.

Looking at something as serious, or what I call a different brand of black person, they with little forethought showed they had become our weakest link. They are individuals who said things weren’t as bad as the rest of us knew it was. They are individuals who defend the status-quo regardless how it affects them. The surprising side of their character fails to accept that the Constitution, Bill of Rights as other earlier national documents written by white men, has never included them. But the real hard-sell is convincing them, the self-style founding fathers of this country weren’t African. So when they speak about them, it should be “those founding fathers”, “not our founding fathers” as some often declare.

Maybe this seems petty to some, but when whites who know the truth hears this, they feel we are less threatening, because we’ll say and do anything to be included. Yes it may not matter to most whites, but there’s still enough of a chunk of white males out there, to keep a mental note, to use it in their commentary.

Anyway, if I were a deeply religious person, I could say what has kept the black middle class from being an independently sound group, is nothing more than karma, just by showing the area where I worked, the institutions, agencies and positions of many in those settings, who misinformed, mistreated and lacked showing a genuine concern for their people. The success of a growing black middle class should be measured not only by their efforts, but the positive changes of the poor and elder blacks which seems to remain stagnant. Even with multitudes of success under duress, these deficiencies are a portion of what has helped to keep the vision of us still shuffling aimlessly around to be saved by a charitable federal government.

Changing the focused on this for a moment, to reveal how employees of certain banks have recently declared to have chosen to lower their integrity by lying to customers about loans. This information could lessen blacks input, but since there are other self-inflicted reasons, they must take a portion of the blame, since it was they who seem to take their usefulness for granted; believing anything that would happen in favor of whites [who many often focused their lives on] would also include them.

On the other side of the coin, the decline of what we know to be the more notable black middle class may not have resulted from most of the same circumstances, but it was destined because of ignorance, poor perception regarding risks, where most were too conciliatory with financial choices that were self-indulging and wasteful.

But as serious and perhaps more provocative were politics and social viewpoints coming from middle class whites that were usually contrary or bias for any chance of unification for support, because there’s no true diversified middle class. This is where the success of a definitive middle class faces a quandary, since these measures have hampered any chance to build an essential grouping to address more than circumstances relating to labor. When I listen to the president talking about restoring the middle class, I usually believe it would be fragmented, because it would probably elevate whites as blacks remain stagnant.

Why is this important? When proceedings of various factions within the black middle class who’s in a position and savvy enough to address some of the problems thrust upon the most vulnerable, probing and often critical white observers usually claim some need of assistance will be affixed, that will outweigh their ability to tackle the matter for positive results. Of course it’s stereotypical in content, but it has become the way so-called white social pundits write books and downplay our abilities regardless of status to do most things without first pointing the finger at the establishment as a lead in to ask or expect a handout. Remember regardless of the intelligence or real political agenda of this president, or what he has done to improve the condition and lives of whites also, he’s still labeled the food stamp president by some.

But I will end this with another social impediment; they are blacks [mostly men] who help add more negatives to the most critical of whites who are determined to keep us from settling into a life of normality because of their narcissistic pointless rhetoric. I’ve read articles and heard commentary from them who’s suppose to be educated, who should keep silent. They know the difficulty this president has been going through, yet they have even lashed out to the point of personal resentment, because they somehow felt it’s his responsibility to extend himself primarily to blacks to help improve their lives. Ironically their public display of showmanship is often a disgrace because they are really individuals who wanted to be deemed important as others who have shown their only real effort to help things to get better for blacks, are in their complaints.

The Fall Of Detroit: A Story Told In Pictures and Words

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Gary A. Johnson, Money/Economics, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2013 by Black Man

By Gary A. Johnson, Black Men In (July 27, 2013)

The city of filed for bankruptcy last week.  The Motor City is reportedly $18.5 billion dollars in debt.  This is the the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.  Looking back it was pretty clear that the city was mismanaged for decades and that led to a steady population drop over the years and a staggering loss of tax revenue.  I’m not an economist, but I don’t think you need to be one to know that there will be staggering aftershocks as a result of this filing.

Detroit is not alone.  They just got here first.  The Wall Street Journal recently cited Oakland, Philadelphia and Chicago as other big cities with the potential to follow Detroit’s lead and file bankruptcy.

How did this happen?  I don’t have enough time or space to tell you, but the keyword here is “decline.”  Here are the highlights.

  • In 1960, the richest per capita city in America, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, was Detroit.
  • Sixty percent (60%) of all of Detroit’s children are living in poverty.
  • Fifty percent of the population has been reported to be functionally illiterate.
  • Thirty-three percent (33%) of Detroit’s 140 square miles is vacant or derelict.
  • Eighteen percent (18%) of the population is unemployed.
  • And 10.6% of Detroit’s 713,777 residents, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, considered themselves white.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that Detroit had five decades of fiscal mismanagement, corruption and cronyism.

From all of my research I would say that the main reason for Detroit’s economic problems was the loss of jobs.  According to the U.S. 2010 Census data, Michigan lost 48% of all its manufacturing jobs from 2000-2010 with Detroit being impacted the hardest.  This led to massive “white flight” and exits by rich folks (including Blacks) and others people of means leaving the city with a shrinking tax base.  In other words, those who could afford to leave for greater opportunity elsewhere did just that leaving the city with a poorly qualified workforce and few job opportunities.

Given the economic environment around the country and the world, I hope and pray that a solution can be found to stop this economic decline and that we don’t see a spread of bankruptcies in other major U.S cities.   As I read through pages of Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics data, and newspapers and economic journals and articles, I felt compelled to tell this story in pictures and song for people who don’t have the time to do research and get the facts.  Click on the video to view.

Gary A. Johnson is the Founder & Publisher of Black Men In a popular online magazine on the Internet and the Black Men In Blog. Gary is also the author of the book “25 Things That Really Matter In Life.” 

To learn more about Gary click here.

Business Exchange: End the War on Drugs Now

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Money/Economics, Politics with tags , , , , on May 30, 2013 by Black Man

War On Drugs Poster

By William Reed

There is no easy way or walk to freedom; no shortcuts to justice; no quick fix for conceiving and constructing the good and sustainable society and world we all want and deserve. Indeed, to achieve the good we all want in the world, we must work and struggle long and hard. We must be in it for real, for the good, and for the long. – Dr. Maulana Karenga

It’s time for each and every Black American to take action by tweeting about, shouting about, and phoning and faxing about the challenge that has been issued by Elder Ron Daniels. Daniels is head of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century and has launched an online petition campaign to recruit an “Army of Advocates and Organizers” to end the War on Drugs (

First, to honor Daniels and his living legacy of activism and progressive politics, it’s time Blacks collectively heeded his call to “End the War on Drugs.” Secondly, show our ire that the War on Drugs has been proven to be a racially biased “war on us” that has disproportionately targeted African Americans.

There are entrenched forces that have a vested interest in policies that have produced mass incarceration of African Americans and spawned the prison-jail industrial complex. To combat the injustice of the system and War on Drugs, it’s time Blacks take a principled stand that confronts the reality of the racial dimensions of crime and punishment in America. Racial bias in America´s criminal justice system is a fact of life, to which Daniels recommends “something akin to Martin Luther King´s ‘coalition of conscience’”… to persuade a majority of Americans to press for reforms to rectify the wrongs of the War on Drugs and decades of blatant neglect that have wreaked havoc on so many communities and ruined the lives of millions of Black families.

If each of us “took it personal” we’d push Daniels’ agenda to “End the War on Drugs.”  If we collectively show concern, we can overcome the media’s silence and lack of concern policymakers have shown toward addressing this devastating crisis. If not us, who?  Efforts by known civil rights/human rights leaders to dismantle the War on Drugs have been episodic and largely ineffective.  But, Daniels’ voice has been constant that “Black leaders, activists and organizers must not equivocate while millions of our sisters and brothers suffer in urban inner-city neighborhoods across this country.” It is imperative that we raise our voices and mobilize/organize to transform the conditions of millions of our Black brothers, sisters and family kin languishing in “America’s system of justice.”  It’s “just us” and to effectively address the “State of Emergency in Black America,” we all must put our collective weight toward confronting and combating the War on Drugs.

War on Drugs Obama

Call somebody now, and tell them “to take action to end the War on Drugs.”  Tell them to tell somebody else to “end this despicable war on us.”  The “War on Drugs” costs about $40 billion per year and its national price tag has totaled over $1 trillion. It has resulted in one of Washington’s largest bureaucracies, the Drug Enforcement Administration, with over 10,000 employees, 226 offices in 21 divisions throughout the U.S., and 86 foreign offices in 62 countries.

Our best hope rest with Blacks ready and able to challenge and change the terrible policies and practices the War on Drugs has wrought. It’s time to sign up for Daniels’ army. Sign up online (, in addition to initiating a call, visit your local lawmaker. Let’s follow Daniels’ lead when he says: “There’s a State of Emergency in Black America and each of us must step up.” Make it a point to tell people you know to contact their respective lawmakers and policy-influencers and say: “It’s time to end the War on Drugs.”  Black Americans, and their leaders, must all move toward individually, and collectively, raising our voices and mobilizing/organizing to better our lives and communities.

William Reed William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via the

Who’s The Greatest?

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Guest Columnists, Money/Economics with tags , , on May 13, 2013 by Black Man

William Reed

By William Reed

The sequester is but a bump on the road to America’s real ruin. For those who don’t know, the U.S. is no longer “the greatest nation.” Nor does it even make the list of the 10 most prosperous countries in the world.

Whether Black or White, middle to upper class, urban, rural or suburban, most Americans operate under the assumption that the U.S. still ranks as No. 1 in the world.  Yes, the U.S. remains the world’s largest economy, and we have the largest military by far, the most dynamic technology companies and a highly entrepreneurial climate.

However, Blacks who still preen at the thought of Obama being the “commander in chief” are going to have a “rude awakening” when it’s all over. A sobering 2012 index analyzed 142 countries in eight categories: economy, education, entrepreneurship & opportunity, governance, health, personal freedom, safety & security and social capital. The index shows that the U.S. is no longer “the top dog” rather, 12th in prosperity; 3rd in oil production; 7th in literacy; 27th in math; 22nd in science; 49th in life expectancy; 178th in infant mortality; 3rd in median household income; 4th in exports and 39th in income inequality.

The first step in solving any problem is to recognize there is one. As we move toward the future, it’s important that we note that the decisions that created today’s growth – decisions about education, infrastructure and the like – were made decades ago. What we see today is an American economy that has boomed because of policies and developments of the 1950s and ’60s: the interstate-highway system, massive funding for science and technology, a public-education system that was once the envy of the world and generous immigration policies.

The economic bottom is falling out while the Black middle class waddles down “discount aisles at Walmart.” We are the group at the highest risk of economic downturns, but over the past 50 years, Blacks have bought into a mindset of dependency. Ninety-three percent of Black Americans recently voted for a continuation of that dependency on government for handouts from food stamps to welfare. Democratic leadership has caused Blacks to collectively accept the fact that America has become a debtor nation.

Suck it up. Let’s acknowledge that the big government agenda the Democrats have pursued over past years has stunted economic growth and led to staggering levels of wealth decline among Blacks. Cartoon character Pogo provides great insight: “We’ve met the enemy and they is us.” Our plight today is based on our past practices to “go along to get along.”

Much of America’s forward growth depends on the results of the 2014 congressional elections and 2016 presidential campaign. What kind of decisions will the masses of Blacks make about being open to the messages of Republicans?  In his book, America the Beautiful, fiscally and socially conservative figure, Dr. Benjamin Solomon “Ben” Carson, Sr., an African-American neurosurgeon and director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, pushed himself into the forefront of the public’s attention. In his book, Carson provides new perspectives on our educational system, capitalism versus socialism and our moral fabric, to which people should be attentive.  America the Beautiful is an incisive manifesto of the values that shaped America’s past and must shape her future, the book calls upon us all to use our God-given talents to lead and improve our lives, communities, nation, and our world.

America can be great again. Good leadership is what we need. All that’s required is leadership that will fight for moral values, stand up for what is right, and strike down the wrong laws for the right reasons. Maybe it’s “mainstream” Blacks have adopted that cause them to accept leadership that has followed the same path of profligate spending and reckless disregard of the long-term economic drain for short-term economic gains.  We have opted for mediocrity and self-indulgence and we have reaped the harvest that we have sown.

We become great again by becoming an informed and educated electorate, making the right decisions to go forward.

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via the

NBA Hall of Famer Turned School Crossing Guard: It’s Not About The Money, It’s About The Kids

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men In America, Money/Economics with tags , , , on March 23, 2013 by Black Man

Adrian Dantley

By Black Men In Staff

Washington, D.C. native and NBA Hall of Famer Adrian Dantley is one smart dude, who’s probably a bit cheap.  Since last fall, Dantley has apparently been working as a crossing guard in Silver Spring, MD, a suburb of Washington, D.C.  In his new position, Dantley earns approximately $15,000 per year including a benefit package with health insurance.  NBA veterans aren’t provided health insurance.  According to reports, the 58-year old Dantley is not broke.  Say what?  A retired NBA player who still has his money?  Dantley is reportedly financially secure, likes working with children and does not want to sit around the house all day.

Dantley recently told CNN that he forked over $17,000 for health insurance coverage last year, which is more than his crossing guard salary, but health insurance comes with the job.

More power to A. D. for being a role model and keeping our kids safe.

NAACP’s Ben Jealous Says Black Americans Doing Far Worse Under The Obama Administration

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Money/Economics, President Barack Obama with tags , , , , on February 12, 2013 by Black Man

Ben Jealous 2

February 10, 2012

In a recent interview on MSNBC’s “Meet the Press,” NAACP CEO and President, Ben Jealous, told the show’s host that black Americans are doing far worse than when President Obama first took office. The country’s back to pretty much where it was when this president started,” Jealous told show host David Gregory. “White people in this country are doing a bit better. Black people are doing far worse.”

Statistics show that the African-American community is in bad shape under the Obama Administration.  The Labor Department reports that the black unemployment rate was at 12.7 percent when Pres. Obama initially took office. As the employment rate for the nation dropped below 8 percent, black unemployment increased to 12.9 percent and then to 14 percent for December.

Commentators such as Yvette Carnell, Dr. Wilmer Leon and Dr. Boyce Watkins at Your Black World have consistently stated that the president’s performance in the black community should be judged based on the quality of his results, not the color of his skin.  Also, Dr. Julianne Malveaux recently wrote that the Obama Administration needs to speak out more about existing racial disparities and persistent problems in black unemployment.

You can read the entire article courtesy of our friends at Your Black WorldClick here to go there now.

What do you think?

Athletes Gone Broke: Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems!

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Gary A. Johnson, Money/Economics, Racism with tags , , , on October 2, 2012 by Black Man

By Black Men In

Did you know that 78% percent of NFL players are under financial stress or bankrupt just two years into retirement. Within five years of retirement, 60% of NBA players are broke, according to Sports Illustrated.

In the new documentary “Broke,” which is set to air on ESPN Tuesday evening (October 2, 2012), Director Billy Corben provides a “step-by-step guide on how to go broke” by talking to the current and former professional athletes who’ve gone broke themselves or have watched teammates and peers drain their bank accounts.

A disturbing large number of Black athletes have squandered millions of dollars due to bad business decisions, divorces, child support payments, uncontrolled lavish spending, overall poor financial planning and lack of personal discipline.

Two of the more recent athletes in the news who have gone broke are former NFL stars Vince Young and Jamal Lewis.

In August 2012, former NFL player Jamal Lewis, 32, was arrested and charged with child abandonment.  Earlier this year Lewis declared bankruptcy.   He is one of many professional athletes to file for bankruptcy.  According to court records, Lewis has $14.5 million in assets, and $10.6 million in liabilities.  Court documents also reflected that Lewis now earns $35,000 per month, and spends $34,050 of it.  In addition, Lewis’ cars cost $5,700 per month, his mortgage is $6,000 per month and he owns a $200,000 boat, along with a $150,000 Ford F-650 XUV.   Lewis also owns other vehicles, which explains why his car payments are so high.  The court documents reflected that Lewis did not contribute anything to charity.

In July 2009, Lewis continued to play football.  While still with the Ravens, Lewis invested in a cross country trucking business.  His company had a fleet of around 200 trucks delivering perishable goods.  Lewis personally guaranteed the loans with his bank.  By June 2010, Baltimore County Circuit Court records reflected that M&T bank won a judgment last year against Lewis for more than $350,000 in unpaid lease installments and late fees and $35,000 in attorney fees.

On July 30, 2006, Vince Young, the No. 3 overall pick of the 2006 NFL Draft, signed a six-year contract with the Tennessee Titans that was worth $48 million dollars.  The contract had a maximum value of $57.79 million, with $25.74 million guaranteed.  Here we are six later and young is out of the league and according to his lawyer, has run out of money.

Young earned over another $4 million last season with the Philadelphia Eagles and signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Buffalo Bills in May.  Young was released in August before the start of the regular NFL season.

Let’s take a look at some of the athletes who have “gone broke.”

  • Eddy Curry – A few years ago, NBA player Eddy Curry, despite making over $60 million in his career, Eddy Curry (NBA) is in serious debt while still shooting the ball. According to an Associated Press report, Curry defaulted on a $575,000 loan with an 85 percent interest rate (you read that rate correctly—85%).  Curry was ordered by a judge to pay back $1.2 million to Allstar Capital Inc.  Curry reportedly lost his $3.7 million home to foreclosure while trying to maintain monthly expenses exceeding $250,000 per month.  Curry is currently in training camp with the San Antonio Spurs.
  • Warren Sapp —The former Tampa Bay Buccaneer, Oakland Raider and NFL Network commentator owes more than $6.7 million to creditors and back child support and alimony, according to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing in South Florida.  Sapp’s $6.45 million in assets includes 240 pairs of Jordan athletic shoes worth almost $6,500; a $2,250 watch; and a lion skin rug worth $1,200.
  • Dennis Rodman — The eccentric Hall of Fame basketball star is allegedly broke and behind on over $800,000 of child support bills. Rodman’s also been challenged in court for failure to pay child and spousal support to his third wife, Michelle.
  • Travis Henry — This former NFL Running Back has 11 children with 10 different women.  Henry fell behind on child support payments and reportedly tried other avenues to generate money.  Henry currently serving jail time for cocaine trafficking.
  • Latrell Sprewell — Early in his career this former NBA player turned down a $21 million contract from the Minnesota Timberwolves citing that the contract did not offer enough money because he had a “family to feed.”  According to MSNBC, Sprewell had his Italian yacht seized by a U.S. marshal after his mortgage went into default. Eventually his home, valued at $5.4 million, went into foreclosure in 2008 despite the fact that he made nearly $100 million during his career.
  • Lawrence Taylor — The NFL Hall of Fame Linebacker’s life has been marred by cocaine addiction, statutory rape charges and bad investments. Taylor also plead guilty to tax evasion.
  • Kenny Anderson — The NBA Point Guard was already broke by the time he retired from the NBA in 2005 after making approximately $60 million.  Since then, he went back to school, got a degree and is now the boys’ basketball coach at David Posnack Jewish Day School in Davie, Fla.  Anderson accumulated over $40,000 in monthly expenses to go along with child support for eight children.  Anderson also owned eight cars, a home in Beverly Hills, a $10,000 monthly allowance, and regular $3,000 giveaways to relatives. In his divorce, he lost nearly $6 million in a prenuptial agreement.
  • Scottie Pippen — Although he made an estimated $120 million during his playing days, former NBA great Scottie Pippen lost millions in mismanaged money (he sued his former law firm for the mismanaging). He also made the ill-advised purchase of a $4 million Gulfstream jet and later found out it needed $1 million worth of engine repair.  At one point, Pippen owed U.S. Bank more than $5 million in principal, interest and attorneys’ fees, which he reportedly could not afford.  On June 30 of this year, Mr. Pippen left the Cook County courthouse in tears after a jury awarded him $2 million out of the $8.2 million he was seeking in one of those lawsuits against two attorneys at the Chicago law firm Pedersen & Houpt.
  • Terrell Owens — Back in January 2012, former NFL player known as “T.O.” admitted to GQ magazine that he was friendless, almost broke and “in hell.” He claimed that he lost his millions not because of an extravagant lifestyle, but because financial advisers steered him astray.
  • Evander Holyfield — The former 4 time Heavyweight boxing champion who made over $250 million during his career said:  “I’m not broke; I’m just not liquid.”  Holyfield’s $10 million 54,000 square foot home with 109 rooms on 234 acres was foreclosed in 2008.  He also owed a landscaping company over $500,000 in unpaid services and had problems paying child support for his 11 children.  Holyfied also owed $200,000 in back taxes.  The good news is that the house recently sold at auction for $7.5 million.  The bad news is that at the time of the sale Holyfield owed more than $14 million.
  • Deuce McAllister — Former NFL player McAllister lost millions when his Nissan dealership in Jackson, Miss. went belly up in 2009. Nissan is currently suing him, claiming the dealership defaulted on hundreds of thousands in payments and even more on exceeded credit limits.
  • Michael Vick — The elusive NFL Quaterback filed for Chapter 11 in 2008 after serving prison time for participating in a dog fighting ring. He lost millions in all sorts of ways, including failing to pay for 130 rental cars and defaulting on a loan to set up a wine store. Vick’s appears to be headed in the right direction as he recently signed a $100 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.
  • Muhsin Muhammad — The former NFL Wide Receiver owed tens of thousands in overdue credit card bills and ended up selling his home on eBay.
  • Antoine Walker – Former NBA star Antoine Walker, earned more than $110 million and filed for bankruptcy in 2009, one year after retiring from the NBA.  Walker’s financial moves reportedly included supporting 70 family and friends, building his mother a 10-bathroom mansion, owning at least two Bentleys and two Mercedes and collecting watches.  In an interview with ESPN’s First Take TV show on October 2, 2012, Walker said, his financial woes were not largely due to gambling.  He admitted to gambling but not as much as has been reported.  Walker said his problems stemmed from bad investments in the real estate market, bad advice and supporting a lavish lifestyle with friends and family.
  • Raghib “Rocket” Ismael – Ismael played two years in Canada and 10 in the NFL, earning an estimated $18 million to $20 million in salary alone. He then started to invest in a series of ventures that went bust, including a Rock n’ Roll Café, COZ Records, a movie, cosmetics, nationwide phone-card dispensers, and calligraphy proverbs kiosks.
  • Mike Tyson – This former boxer may be the “King of Broke.”  Tyson reportedly earned over $400 million during his career.  Tyson’s fall from grace included a nasty divorce, a rape charge that led to a prison sentence, felony possession of drugs and a DUI charge.  At one point, Tyson was worth less that $700 dollars.  His situation has improved. He appears to be doing well in recovery for drug and alcohol problems, has remarried, had a movie made about his life and he is on Broadway starring in a play about his life.
  • Allen Iverson – This former NBA dynamo reportedly earned over $200 million in salary and endorsements is reportedly broke.  Iverson, aka “The Answer,” apparently has no answer to cure his financial woes.  Iverson reportedly owes $859,000 to a Georgia jewelry store.  Trouble seems to follow Iverson in the form of arrests for assault, carry a concealed weapon and gambling debts.

White athletes go broke too.  Names like Bernie Kosar, Mark Brunell, Johnny Unitas, Bjorn Borg, Rollie Fingers, Curt Schilling, Sean Salisbury and Lenny Dykstra have gone broke.  We chose to focus on athletes whose names and careers you are more familiar with.

Is the reporting of broke athletes different for white athletes than black athletes?  Are there more racial stereotypes associated with the black athletes?  Or is it just a matter of sports stereotypes?  We’re just asking?  We believe that many people, regardless of their race would go broke if they became a multimillionaire over night, especially, without any financial training.  We need to teach our children financial literacy skills as soon as they learn how to count.

What do you think?

Are You Keeping Up With New Technology?

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Guest Columnists, Money/Economics, Women's Interests with tags , on September 4, 2012 by Black Man

By Cheryl Myrie

Today’s world is vastly incorporated with the ever changing science of technology.

If you are not engaged in the area of technology you are out dating yourself and you are putting yourself at a disadvantage in being a competing candidate for employment, limiting your method to communicate and you are decreasing your perimeters in which you can operate.

In shadows of the court decision against Samsung, in the case of Apple vs. Samsung, it’s important to understand the direction this country and the global industry is headed, if we are interested in becoming economically empowered. Barry White one of my all-time favorite singers, gave great insight to those who were listening during a televised interview I was blessed to watch. I don’t remember the host or the show where the interview took place, perhaps someone who does know could provide us with the details by way of the comment box at the end of this commentary.  What Barry White said basically, was that anyone interested in getting into the music business, during the time period the interview had taken place, he said the opportunity had greatly improved due to technology. The new technology had introduced new electronic instruments, which also provided access to more than one instrument.  One individual could add the sound of different instruments, this was cost effective and enhanced the ability of someone starting out on their own and who did not have the connections necessary to incorporate other individuals with skills and knowledge of varies musical instruments. God bless his soul, that was a jewel of information he gave to those seeking to make a living by getting into the music industry.

Well the same hold true even more today. Yes socially many of us are heavily engaged in the technology world. And I am not saying there is anything wrong with the social interaction side of it. What I am saying is do not limit yourselves to just that side of it. I remember after getting married and having my children, I was seeking to get into the work force arena, and my siblings who were already there were telling me about the emphasis on computers and how simply it would be for me once I got the hang of it. However, I was hesitant about the hold thing, it sounded more complicated than they were making it appear. Anyway it would be some years later before I took a computer class and I have been hooked ever since. It was extra hard for me because I did not have a computer at home. So I spent hours in the computer lab on campus. I would see people come in and an hour or two later they would be leaving and I would still be there trying to complete my assignments. This went on for days until I completed my course and I passed with an A. I am grateful to my teacher for being the kind of teacher that wanted his students to learn.

Certainly these new instruments of technology have their side effects and/or downsides, which if you take a broader perspective is another avenue which could provide access to revenue, in the field of research. We as a society are now asking questions about proper use of our newly invented tools and the advent affect caused by misuse of them.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 9,714 other followers

%d bloggers like this: