Archive for Money

How Do Black People Spend Their Money?

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Spending Power, Gary A. Johnson, Money/Economics, Women's Interests with tags , , on July 1, 2017 by Gary Johnson

By Gary A. Johnson – Publisher, Black Men In America.com

Updated July 1, 2017 (Originally posted on November 5, 2010).

How black people spend their money 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.  As we look at the year in review, this article has been the most read and commented article for 6 years running.  Once I learned that this was the most popular and discussed article on the website, I decided to do some research and share this information with others.  The first question that I wanted an answer to was: How long does money stay in the community? 

A dollar circulates:

  • 6 hours in the Black community
  • 17 days in the white community
  • 20 days in the Jewish community
  • 30 days in the Asian community

The gaps in wealth and income between white and black Americans are stark – and haven’t narrowed significantly in 50 years.  Credit Suisse and Brandeis University’s Institute on Assets and Social Policy took a closer look at disparities between whites and blacks.  There are some notable differences in how each group approaches their money.  Here are a few:

  • The wealthiest 5% of black Americans are slightly less likely to hold financial assets (stocks, bonds, and so on) in their asset mix. Of the financial assets they do invest in, wealthy blacks are more likely than wealthy whites to invest in safer assets, preferring CDs, savings bonds, and life insurance to higher risk (and higher reward) assets.
  • Wealthy black Americans have more money in real estate holdings than equally wealthy white Americans. The former hold 41% of their non-financial assets in (non-primary residence) real estate, while the figure for the latter is just about 22%. Adding in primary residences brings those numbers to 57% and 34%, respectively. Even after the housing bust, real estate is considered a lower-risk investment.
  •  Wealthy black Americans are less likely to hold equity in business assets. Looking at this group’s non-financial assets, 9% are equity in business assets. That figure is 37% for comparably wealthy whites. The numbers are similarly stark if you look at this as a percentage of total assets: 21% of the wealthy whites’ total assets are invested in their own businesses, versus just 6% for wealthy blacks. Because both groups are equally likely to run their own companies – 23% in both cases – the researchers calculate that this means white business owners are investing in their businesses at a rate 7 times higher than black business owners. In raw dollar terms, it means that black business owners have about $68k in their businesses, while white business owners have roughly $468k.

“The American Dream remains out of reach for many African-American and Hispanic families,” said Signe-Mary McKernan, co-director of the Opportunity and Ownership Initiative at the Urban Institute. “Families of color, who will be the future majority population of this country, are not on a firm wealth-building path.”

inequality wealth lag

There are three main reasons for the widening gap, according to McKernan. Blacks and Hispanics are less likely to be homeowners or participate in retirement accounts, which build wealth.

Federal government programs aimed at helping Americans buy homes and save for retirement rely on tax breaks and aren’t as available to blacks and Hispanics, who typically have lower incomes. The bottom 20% of taxpayers, in terms of income, received less than 1% of federal subsidies for homeownership or retirement.

And the earnings gap between the races makes it harder for blacks and Hispanics to save.

inequality white retirement

Blacks and Hispanics have also socked away a lot less for retirement in 401(k)s and IRAs. And as these voluntary retirement plans replace pensions, black and Hispanic families are left on shakier ground in what should be their Golden Years.

According to the Curators of Dopeness blog, black people love to spend money on fashion.  Black people get made fun of for not having on the newest Jordans or a brand name shirt that’s “in style”.  Expensive purses and high heels are a must if you’re ever stepping out.  Your hair needs to be flawless at all times.  So in order to compensate for lack of confidence or trying the whole “look good, feel good” approach, black people spend their dollars on looking good.  This is some dumb shit that needs to be taken out of this culture because you need to crawl before you walk.  First handle the foundation then move up to Jordans and Red bottoms.

White people love to spend money on fashion too.  White people love to buy expensive cufflings, designer purses, custom suits.  Their efforts are more to make sure they look presentable to potential employers.  They really don’t care about being made fun off on a day off.  That’s why you see white people with sandals on or those really high shorts.  White people tend to over do it on the suits but they tend to last them a very long time so they treat them more like investments than clothes.

Black people love to spend money on cars.  Chrysler 300’s, Chargers, the new model mustangs are a favorite.  Black people also customize cars and don’t really bother with leasing.  The car becomes an investment instead of just something to drive.

White people love to spend money on cars too.  They lease new cars.  Most of the BMW’s and Benz’s that you see are leased.  They have a more economic car and then a leased car.  They figure it’s just a car and pretty soon I’ll need another one so I’ll just rent the newest one out.  Leasing a car is throwing away money that could be used somewhere else.  More on cars later in this article.

According to Tingba Muhammad of the Nation of Islam Research Organization (NOIRG) wasteful black spending is rooted in slavery.  Earlier this year, Minister Louis Farrakhan gave speech on the root of black spending behaviors and what black people need to do to correct some of these bad habits.  According to the research 42 million Blacks have a spending power amounting to $1.1 trillion, which gives each man, woman, and child an annual spending power of $26,200 dollars.  Black spend their money overwhelmingly with white businesses on the following products and services.

  • tobacco                                    $3.3 billion
  • whiskey, wine, and beer         $3 billion
  • non-alcoholic                          $2.8 billion
  • leisure time spending            $3.1 billion
  • toys, games, and pets           $3.5 billion
  • telephone services                $18.6 billion
  • gifts                                         $10 billion
  • charitable contributions       $17.3 billion
  • healthcare                              $23.6 billion

The NOIRG theorizes that when most Blacks emerged from slavery, it frightened the hell out of white people. They knew that money and knowledge in Black hands meant that Blacks would have the power to determine their own destiny apart from white domination and control. The first impulse Blacks had after slavery was to get as far away from whites as possible. They even set up over 60 all-Black towns, in which they managed free of white authority. This trend had to be stopped because with Black independence came the total loss of the labor that whites totally depended on.  This created a tremendous amount of oppression.  Blacks responded to this oppression by becoming fast spenders.

So, today, Blacks don’t trust banks, or the courts—Blacks “trust” only that which they can hold in their hands at that very moment. As destructive as that behavior is to Black progress is exactly how profitable that behavior is to whites—who will do anything to keep Blacks on that thinking track.

Hmmmmm!  Something to think about.

Another school of thought is shared by blogger Matthew Corbin who wrote 5 Reasons Why Black People Are Still Broke.  Here are Corbin’s 5 reasons:

  1. Black people spend more money than the make
  2. Black people don’t support black businesses
  3. Black people don’t save their money
  4. Black people don’t know how to invest
  5. Black people aren’t working towards getting out of poverty

Click here to read Corbin’s explanation for each reason.

Donald J. Trump is the 45th President of the United States.  Some say life under a Trump administration won’t be that bad, in fact, it Donald Trump may do more for blacks than the last several presidents.  Time will tell.  Trump says he will be great for blacks.  Click here to read Donald Trump’s plan for the black community.

The following information comes from the website Racism In America.com.  As the largest racial minority in the United States, blacks make up approximately 13.2% of the population, but have a spending power of over one-trillion dollars. So why is it that blacks have the lowest net worth of all racial classes?

During the Civil War, small banks were established throughout the country to be financially responsible for freed and runaway slaves’ deposits. However, many of those individuals lost their money because the banks “lost” their deposits. And after the Civil War, blacks had practically no economic resources, access to capital, or entrepreneurial abilities, making it almost impossible to build, accrue, and pass on wealth. But in an attempt to financially assist soldiers and emancipated slaves with transitioning into “freedom,” Congress established the Freedman’s Saving and Trust Company–a financial institution for blacks. The bank’s objective was to help blacks “increase their financial strength.”

In the 21st century, many blacks still don’t possess bank accounts, but instead rely on check cashing services, prepaid debit cards, and those alike. And living an “all cash” lifestyle allows for more spending and less saving. However, because of the history of being financially defrauded, blacks have grown to rely on tangible items to justify their finances. In other words, many of them feel more secure being able to see and spend their money instead of trusting a financial institution. Consequently, the more items bought and the more expensive items may be, signifies many blacks’ interpretation of their net worth and status as opposed to what a savings account may indicate.

Studies have shown that managing: household expenses and budget, money and debt, investments, and to save for college education are areas that many blacks aren’t financially literate.

In a 2013 survey, Prudential Research reported that 40% of blacks considered themselves to be spenders, 51% savers, and only 9% that actually invest.  To this date, blacks only possess 5% of America’s wealth, oppose to whites that own 61%, Asians 28%, and Hispanics 6%.

Therefore, the real reason why blacks spend their money and don’t save is because systematic racism prevented them from safely investing in banks, and is currently impacting their ability to own property, land, or businesses, thus leaving them with nothing to pass down to future generations. They were forced into a mindset of poverty–spend now before it’s gone, impacting them generationally. Historical experiences blinded African-Americans from recognizing the importance of financial literacy and because of their monetary ignorance, blacks possess the least amount of wealth in America.

I decided to post this article as a recent and clear example of how, in this case, this black person spends his money.  Why the need to flaunt your money?  We’re not in the psychology field, so we won’t even venture to speculate.

A new report from Nielsen, “The Increasingly Affluent, Educated and Diverse,” explores the “untold story” of African-American consumers, particularly Black households earning $75,000 or more per year.  According to the report, Black people in this segment are growing faster in size and influence than whites in all income groups above $60,000.  And as African-American incomes increase, their spending surpasses that of the total population in areas such as insurance policies, pensions and retirement savings.

According to Nielsen, “African-American households spend more on basic food ingredients and beverages and tend to value the food preparation process, spending more time than average preparing meals. Other popular buying categories include fragrances, personal health and beauty products, as well as family planning, household care and cleaning products.”

The authors of this report emphasize that as the social and cultural clout of the Black consumer is on the ascendancy, it is incumbent upon advertisers and marketers of consumer brands to develop a long-tern game with the Black community.

As The Atlantic notes, Black buying power is expected to reach $1.2 trillion this year, and $1.4 trillion by 2020, according to the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth.

 LetsBuyBlack365 is a national grassroots movement that utilizes the online community and local networking to harness Black buying power, with a goal to create jobs and resources to help Black people.

A few years ago we updated our original post 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.”

We also incorporated 2014 data from the Nielsen Company.  If history is any indication of future behavior, this updated article will be hotly debated in 2016.  Let’s hope that we can make some progress in this area and close the wealth gap.

Compared to all consumers, African Americans spend 30 percent more of their total income — even though we make $20,000 less than the average household. A whopping 87 percent of annual retail spending consists of Black consumers! But where does our money go? Hudson Valley Press Online gives us the scoop via an article from Nielsen’s SVP of public affairs and government relations, Cheryl Pearson-McNeil.

When it comes to shopping at the mall, we make eight more annual trips than any other group pulling in an average of 154 visits. Blacks also patronize dollar stores the most; we make seven more trips than the average group making a total of 20 trips. Lastly, Black Americans made more visits to convenience/gas stores by a small margin: making a total of 15 annual visits.

However, African American trips to grocery stores and warehouse clubs (like Costco) are a bit more scarce. “Less time is spent at grocery stores, with three fewer trips. The exception to grocery store shopping, though, is with Blacks who earn upwards of $100K annually. We also make three fewer trips to warehouse stores and two fewer trips to mass merchandisers than the Total Market. However, more upper-income Blacks (73%) shop at warehouse clubs than non-Blacks annually,” Pearson-McNeil said.

It could be that the lack of grocery stores and other healthy establishments in Black neighborhoods that contribute to this trend. This is why it’s not at all surprising that African-Americans frequent McDonald’s and Burger King more than other U.S. household.

What you probably won’t see in our carts are diary products such as milk and yogurt. “[T]his could be because many of us are lactose-intolerant,” Pearson-McNeil adds.

But probably the largest retail disparity between African Americans and other groups rests in the hair and beauty industry. We spend about nine times more on hair care and beauty products in comparison to other demographics.  “In fact, 46% of Black households shop at Beauty Supply Stores and have an average annual total spend of $94 on products at these stores,” Pearson-McNeil says.

All the aforementioned figures were pulled from Resilient, Receptive, and Relevant: The African-American Consumer 2013 Report. With African Americans approaching $1 trillion buying power, one must wonder why aren’t marketers paying more attention to Black consumer trends.

** The average Black household contains 2.57 persons. In addition, Black households averaged 1.25 owned vehicles. Most of these households were renters, living in apartments or flats.8 Their dwellings averaged 5.45 rooms (including finished living areas and excluding all baths) and 1.49 bathrooms. Black households’ annual expenditures averaged $36,149, which was 79.8 percent of their average income before taxes. The amount spent on housing ($13,530) consumed the biggest portion of annual expenditures, accounting for more than one-third of the total. This was followed by transportation ($5,946) and food ($5,825). The remaining expenditures made up roughly 30 percent of total spending: personal insurance and pensions, healthcare, entertainment, cash contributions, apparel, and education, in addition to personal care, tobacco, alcohol, reading, and miscellaneous expenditures.

Black Americans are just 13 percent of the U.S. population, and yet, we’re on trend to have a buying power of $1.4 trillion by 2019.  A new Nielsen study hints that marketers may want to start developing a better consumer-producer relationship with African Americans if they want to make big bucks.

Titled “The Multicultural Edge: Rising Super Consumers,” the report finds that the Black American sweet spot, in terms of buying power, lies in ethnic hair and beauty aids (surprise, surprise). African-American dollars make up a whopping 85.8 percent of the industry.

**Here are highlights of the spending patterns of low-income versus high-income Black households:

  • On average, low-income Black households spent $16,627 in total annual expenditures, compared with high-income Black households who spent approximately $50,000 more.
  • Housing was the biggest expenditure for both types of households. For the high-income Black households, housing was 34.2 percent of the total annual expenditure. For the low-income Black households, it was nearly half of the total annual expenditure, at 45.5 percent.
  • Food was another large spending category for both types of households. However, it made up only 12.7 percent of total expenditures for high-income Black households, compared with 23.5 percent for low-income Black households.
  • Transportation and personal insurance and pensions made up only 11.5 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively, of total expenditure for the low-income Black households. However, for the high-income Black households, these shares were 17.1 percent and 15.0 percent, respectively.
  • Cash contributions, such as charitable donations, was a smaller expenditure category in which low and high-income Black households differed. Cash contributions were 2.1 percent for the low-income Black households and 4.6 percent for the high-income Black households.
  • Among the remaining expenditure categories, alcoholic beverages, apparel and services, healthcare, entertainment, personal care, reading, education, and miscellaneous expenditures, low-income and high-income Black households had similar expenditure shares.
  • Tobacco and smoking supplies was the only expenditure category in which low-income Black households spent both a higher share and a higher actual dollar outlay than their high-income counterparts. For low-income Black households, tobacco and smoking supplies was 1.5 percent ($248) of their total expenditure but made up only 0.3 percent ($218) of total expenditure for high-income Black households.13

Reginald A. Noël, “Income and spending patterns among Black households,” Beyond the Numbers: Prices & Spending, vol. 3, no. 24 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, November 2014), http://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-3/income-and-spending-patterns-among-black-households.htm

According to Nielsen:

  • Blacks are more aggressive consumers of media and they shop more frequently.
  • Blacks watch more television (37%), make more shopping trips (eight), purchase more ethnic beauty and grooming products (nine times more), read more financial magazines (28%) and spend more than twice the time at personal hosted websites than any other group.
  • Blacks make an average of 156 shopping trips per year, compared with 146 for the total market. Favoring smaller retail outlets, blacks shop more frequently at drug stores, convenience stores, and Dollar stores.
  • Beauty supply stores are also popular within the black community, as they typically carry an abundance of ethnic hair and beauty aids reside that cater specifically to the unique needs of black hair textures.

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

While the numbers indicate that Black folks are an important part of the buying public, companies spend just three-percent (3%) of their advertising budgets marketing to black consumers. According to Cheryl Pearson McNeil, a Vice President at Nielsen, “The Black population is young, hip and highly influential. We are growing 64 percent faster than the general market,” she explains.

However, Noel King, a reporter for NPR’s Marketplace, cautions companies against trying to reach Black consumers without knowing our needs.  “If you want to market to those groups, then you should know what particular group buys your stuff,” says King. “Blacks tend to spend more on electronics, utilities, groceries, footwear. They spend a lot less on new cars, alcohol, entertainment, health care, and pensions.”

Despite our collective buying power, statistical data reflects that much of that money is spent outside of the Black community and not with Black-owned businesses.

Compare these numbers about “dollar circulation” reported by the NAACP:

“Currently, a dollar circulates in Asian communities for a month, in Jewish communities approximately 20 days and white communities 17 days.  How long does a dollar circulate in the Black community? 6 hours!  Black American buying power is at 1.1 Trillion; and yet only 2 cents of every dollar blacks spend in this country goes to black owned businesses.”

If the “dollar circulation” data does not get your attention, consider the following information from an article written by financial expert Ryan Mack:

55 percent of African Americans are unbanked or under-banked meaning they do not have a bank account or the appropriate bank account (Federal Deposit Corporation Survey)

  • “About a quarter of all Hispanic (24 percent) and black (24 percent) households in 2009 had no assets other than a vehicle, compared with just 6 percent of white households. These percentages are little changed from 2005.” (Pew Research)
  • “The median amount Black households reported saving on a monthly basis is $189, compared to $367 among White households…. [This is] the first time in a decade that African-American households have reported saving less than $200 per month.” (Ariel Investments 2010 Black Investor Survey)
  • “Blacks on the average are six times more likely than Whites to buy a Mercedes, and the average income of a Black who buys a Jaguar is about one-third less than that of a White purchaser of the luxury vehicle.” Earl Graves, Black Enterprise Magazine
  • Although Blacks make up 13-percent of the U.S. population, just seven-percent (7%) of small business are owned by Blacks. Access to capital, clientele, and other resources hinder many Black folks from starting business, despite a long history of entrepreneurship.

Highlights from “Big Spenders, Small Investors:  Blacks Have Little to Show for Hard-Earned Dollars”:

  • 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 $1.1 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 Black 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, Blacks 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 Blacks are homeowners, according to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies State of the Nation report for 2013.
  • Sixty percent of Blacks have less than $50,000 saved in company retirement plans and only 23 percent have more than $100,000.

Photo:  Hundreds of people gathered in the church to say goodbye to Michael Brown. (Richard Perry/The New York Times)

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.

“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.”

Rich Blacks vs. Poor Blacks:  Income and Spending Patterns

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Consumer Expenditure (CE) Survey provide information on annual household spending.  Looking at demographic subgroups of the population can provide a deeper understanding of consumption preferences and spending behavior for a particular group. Using data from the CE Survey, the following charts compares and contrasts the spending patterns of low-income Black households to their high-income counterparts.

Average annual expenditures of all, high-and low-income Black households, 2010–2012 combined
Category All Black

households

High-income Black

households

Low-income Black

households

Total average annual expenditures $36,148.98 $67,114.17 $16,627.29
Tobacco and smoking supplies $239.06 $218.26 $248.34
Housing $13,529.96 $22,956.40 $7,569.19
Total food $5,825.34 $8,514.41 $3,910.12
Transportation $5,945.94 $11,469.17 $1,915.35
Personal insurance and pensions $3,678.55 $10,043.75 $315.33
Cash contributions $1,347.50 $3,081.13 $349.31
Healthcare $1,794.27 $3,240.21 $689.57
Apparel and services $1,000.48 $1,907.43 $474.05
Education $503.25 $1,354.23 $190.31
Entertainment $1,362.24 $2,485.95 $635.57
Personal care $318.71 $645.89 $117.30
Reading $45.22 $97.22 $12.86
Alcoholic beverages $168.09 $329.53 $95.40
Miscellaneous expenditure $390.37 $770.58 $104.60

The only category which low-income Black households were not outspent was tobacco and smoking supplies. This particular statistic supports the phenomenon that tobacco tends to be a higher share of total expenditures for those with lower income as compared to those with higher income.

Source:  Reginald A. Noël, “Income and spending patterns among Black households,” Beyond the Numbers: Prices & Spending, vol. 3, no. 24 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, November 2014), https://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-3/income-and-spending-patterns-among-black-households.htm

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.”

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

According to Forbes magazine, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., made more than $420 million in 2015.  He is the highest paid athlete in the world.

Click here to read how Floyd Mayweather, Jr. spends his money.

Portions of this article came from Clutch Mag online.

james_clingman-240x240

If you want to educate yourself and others about how to earn and spend your money responsibly, read the book, Black Dollars Matter: Teach Your Dollars How to Make More Sense, by James Clingman.  Clingman is a friend to this site.  He’s also the founder of the Greater Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce and the nation’s most prolific writer on economic empowerment for Black people. He can be reached through his website, www.blackonomics.comBlack Dollars Matter: Teach Your Dollars How to Make More Sense is available through the website www.professionalpublishinghouse.com and Amazon Kindle e-Books.

Black Dollars Matter Book Cover

If you want to educate yourself and others about how to earn and spend your money responsibly, read the book, Black Dollars Matter: Teach Your Dollars How to Make More Sense, by James Clingman.  Clingman is a friend to this site.  He’s also the founder of the Greater Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce and the nation’s most prolific writer on economic empowerment for Black people. He can be reached through his website, www.blackonomics.comBlack Dollars Matter: Teach Your Dollars How to Make More Sense is available through the website www.professionalpublishinghouse.com and Amazon Kindle e-Books.

There is a great organization called World of Money.  Founded in 2005, the World of Money is a New York City based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to empower youth through the engaged, local delivery of professional quality financial education. World of Money Founder and CEO, Sabrina Lamb, while attending a financial planning seminar, was inspired by a compelling question. Are children, in the course of their education and upbringing, getting this information on how to manage their financial life? After conducting some research on the subject, Ms. Lamb found that the answer to her question was a resounding “no”. So, after affirming the detrimental effects of this knowledge gap, she set forth to leverage her experience as an entrepreneur and love of working with children to create World of MoneyClick here to visit their website and learn more.

There are already over 35 African-American owned banks and credit unions in the United States where you can put your money if you find these type of efforts for financial stability and reinvestment in the black community important.

Check out the list below!

  1. Omega Psi Phi Credit Union – Lawrenceville, Georgia
  2. Phi Beta Sigma Federal Credit Union – Washington, DC
  3. One United Bank – Los Angeles,California
  4. FAMU Federal Credit Union – Tallahassee, Florida
  5. Credit Union of Atlanta – Atlanta, Georgia
  6. North Milwaukee State Bank – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  7. Seaway Bank – Chicago, Illinois
  8. The Harbor Bank- Baltimore, Maryland
  9. Liberty Bank – New Orleans, Louisiana
  10. United Bank of Philidelphia – Philidelphia, Penn
  11. Alamerica Bank – Birmingham, Alabama
  12. Broadway Federal Bank – Los Angeles, California
  13. Carver State Bank – Savannah, Georgia
  14. Capital City Bank – Atlanta, Georgia
  15. Citizens Trust Bank – Atlanta, Georgia
  16. City National Bank – Newark, New Jersey
  17. Commonwealth National Bank – Mobile, Alabama
  18. Industrial Bank – Washington D.C.
  19. First Tuskegee Bank – Tuskegee, Alabama
  20. Mechanics & Farmers Bank – Durham, North Carolina
  21. First Independence Bank – Detroit, Michigan
  22. First State Bank – Danville, Virginia
  23. Illinois Service Federal – Chicago, Illinois
  24. Unity National Bank – Houston, Texas
  25. Carver Federal Savings Bank – New York, New York
  26. OneUnited Bank – Miami, Florida
  27. OneUnited Bank – Boston, Massachusetts
  28. Tri-State Bank – Memphis, Tennesse
  29. Citizens Bank – Nashville, Tennessee
  30. South Carolina Community Bank – Columbia, South Carolina
  31. Columbia Savings and Loan – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  32. Liberty Bank – Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  33. Liberty Bank – Kansas City, Missouri
  34. Citizen Trust Bank – Birmingham, Alabama
  35. Liberty Bank – Chicago, Illinois
  36. Liberty Bank – Jackson, Mississippi
  37. Toledo Urban Credit Union – Toledo, Ohio
  38. Hill District Credit Union – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Are you currently putting money in a black owned bank? Leave any testimonials you have below!

Photo credit:  Couple counting money — Image by © Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Blend Image/Blend Images/Corbis

** Sources:  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Consumer Expenditure (CE) Survey, http://racisminamerica.org/the-real-reason-why-blacks-spend-their-money-and-dont-save/, CNN, Harvard Business Review, http://curatorsofdopenessblog.tumblr.com/post/72870270050/black-money-white-money

Here’s another related and informative article on black spending.

 

How Blacks’ Dollars Can Achieve Black Power by William Reed

By William Reed (Posted June 12, 2017)

What is your view of black economic development?  Most blacks say they are tired of being slighted and disrespected; yet the majority of us ignore tried and true capitalistic practices that would improve the race’s poor economics.  It’s too bad there’s no accumulation of Blacks oriented toward race-based economic empowerment and wealth building.  Black people collectively pooling economic resources aren’t the “wishful thinking” that many suggest.  The thing we need to recognize is “to do for self‘”.  When blacks across the nation make economic growth and development functioning realities collectively practicing means and methods that create jobs and opportunities we will be well on our way to respect and admiration.

It is generally accepted that there’s been progress for black Americans over the last 60 years, yet our overall status is bleak. Too many blacks are focused to rid the country of “white supremacy”.  Black politicians and civil rights “leaders” boast that they’ve gotten blacks to 72 percent parity with whites.    Truth is whites have “superior” understandings and adaptations of capitalistic procedures.  Blacks must “stay awake” to more than partisan politics.  Even as our poverty and unemployment rates continue to be higher than whites’, it’s a challenge to get most blacks to see benefits that can accrue if we come together and do more financially for betterment of our communities.

Black buying power is currently $1.3 trillion according to a Nielsen and National Newspaper Publishers Association Report.”  With such money and buying power blacks should be utilizing methods and practices that circulate those dollars to Black owned initiatives.  Each of us should look at our own actions and practices that keep us from spending substantial portions of money we get with Black-owned businesses.  Why do we not deposit in Black-owned banks when doing this enables black financial institutions to fund our projects, goods and services.

To “be equal” in American society, blacks must learn how to build business/investments, hold onto it and pass it on. Some skeptical blacks must see the value in spending their money with our businesses.  More blacks must “do more for self” to bring about Black Economic Power.”  The prevailing “Black Leadership” has its focus on partisan politics and elusive “’racial harmony”.  When will blacks learn that it’s imperative for concerned individuals, groups, organizations, churches and businesses push vital black financial and entrepreneurial cooperation to turn around disproportionate negative conditions that continue in Black communities?

Opportunities exist across the nation for black individuals, their organizations, churches, lodges, frats and entrepreneurs to provide educational programs, workshops and business conferences that teach and show people how and why to do for self.  America needs local black leadership demonstrating the power of the black dollar and increase community awareness to recycle dollars within our community, by banking with black-owned banks and buying from black businesses.  The solution to the high unemployment and income inequality black communities must come from us.  It includes development of black businesses.  Local or national groups, be them small or large: the thing is to do for self.  If we are serious about tackling unemployment in our community, the quickest fix is to start financially supporting Black-owned businesses.  Too many blacks rely on getting whites to remedy their financial problems.  Data suggests that if African-Americans invested more money in Black-owned businesses, these businesses would be sources of employment for more of us.

The stand we suggest all blacks adopt is empowering the black community toward taking control and redirecting its wealth and investments.  Blacks need more education on consuming and capitalism.  More blacks must establish locations where people come and learn economic and financial principles on how to create and sustain Black businesses where they live.  Let’s more of us hold power networking conferences for training and networking to bolster and educate Blacks.   We all have to engage what we know and have toward operational unity.  Enterprising individuals and organizations can sponsor regular business networking socials and gatherings.  Do them at Black-owned establishments.  Be sure to invite blacks in banking.  Those provide opportunities for entrepreneurial blacks to meet one another, exchange ideas and partner.

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via Busxchng@his.com

Gary A. Johnson is the Founder of Gary A. Johnson Company & Associates, LLC, a management training and consulting company. The company manages a variety of Internet and digital media enterprises including Black Men In America.com, one of the most popular web sites on the Internet, Black Men In America.com Dating and the Black Men In America.com Syndicated Blog. In addition, the company manages Homework Help Page.com, an educational resource site for children, college students and parents.

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The Economics of Race in America

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Guest Columnists with tags , , , , , , , on August 5, 2013 by Gary Johnson

William Reed

By William Reed

If we talk about what ails us that will make it better. When will Black Americans stop getting short shrift? Here lately the Supreme Court’s invalidation of valuable parts of the Voting Rights Act, to which  Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called “a central pillar of the civil rights laws that helped bring America’s ideals closer to reality for all” … and “feared the ruling would jeopardize the rights of racial minorities.”

“Black life is valued less than White life” and has become a familiar activist chant. From the very beginning, there was no more powerful theme in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin than the issue of race. Now, the national conversation is about “race in America.”  What we really need across America is “a conversation on race” that helps Blacks to rearrange some priorities.

As President Barack Obama said after the Zimmerman verdict “we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our communities. What Americans need are a series of race dialogues toward garnering ongoing commitments to combat prejudice and strengthening understanding among all.”

Republican Sen. John McCain should be recognized as an ally saying America has “a long way to go” before racial disparities end. The senior senator from Arizona said that Obama’s impromptu speech about being a Black in America, “…proved there needs to be more conversation about the issue of race. We cannot become complacent when we still have a dramatic disparity in Black youth unemployment,” said McCain.

It wouldn’t be as ironic as some Blacks think that Republicans follow McCain’s lead to bring about a conversation on race in America. Race and racism are the most challenging issues confronting America.  Yet, polite society refuses to discuss it. Racial inequality in the United State underlies a wide range of societal issues that affect different groups disproportionately. The total wealth gap between White and African-American families increased from $85,000 in 1984 to $236,500 in 2009.  The biggest drivers of the racial wealth gap are: years of home ownership; household income; employment; inheritance; financial support from families or friends; and pre-existing family wealth. Whites have 22 times more wealth than Blacks.

The story of race in America has been at the center of some of our greatest national traumas, as well as serving as the yardstick by which progress toward a more equal and fair society is measured. It’s apparent both from the varied reactions to Obama’s presidency and events beyond it, that race still serves as a critical stumbling block in American society.

Times of challenge provide the opportunity to create change.  There has never been a better time to re-examine and correct racial inequalities in American society. Instead of allowing the taboo on the subject to continue, the nation needs to start an honest discussion about race. We all need to pay more attention to the growing wealth inequality and expanding racial wealth. There needs to be some systematic, organizational commitment to making policy that helps Blacks to gain grants, and investment in our communities and businesses.  Let no one tell you “all is equal” with demonstrated disparities in health care, education, housing and criminal justice continuing.

Don’t let the “talking heads” that regularly represent the country’s wealth interest to have you believe “all things are equal.” White Americans have continued to enjoy material advantages based on past racially exclusionary practices and current institutionalized discrimination. However, this long history of racism has created social costs in terms of social instability and loss of economic productivity. African Americans bear costs of low self-esteem, high unemployment, low socioeconomic status, and limited opportunities.

As we march from one unemployment line to another, don’t let American politicians and media weasel out on this one. A dialogue on the role race currently plays in the economy from the workplace to the criminal justice system is needed. Politicians should be encouraged to expedite a series of conversations on race across the country.

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

Is Gaining Wealth an “Impossible Dream?

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Money/Economics, Women's Interests with tags , , , on August 8, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By William Reed

The wealthiest Americans live in gated communities that protect them from the masses. A new poll reveals that many Americans are questioning their prospects for “upward mobility.”  The high level of pessimism is reflected among respondents in a recent poll conducted by The Hill newspaper that found half [47 percent] of likely voters believe it’s impossible for them to become wealthy during the course of their lifetime. The survey, conducted as the heated political presidential campaign becomes more acrimonious over the interests of the haves and the have-nots, found that fewer than 2 in 5 likely voters [37 percent] think they can ever become rich.

This presidential election will have more to do with the economy and voters personal well-being than ever before. The Hill newspaper’s survey findings suggest pessimism about the possibility of upward mobility as economic growth remains weak and jobs scarce. The national debate over wealth is intensifying as it creates economic divisions across the country’s population segments. Although the economy will improve a bit in the second half of 2012, it will be another disappointing year of slow growth capping the worst three years of economic growth, outside of a recession. Between 2005 and 2010 the median net worth of Americans under 35 fell 37 percent, and the wealth gap between the young and the old in America is wider than it’s ever been. The percentage of the workforce under age 25 has dropped 13.2 percent since 2008, and the U.S. unemployment rate is 12 percent for those age 18 to 29 because this age group’s parents aren’t retiring.

The wealth – more specifically, the median net worth – of households in the United States is varied in  relation to race, education, geographic location and gender.  Wealth in the U.S. is unevenly distributed, with the wealthiest 25 percent of U.S. households owning 87 percent of the total wealth.

The median wealth of White households is 20 times that of Black households. And, Blacks vote more on emotion than economic well-being. For Black Americans the annual median household income in 2010 was $29,328. It was $35,856 among all races. While Blacks make 62 cents of every dollar of income that Whites make, they only have 10 cents for every dollar of wealth that Whites have.

In The Hill poll almost 40 percent of people said that the threshold to being wealthy was a $500,000 annual income.  Twenty percent put the bar above $1 million. Thirty-one percent of people said a family earning $250,000 a year is wealthy.  And, 9 percent said $100,000 was the threshold.

Each day, America is comprised more and more of economic haves and have-nots. Since the 2007 recession the share of total wealth owned by the nation’s wealthiest one percent grew to 37.1 percent and that owned by the top 20 percent grew to 87.7 percent. The 2007 recession, and aftermath, also increased the wealth gap between the 1 percent and the 99 percent.

According to a CBS News/New York Times poll, a majority of registered voters believe that Mitt Romney’s policies favor the rich. Fifty-three percent say Romney’s policies favor the wealthy. Eleven percent says his policies favor the middle class, while two percent say they favor the poor. Thirty percent say Romney’s policies treat all groups equally. Of the social segments that favor President Barack Obama’s policies, 21 percent say his policies favor the rich, while 22 percent say they favor the middle class and 24 percent say they favor the poor. Twenty-five percent say Obama’s policies treat all groups equally.

What are your views?  Are Black voters in a totally different place than the mainstream of Americans?   The Hill poll’s respondents’ views differed based on income levels, with voters earning between $40,000 and $75,000 strongly preferring Romney over Obama. Among people earning between $40,000 and $60,000, 48 percent trust Romney more compared to 39 percent for Obama. People earning between $60,000 and $75,000 trust Romney more than Obama by a 34-point margin, 61 percent to 27 percent.

(William Reed is available for speaking/seminar projects via the Bailey Group.org)

SANTA’S HELPER: AN ORGANO GOLD DISTRIBUTOR!

Posted in African Americans, Black Men, Black Men In America, Money/Economics with tags , , on January 17, 2012 by Gary Johnson

According to “The Greatest” Muhammad Ali “A friend is someone who is always doing for others and never expecting anything in return.”

How many friends of yours meet his definition?  I can count my friends on one hand!

For the past 43 years I have been married to a wonderful and great lady named Hattie Bell.  We have coordinated Christmas toy parties for elementary school children from DC, Maryland and Virginia during those 43 years.

This effort has been hosted by our non-profit organization KIDS IN TROUBLE, INC. without grants or loans.

The last decade I have been promising Hattie “This is going to be my last year” promises made promises broken.  I was once a kid in trouble and going to hell in a hurry. There is something special about a little child’s smile at Christmas that is addicted.

We usually try to average at least 100 kids for every toy party but this year because of financial difficulties we had to cut back to 50 children.

During the week of December 18, 2011 I was out on a rainy night to pick up a donation from a friend of KIDS IN TROUBLE Dr. Anthony Mays.  He is the President and founder of BREAKTHROUGH BIBLE COLLEGE.  His office is located in Temple Hills, Md.  His trusted assistant Dr. Julia Doctor was waiting for me to pick up the donation.

Since it was raining I decided to park in a “Handicap Parking Space” without the designated sticker!  Needless to say when I got back downstairs my car was gone.

I stood in the rain trying to figure out where my car was?  I returned to the lobby of the building when this brother who had been sitting in the lobby approached and asked “Are you having a problem?”  He delivered the bad news that a tow truck had taken my car.

His name is Milton Hill.  After delivering the bad news, he offered to give me a ride to my mother-in-law’s home in Suitland (5 minutes away).  He dropped me off, we exchanged numbers and wished each other a Merry Christmas and promised to stay in touch.  I have since made him an honorary “Santa’s Helper.”

I also promised I would attend a presentation at his home in January of 2012.  I felt that was the least I could do for the kindness he had shown me.

I called the number on the sign in the parking lot to the tow truck company and was told it would take $175 if I wanted to retrieve my car.

I borrowed $25 each from my two brothers-in-law, Weldon and Steve who were visiting for the holidays. My wife Hattie came up with another $25.  The $100 donation from Dr. Mays brought the total to $175.

My “Friend” and Santa’s Helper Gus Banks lived nearby.  I called him for a ride in search of my towed vehicle!  In “The Hood” this is known as HUSTLING BACKWARDS!

To make a long story short, thanks to donations from Santa’s Helpers like Dr. Mays, Ms. Michelle Madison of Unity Health Care, Giant Food Stores, Ms. Carla Carter (The Cup Cake Lady), Pat Gray and Gus Banks, the 43 Annual KIT toy party was a success.

Children from the First Baptist Church of Suitland in Forestville, Md. and the Simba Maritials Arts Academy in SE, DC were the happy recipients.

On Monday January 9, 2012 I received a telephone call from Milton Hill my honorary Santa’s Helper wishing me a Happy New Year!  He also reminded me that on Tuesday January 10, 2012 he was having a presentation at his home in Clinton, Md.

The presentation was the one that I had promised that I would be in attendance.  I reminded him that I was a MAN of my WORD because it was the only thing that I really owned outright in this system.

The system can and will take everything that you own (material things) but once you allow it to take your WORD you will never be able to help anyone including yourself!

Tuesday January 10, 2012 would turnout to be a rainy, rainy day and night in Prince Georges County.  First, I don’t like driving at night and second I seldom if ever leave the house on a rainy day unless it is an emergency.  My wife looked at me and said “You gave your WORD!”

Traveling from Bowie, Md. to Clinton, Md. is like going cross country especially when it is dark and raining!  Since I was not familiar with Clinton and without a GPS to guild me I traveled to my destination on a wing and prayer.

Milton would have to come and rescue me again after I got lost because of the poorly lit street signs leading to his home.

He was expecting a full house but knowing some folks I warned him “We don’t like to leave the comfort of our homes if it is raining and dark!”  He laughed and agreed.

I still didn’t have a clue on what the presentation was all about until a young preppy
well dressed brother named Sulaiman Rahman from Philadelphia made his way to the basement.

His presentation would be about “Coffee!”  I don’t even drink coffee but I said, “What the hell I’m here now, why not listen!”

I have heard all kinds of presentations and invitations on “How to get rich quick or die trying” starting with Mary Kay, World ATM Company, to my last encounter in 2011 with a so-called global telecommunications CEO.

The encounter with the CEO left a bad taste in my mouth.  If I had known that my trip to Clinton would be about another get rich home based business scheme there was the possibility my WORD would not have been kept!

This is the same CEO I had met in the 90s when he was driving a bus and spinning records at local night clubs. He was brought to my home in Suitland, Md. and introduced to me by another young man I was mentoring.

In the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s my reputation as an athlete, youth advocate and out spoken radio and television sports talk show pioneer had already been established. In DC it was nothing unusual for young men to stop me on the streets or come to my home for advice.

When I was introduced to this young man I had already broken bread with drug kingpins and the President of the United States of America.  I had been from “The Outhouse to the White House” and interviewed some of the greatest athletes of our time.

Despite the success in the community and sports media I never lost sight on who I was and where I came from!

Honesty and integrity and “You Cannot buy him” were characteristics already associated with the name Harold Bell.

In the summer of 2011 almost two decades later I was called by another young friend associated with the CEO.  He was calling to invite me to hear a presentation on the campus of the University of Maryland.

He sold me when he said “Harold it is time that you get paid for all of your  contributions made to our community.”  Like many in the black community I was facing financial difficult times and this sounded like music to my ears!

When I arrived at the Marriott hotel for the meeting there was a “Show & Tell” exhibit of about 12 brand new BMW automobiles and a Bentley parked out front!

Inside the room where the presentation was being held there were wall to wall black folks who looked like they had just stepped out of Esquire Magazine.  I was escorted to a seat in the front of the room for the presentation.

I listened to about 4 presentations and testimonies on the advantages of owning a home based business. I was impressed by the presentations, but I was surprised to see the last presenter.  It was the same young man who visited my home in the 90s seeking my advice on his next move to stardom and success in DC!

During his presentation I discovered he had literally gone from driving a bus to driving a Bentley. He gave me a wink as he bragged about his success.  I nodded my approval with a smile.

Shortly after the presentation I was escorted to the front of the line where he was signing his book titled “From the Bus to the Bentley.”  It was here he gave me a hug and told everyone waiting in line about how he had visited my home back in the day and had seen on my basement wall pictures of me with Muhammad Ali, Don King and other celebrities.

He then autographed in his book “To Harold Bell thanks for opening the door for me.”  The praise brought a smile to my face and tears to my eyes, but the smile would later turn upside down to a frown!

I would attend several more presentations to check out the clientele. I would later discover another young man I was familiar with.  He thought he wanted to be a fight promoter.

He was now a member of the organization.  It was during the Mike Tyson “Na Mas” against Kevin McBride in Washington, DC at the Verizon Center in June 2005. The wannabe promoter was taken to the cleaners by one of the most notorious frauds in the boxing.

During the promotions I forewarned the young brother to watch his back.  But he got caught up in the bright lights and wanting to be a star.  He allowed the Don King wannabe to go to the bank without him.

He screamed “Foul” to me after the fact.  The blow by blow profanity laced e-mails between him and the wannabe promoter had smoke coming from my computer!

My next move was to request a meeting with the CEO.  I laid out exactly what my plans were for the future and how we could form a partnership to enhance both organizations.  The projects included, a soon to be book and a film documentary as it related to my pioneering efforts in the community and sports talk radio.

He took my DVD promo and a draft of my book and asked me to put everything in writing. I e-mailed him my proposal two days later (August 2011). He has avoided me (phone calls, e-mail, and texts) ever since.

On January 2, 2012 we met face to face at the conclusion of a NBA Celtics vs. Wizards’ game at the Verizon Center.  He was coming up the steps exiting the game and I was going down the steps to the floor.  The look on his face when he saw me was “Priceless.”

In passing he said, “Harold I have not forgotten you I still have your package on my desk at home.”  I wished him a Happy New Year and kept on moving!

His behavior has become the norm in the black community where it use to be our teachers saying “I got mine and you have yours to get” success and two dollars more than the next brother starts the same process of memory lost in the streets!

The next day after I had absorbed his declaration of “I have not forgotten you” I e-mailed him my response—it was not pretty. 

His response was typical “What did I do to you sir?”  He tried to play the victim and make me the Bad Guy for asking him for a Helping Hand instead of a Hand Out in writing as he requested.  His wife even got involved.  I received an e-mail from her saying “Do I know you? It sounds like you want someone to give you something!”

I learned an important lesson from my Grandmother Amy Tyler Bell after I became a local celebrity I think she sensed that I was beginning to smell myself!  She said, “Remember to always tell the TRUTH because there is no defense for the TRUTH, a LIE will change a thousand times but the TRUTH never changes.”  It is the best advice I have ever received.

This from the Bus to the Bentley charade made me close the chapter on a Home-Based Business.  I decided this was not my way to financial success.  This was until my encounter with Santa’s Helper Milton Hill.

The presentation at Milton’s home by Organo Gold rep Sulaiman Rahman and the presentation in Greenbelt, Md. by rep Antonio Adair on Saturday January 14, 2011 made me a believer.

In Greenbelt there was no display of a caravan of Mercedes parked out in front of the building or brothers bragging about how they recently took poor kids on a cruise who had never been out of the inner-city or look at the regulation NBA basketball court I built in my backyard for my kids!

The standing room only presentation was an easy to understand and down to earth one.  Antonio made you laugh and say “WOW” out loud to yourself on how to obtain success if you are willing to work.

The most important part of the presentation to me was, egos were checked at the door and there was no “I” in the TEAM concept!

I made the right decision to become a TEAM member and distributor with Organo Gold. The “aha” moment came when I read the March 2012 issue of Success / from Home Magazine.  There was the story titled “Charitable Souls Shine Bright / OG Cares Gives Back.”

In the story Co-Founder and Global Master Distributor Shane Morand said, “We are teaching our leaders to give back, its part of our culture.” I am definitely in the right place at the right time.

Next year with God and Organo Gold willing, the 44th Annual Kids In Trouble Christmas toy party for elementary school children will have its own Santa Claus delivering toys, door to door.  This is one offer and cup of coffee I could not refuse.  Happy New Year!

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 Gary Johnson

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.

U.S. Racial Wealth Gap Quadrupled Since Mid-1980s, New Study Finds

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Money/Economics with tags , , on May 25, 2010 by Gary Johnson

The wealth gap between white and African-American families increased more than four times between 1984-2007, and middle-income white households now own far more wealth than high-income African Americans, according to an analysis by the Institute on Assets and Social Policy (IASP) at Brandeis University.

IASP, in a research brief, also reported that many African Americans hold more debt than assets and at least 25 percent of African-American families had no assets to turn to in times of economic hardship. The fourfold increase in the wealth gap, it said, reflects public policies, such as tax cuts on investment income and inheritances, which benefit the wealthiest and persistent discrimination in housing, credit and labor markets.

“Our study shows a broken chain of achievement. Even when African Americans do everything right — get an education and work hard at well-paying jobs — they cannot achieve the wealth of their white peers in the workforce, and that translates into very different life chances,” said Thomas Shapiro, IASP director and co-author of the research brief.

“A U-turn is needed. Public policies have and continue to play a major role in creating and sustaining the racial wealth gap, and they must play a role in closing it,” said Shapiro, author of The Hidden Cost of Being African American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality and the co-author of Black Wealth/White Wealth.

Wealth, what you own minus what you owe, allows people to start a business, buy a home, send children to college and ensure an economically secure retirement. Using economic data from the same nationally representative set of families from 1984 to 2007, the IASP analysis found that the real wealth gains and losses over the time demonstrate an escalating racial gap.

Over those 23 years, it said, the racial wealth gap increased by $75,000 — from $20,000 to $95,000. Financial assets, excluding home equity, among white families grew from a median value of $22,000 to $100,000 during that period while African Americans saw very little increase in assets in real dollars and had a median wealth of $5,000 in 2007.

Summing up all assets and debt, one in 10 African Americans owed at least $3,600 in 2007, nearly doubling their debt burden in real terms since 1984, IASP said.  The growth of the racial wealth gap significantly affects the economic future of American families, it said. The current gap is so large that it would pay tuition at a four-year public university for two children, purchase or make a solid down payment on a house, or provide a nest egg to draw upon in times of job loss or crisis.

“The gap is opportunity denied and assures racial economic inequality for the next generation,” said Tatjana Meschede, a co-author of the policy brief.

Notably, IASP’s analysis found that by 2007, the average middle-income white household had accumulated $74,000 in wealth, an increase of $55,000 over the 23-year period, while the average high-income African-American family owned $18,000, a drop of $7,000. That resulted in a wealth gap of $56,000 for an African-American family that earned more than $50,000 in 1984 compared to a white family earning about $30,000 that same year.

Those figures, IASP said, make it clear that higher income alone will not lead to increased wealth, security and economic mobility for African Americans. Consumers of color face a gauntlet of barriers — in credit, housing and taxes — that dramatically reduce the chances of economic mobility, it said.
Indeed, the data indicate that the general trend in lending, in which consumers of color pay more for accessing credit, increases their debt and blocks opportunities to move forward, putting them at a severe economic disadvantage. These are concerns that must be addressed through the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, now being debated in Congress, and other policy changes, IASP said.

“The data suggests we need renewed attention to public policies that provide real opportunities for advancement by reducing barriers to mobility inherent in our tax system and increasing transparency, regulation and access in our housing and credit markets,” said Laura Sullivan, another co-author.
Several factors help explain why improving targeted public policies would reduce the racial wealth gap and lessen the increased reliance on debt. One factor is that over the period studied there was an increasing dependence on credit markets to make ends meet. Among those with no financial assets, credit is often an emergency resource to help cover a job loss or medical emergency.

A second factor is that deregulation of the lending market brought a proliferation of high-cost credit, including securitized subprime and predatory loans, payday lending and check-cashing stores. Consumers of color were targeted in this market and resorted more frequently to credit cards and other forms of high-cost debt in the absence of assets or extended family resources to draw upon.

“The data make a critical contribution to the debate today about how to ensure greater economic security and opportunity for all our citizens. A racial wealth gap affects all of us because it means that a large portion of the population cannot contribute to building the wealth and strength of our nation, and that is a drain on us all,” said Meizhu Lui, director of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development’s “Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative.”

Source: Science Daily (May 17, 2010)

THE AUDACITY OF HELP: Obama’s Economic Plan and the Remaking of America

Posted in Barack Obama, Money/Economics with tags , , , , on September 11, 2009 by Gary Johnson

Reviewed by Gary A. Johnson

Audacity Cover

What a timely book.  The Audacity of Help by John F. Wasik is one of the most comprehensive books about Barack Obama’s Economic Plan and his vision for America.  Wasik is no slouch.  Unlike many so-called experts, Wasik is uniquely qualified to write this book having spent time studying and following President Obama for years.

Given all of the media attention to the President’s economic plan and the distortions and misrepresentations about the President and his policies, The Audacity of Help is a comprehensive and yet easy to understand breakdown of Barack Obama’s economic plan and challenges for America.

The Audacity of Help is like reading a history book.  The author provides charts and blueprints about packages passed by Congress and allows you to understand the bills and what they really mean.  Wasik also takes a look at how the President’s policies will affect health care, education, the environment and taxes.

Each chapter is clearly structured to show “what Congress passed,” and “who benefits most,” on issues such as Unemployment Insurance Benefits, COBRA, Home Energy Credits, Early Childhood Education, and more.

This book is no joke.  It deals with issues that matter to all Americans.

For me the best part of the book are the thought-provoking questions.  These questions forced me to think about the impact these policies will have on my family now and in the future.  For example:

  • How will it stimulate the worst economy in a generation?
  • Who will gain?
  • Who will lose?
  • What are his plans for reviving public education, small business, the environment, credit reform, health care, homeownership and entitlement programs?
  • Which industries will benefit?
  • What new jobs will be created?

This book appears to leave no stone unturned as it also compares the President’s plan with the New Deal.

Honestly, reading the book I felt as if I was studying toward an economic degree and liking it.  And I hate math and economics, but I could not put this book down.  The current economic climate and the author’s knowledge about the economic plan are a great match.

When President Obama took office, banks were severely impaired, companies were cutting pensions, and market disruptions and unemployment left more than 45 million people without health insurance or retirement security.

The book end asking the $64,000 dollar question:  Who will pay?

The soaring national debt begs the question:  How will this money be paid back?  According to author Wasik, the Obamanomics mission will ultimately lead to President Obama being judged on how well his can restore and maintain prosperity.  Or in other words, how will he remake or preserve the American Dream.

If you want to understand what is going on with our country’s economy, THE AUDACITY OF HELP: Obama’s Economic Plan and the Remaking of America (Bloomberg Press, August 2009), is a must-buy.

Check out Get Ready for “Son” of Stimulus Plan by John F. Wasik, on our main site’s “Money Talks” page.

About The Author

John F. Wasik As the award-winning author of 13 books, John Wasik has spoken to crowds from coast to coast on investing, retirement and protecting your money. As a personal finance columnist for Bloomberg News, the world’s third-largest news service, his columns reach 400 newspapers on five continents and have appeared in The Financial Times, International Herald-Tribune, Washington Post, Orange County Register and other papers in Canada, Europe, Japan, South America and Africa.

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