Supporting Black business builds Black Power in 2017
ROGER CALDWELL | 4/6/2017, midnight
With President Trump leading America, Black Americans must depend on each other to support and maintain their current standard of living. Developing and building an entrepreneurial spirit is critical to the survival of the race in America in 2017.
As Dr. Boyce Watkins noted, Black Americans need to harness their wealth and spending power. “When you look at Black unemployment, you see that Black unemployment is typically twice as high as white unemployment,” said Watkins. “Ask yourself this: Why is it that we give away $1.1 trillion in spending power when that $1.1 trillion could, according to most economists, create 12.2 million jobs in the Black community?”
In 2017, there is a need for a Black agenda in which economics, politics, health and education are components of the plan. It is important that the Black community understands that our money is our power and we cannot continue giving our power away.
White corporate America spends billions in advertising to attract the Black dollar, but the Black community does not use our spending power as leverage to improve the state of our community. To start with, white companies spend $75 billion in advertising, and only 3 percent goes to Black publications, Black TV and radio stations and the casting of Black actors. When I turn on the television, the majority of the faces I see are white.
Most white companies will tell our community that they are not racist, but systemic racism happens every day. Blacks tend to not speak out, and when they do, white people get upset, and start talking about all their Black friends.
This conversation is very awkward because white people now place the blame on the Black community for not advancing and being successful in white America. White America is a closed society, and they allow a small minority of Blacks and other cultures into that white world.
Blacks know the cards are not stacked in our favor. Yet we continue facing institutional racism, brutal police harassment and mass incarceration, but we’re expected to smile. We’re not supposed to speak out when we are mistreated and discriminated against.
The presidential election has forced Blacks around the country to organize and build new movements to economically empower their communities. In Philadelphia, there is a grassroots movement that uses the online community to increase Black buying power called Let’s Buy Black 365. The goal of the organization is to create jobs and resources to help Black people.
As Blacks in local communities begin to talk more about “buying Black,” Black businesses will have a greater chance to survive and thrive. In 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that in Florida, there were more than 20,000 Black businesses in Orange County. And in other counties surrounding Orange County, Lake County had 2,291, Brevard County had 4,128, Osceola County had 2,913, Seminole County had 3,849 and Volusia county had 3,607. BlackDemographic.com determined in 2012 that the total number of Black businesses in Florida was more than 250,000.
Without a doubt, there has been a surge in Black businesses across the country, and Florida is in third place nationally in terms of states. But the majority of these new businesses are sole proprietorships, a single-owner business with zero to two employees.
There is power in business ownership in America because it creates jobs for the community and for a particular race. White-owned businesses create 55 million jobs, 44 percent of the working age White population. Asian-owned businesses create 3.8 million jobs, 33 percent of the working age Asian population. Hispanic-owned businesses create 3.8 percent million jobs, 8 percent of the working age Hispanic population. Blacks only create 1 million jobs, which is 4 percent of the working age Black population.
At this point, Blacks are at the bottom in creating businesses and jobs in America. As a community, we generate $1.1 trillion in spending, but we have no idea where our money goes. There is power in Black businesses, and it is time for our community to support Black businesses and build both national and international brands and conglomerates.
Roger Caldwell is CEO and president of On Point Media Group.