I just wonder do people get it – are they getting the message that I have been giving? For 28 years, we have held the Acres Home Chamber for Business and Economic Development Annual Awards Banquet in the middle of the “44” (Acres Home) for good reason. There is an old saying that says “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Over the years, my wife and I have done our best to lead by example. We practice the message that we share with others in regards to supporting the Black community and never forgetting where we come from. We have been to a function which hosted a $1000 plate-dinner in the middle of a field, under an air conditioned tent and people were competing throwing bull chips. So if they can go in a tent anywhere in “The Woods” and host functions, why can’t we have it in our neighborhood? I often address the fact that we are losing so many important factors of our Black communities and neighborhoods. This is a measure that is only helping up to lose our identity as a race of people.
We MUST Understand, when we lose our foundation and forget where we come from, in essence we are forgetting ourselves. I have repetitively emphasized the fact that we have in our possession two of the most powerful forces that a person can obtain in this country. Our “MONEY” and our “VOTE” are the most significant voices that we can have. Our “MONEY” and our “VOTE” takes our voice to places that we may never even see or visit. For this reason, we have to be careful who we give them to.
We MUST Understand, when we make a choice to give money to people within the community, it empowers them. On the contrary, anytime we give our money to people outside of the community, we empower them. But, the only thing about that is that, they don’t give anything back to us. At least when we patronage and support local individuals and small business owners that look like us; there is always a possibility that the Black dollar will circulate right back into our communities, since that is where they are located. Even so, by supporting local Black businesses, we know that we are at least helping to support another Black family. Yet, when we chose to utilize our means outside of the community we are only furthering the agenda of supporting those who do not look like us, or care about the best interest of our neighborhoods and communities.
To that regard, it is imperative that we understand that we spend over $1.1 trillion on a variety of things. I came across a depiction that detailed the exact power that I am referencing here. In a study entitled, The Black Buying Power of Black America, which was conducted by Target Market News. It was found that, “Black people spend: $3.3 billion per year on tobacco, $3 billion per year on whiskey, wine and beer, $2.8 billion per year on non-alcoholic beverages, $3.1 billion per year on leisure time, $3.5 billion per year on toys, games and pets, $19 billion per year on telephone services, $10 billion per year on buying gifts for one another, $13 billion per year on gambling, $29.3 billion per year on clothing, $65.2 billion per year on food, $17 billion per year in charitable contributions and $321 million per year on books.”
Majority of the items listed, can be spent in more productive ways, helping to support and empower one another. Nicole Kenney, NAACP Economic Program Specialist, wrote an article on the subject entitled, Asians keep a dollar in their community 120 times longer than African Americans. In it she revealed that, “a dollar circulates in Asian communities for a month, in Jewish communities approximately 20 days, in White communities 17 days and in the BLACK COMMUNITY SIX HOURS!” She went on to state that even though the African-American buying power is at 1.1 Trillion; only 2 cents of every dollar an African-American spends in this country goes to Black-owned businesses.
This is part of the reason why we chose to operate within our own community. When we host our events, we don’t go looking for venues in other communities amongst those who do not look like us, we stay right in the BLACK COMMUNITY. We solicit the services from those who operate within the BLACK COMMUNITY as well. Simply because we understand the importance of circulating the BLACK DOLLAR within the BLACK COMMUNITY! My only wish is that a lot more of our people will wake up and realize the urgency of using our BLACK BUYING POWER within the BLACK COMMUNITY. As I conclude I just have to state that overall; the Acres Home Chamber for Business and Economic Development’s 28th Annual Awards Banquet, was a complete success. And it must have been a full-moon because our Congresswoman was on the prowl that night.