woman-shopping-on-a-budgetWhat’s wrong with expecting makeup companies to include black bloggers in their PR campaigns? Or Marvel Comics marketing to black fanboys and fangirls?  Or even wanting a larger representation of black models on the runway?

Guess what, there’s nothing wrong with it at all.  Considering that African-Americans currently have $1 trillion in buying power and it’s expected to rise to $1.3 trillion by 2017, I don’t want inclusion, I expect inclusion.

Sure, boo all you want.  Or say things like, “Stop begging”, I get it.  But unless you’re living  off of all handmade goods, wearing shoes you handmade, using leaves to wipe your ass, eating food not bought in a store but grown in your backyard, watching a TV you somehow managed to build yourself, or using an Apple or Android device that wasn’t made in part because of this buying power, have a stadium full of seats. Whether you like it or not, you’re not only a product of consumerism, you’re also participating in inclusion.

Inclusion is a double-edged sword.  I should be able to go to any make-up counter and find my shade.  Although I don’t care about the comic book industry, it would be nice to see a character like Storm, finally get her shine on the big screen (well as long as Halle Berry isn’t playing her).  Sure there are FUBU (for us by us) products, but even when we highlighted those products here on Clutch, it was met with comments like, “well that Natural Hair doll is too expensive“, or “How legitimate is this cancer organization ran and founded by black people“.  See everyone wants FUBU, but then questions its motives.

In Nielsen’s 2013 African-American consumer report, appropriately title “Resilient, Receptive & Relevant“, statistics show that of the $75 billion spent on television, magazine, Internet, and radio advertising, only $2.24 billion of it was spent with media focused on Black audiences.  Obviously there’s a disparity between what  black consumers consume versus advertising. Nielsen also pointed out that black women control 43% of the annual spending power for the Black population.

If we spend it, we should be included. Point, blank.

But let’s just say we’re not included. There are options.  But don’t complain when those options are just a little bit more expensive than the ones you’re used to using.  Inclusion comes at a price, and it may be worth it to spend a little extra on a company that’s already including you, just to prove to those companies that still haven’t caught on,  that we will take our buying power elsewhere.

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  • 9Boots

    The reason why Barbie costs $10 is because Barbie is mass produced by slaves in China and the company has had about 70 years to perfect the production process. Wal Mart’s prices are so cheap because they buy in bulk and are able to strong arm companies. The product pricing of black owned businesses would drop if there were more consumers buying their products and of course with all products as time passes, prices drop. I have no problem paying more money for something black owned because I know that money goes to support three black employees as opposed to zero from non black companies. If I had a daughter I would buy her the expensive black doll (with pride and explain black people produced it ) and let her have only one per say. The amount of pride and teaching moments is priceless in comparison to what she would get with multiple cheap $10 Barbies.

    Here is the million dollar question. Are black people willing to pay a premium price in order to buy black? If blacks are not going to do so then blacks need to go mute with their complaints. Black businesses at this time are not able to buy raw materials in bulk and have slaves in China or under developed nations manufacture their products. Now if blacks are willing to see the bigger picture and support black owned in the early premium stages in several years the pricing will drop. We can’t be so short sighted, what we endure now will benefit us and the future generation of blacks for decades and even centuries. We have the ability to drastically reduce our unemployment rate when start opening businesses. I’m down for the ride.

    • Common Sense

      Go ‘head 9boots, I am down for the ride too!!!!!!!!! You said a mouthfull of truth!!!!!!!!!

    • 9Boots

      LOL Common Sense. Put yo fists in the air!

    • TRUTH!! People who are willing to invest in their own, rise higher.

  • JJ

    I respect your opinion, but I refuse to beg someone who doesn’t want or appreciate me to do so, whether it’s a relationship or a business. My time and energy is precious. I have been making extra efforts lately to buy black and it’s working out well.

  • In every supermarket that serves a Jewish community there is a Kosher isle that displays products that come from Jewish owned companies. Jews also have the nationwide Hebrew Loan Association allowing fellow Jews to borrow interest free loans for personal or business use. while Jewish owned businesses are able to make donations to this nonprofit organization and write it off on their taxes. We will never get complete respect in this American capitalistic society unless we begin to spend our money in our own self interests and recognize the importance of putting a dollar in another Black hand.

  • I believe it is also a generational thing. My parents did not go out of their way to support black stores while I was growing up. ( it was more about convience rather than who owned the store) I knew nothing of the black business within our area and unfortunately did not patronize them. However, that has changed, since becoming an adult I seek out black establishments and am proud to do so. We should support our own, it is vital to their survival.

  • I do make an effort to seek and patronize black businesses.