Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"Down with brown."


I heard of a statistic some years ago (I don't remember where) that a dollar lasts an average of just a few hours in the black community, whereas a dollar lasts for a few days in a similar sized Asian community. The point is, black folks are consumers. We know how to spend but we don't know a heck of a lot about saving.

Now comes John and Maggie Anderson of Oak Park, Illinois and their "Ebony Experiment". As most of you know by now, the purpose of this couple's experiment is to buy black for one year. Buying black to them means only patronizing black owned businesses. This is not a simple thing for this couple as they have to drive as much as 14 miles just to buy their groceries.

"More than anything, this is a learning thing," said Maggie Anderson, who grew up in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami and holds a law degree and an MBA from the University of Chicago. "We know it's controversial, and we knew that coming in."

Maggie, I don't know why it's controversial, there is nothing controversial about wanting to support black businesses and helping to empower your people from an economic standpoint. According to economist Jim Clingman, $850 billion moves through our hands every year, and more than 90% of that money goes outside of the black community. Oh field, come on, this is reverse racism, if white folks said that they weren't supporting black businesses you would be the first one writing about racism. Well, not exactly, but I would be curious. Because I am quite sure that white people never even have to think about the type of businesses that they support. So yeah, if some white family in Topeka Kansas said that they were only going to support white businesses it wouldn't affect their lives one little bit. In fact, if a white family in Philly, Detroit, Boston, Los Angeles, Atlanta,.....[you get the point] said that they were only going to support white businesses we would all be saying; so what? Where is the sacrifice with that? And what exactly is the statement that they are trying to make? These poor people shouldn't be called racist and all types of ignorant things because they want to help make us black folks aware of our poor spending habits. Instead, they should be commended for raising awareness of how we spend our dollars and their willingness to make some sacrifices to do it.

Their actions have certainly made me reconsider just how much I am "down with brown" when it comes to my spending. My dentist, my lawyer and my family doctor is black, and so is my accountant. But I have to admit that I don't take a longer drive to West Philly or Germantown to support a black owned food market. And I sure as hell don't think about where I make my typical day to day consumer purchases. If I did, it would be easier for me, because I live in Philly and there are quite a few minority owned businesses, here. You black folks who live deep in suburbia or in a rural part of a red state might have a harder time being "down with brown" when it comes to your spending. So I would imagine that an experiment like this one would be that much harder for you.

Still, at least you can try your experiment on the low. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson, by putting themselves out there, have no such luxury. Their lives are now open books, and they will be praised (as I am doing here) and vilified.
It's a shame, because this is an area where black folks really need to get a grip. What we really need a big ass group therapy session. Now if we can just find a black shrink to conduct it.


91 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see more black small businesses. It's just so much more difficult than most people realize though. 60 hour week IF you're successful. Don't choose black for a less qualified/not certified person though. Don't forget about about bonded and insurence either. You can really get messed up that way.

szpork

Denise said...

Many years ago, I temped with a property mgmt office. The property owner and the property mgmt company - seperate entities - are multinational in scope.

The general manager - an Italian - kicked at least 85% of discretionary spending to either company reps of Italian descent(e.g., the temp svc rep who hired me) or Italian-owned businesses (e.g., locksmiths, building ontractors, landscapers, etc.)

No one ever complained .

It only becomes a problem when blacks do it.

RiPPa said...

This could actually be a good thing for "Sheila" and them. You know, the local neighborhood boosters with all the jacked clothes from those department stores? You know they be having that good shit for the low low.

Ha!

Jokes aside, I wonder how or what would happen if at least 75% of Black consumers did what these people are doing across the nation?

Blinders Off said...

I live in a red state and city. I make it a point to patronize black on businesses, but I will not patronize a black owned business if it is not managed correctly.

I was excited when a black owned boutique opened in my community last summer. When I walked inside to check it out, the young girl who worked there was too busy hugged up and kissing with her boyfriend or co-worker. I continued to walk around curious to see if one of them would come and welcome, assist, or tell me more about their store and fashions, but after five long minutes not once did she or the young man acknowledged I was there. They continued to do their thing with each other and I know they saw me walk in because they were handling their business at the front counter when you walk in. I exit the store saying to myself they will not be in business long and decided not to patronize the business again. It was obvious they were not the owners, but they represented the owner or owners. The boutique closed less than six months.

Too many times blacks open a business with out a plan. I covered story of a first time empowerment forum aimed towards blacks in my community a couple of weeks ago, it was disappointing that many did not come out. However, the ones that did participate left with a wealth of knowledge. Black owned business owners need to be more conscious of who they hire to operate their business if they cannot be there themselves. It is not okay to give cousin Bookie or Cookie the responsibility of running their business if they do not have customer service skills or a knowledge of the business.

Marrell said...

It's sad that there aren't many black buisness around. I live one block from Korea Town and they have their stuff together. Everytime I look around a new buisness is going up because they stay prosperous. But I digress. I remember a family friend talking about Black Wall Street; I would love to see that return.

Bob said...

What malls & big box stores did to downtowns generally, they did even worse to black retail districts, which grew up "across the tracks" in the Jim Crow era.

I also noticed that the mom & pop convenience "corner stores" in Jersey went from Italians, Polish, Jews, Irish to Indians, Koreans, & Hispanics. Those stores are family affairs, & the more family working in them, the easier it is to keep them open 16 hours a day.

field negro said...

"I also noticed that the mom & pop convenience "corner stores" in Jersey went from Italians, Polish, Jews, Irish to Indians, Koreans, & Hispanics. Those stores are family affairs, & the more family working in them, the easier it is to keep them open 16 hours a day."

Good point Bob, and that is exactly why black folks need to become more business minded and entrepreneurial in spirit. We could be guarantee our children work for live by passing down our business to them, and help to build the communities where we live.

Rippa, you need to quit.:)

"I live in a red state and city. I make it a point to patronize black on businesses, but I will not patronize a black owned business if it is not managed correctly."

>>>Ding ding ding<<< Did I mention that it has got to be run correctly? And if you are a professional, you better sure as hell know what you are doing. I am not going to the black heart surgeon if there is a greater chance of me dying on the operating table.

maria said...

"In fact, if a white family in Philly, Detroit, Boston, Los Angeles, Atlanta,.....[you get the point] said that they were only going to support white businesses we would all be saying; so what? Where is the sacrifice with that? And what exactly is the statement that they are trying to make? These poor people shouldn't be called racist and all types of ignorant things because they want to help make us black folks aware of our poor spending habits. Instead, they should be commended for raising awareness of how we spend our dollars and their willingness to make some sacrifices to do it."


you are confusing a WHOLE mess of issues here. first of all, this family is in no way poor. they live in oak park for chrsakes...she has an MBA?

second, it may not have an IMPACT on the a white family to only buy white, but a flatout statement to this effect is racist--plain and simple. this family is racist.

third, they clearly don't give a shit about the environment if they are driving their cars all over town polluting up the atmosphere. is this really the legacy they want to leave those two little girls?

fourthly--there is nothing in here to support your false premise that this is about changing the spending habits of blacks. are they saving more? no. this is preposterous to hang this story on.

finally, a local dollar spent STAYS in the community. in a recession, they should be supporting the mom-and-pop businesses in oak park. if they go under--due to the misguided actions of folks like these--the impact on their lives WILL BE NEGATIVE.

please, this is nothing more than guilt at living in a black neighborhood, and it is perpetuating the color line. how about they go out of their way to support an asian business? a hispanic business? how do the neighborhood businesses feel being shunned by a family with $$?

sometimes field it seems you are not capable of critical thinking at all.

maria said...

i meant to say, guilt about living in a white neighborhood.

Frank Drackman said...

Used to get all my Watermelons from a nice old Black Guy in Clayton County, didn't mind the barbed wire and Dobermans patrolling the property...but he got the Alzheimers, and nobody took his place... so I do like everyone else, the Kroger in my gated subdivision...and its not really a WHITE neighborhood, just a NON-Black one, unless you're a Rap Star/Pro Athlete...

Rudy said...

There was a time when this wasn't even an issue. There was a time when a dollar probably spent months in the black community.

That is not the case any longer. We can thank the "integration paradox" for that.

Before intergration, we didn't experience nearly the number of calamities that we face today.

Yeah, with integration, you could live with, go to school with and patronize whites, but what is our state of affairs today?

Yeah, we have more blacks with JD's, MBA's and PhD's from prestigious universities, but how is that helping us?

There is an old Chinese saying, "Be careful what you wish for."

I wish King and the Civil Rights movement had preached for equal rights instead of integration, because once Whitey said, "you are allowed to live among us," we lost our way and our damn minds.

lincolnperry said...

Your provincialism is showing Field, we have plenty of Black businesses to support in rural Red States, who do you think lives in Jackson, Miss.

In the south I can do at least 40% of business with Black folks, we own McDonalds, BP Gas stations, we are plumbers, dentist, accountants and the list goes on….and provide competent services!

I have relatives in the northeast, that don’t have those options, and they continue to enrich Whites!

lincolnperry said...

@Blinders off
Why is it that the first excuse we make about not supporting Black businesses is customer service, do you maintain a boycott or embargo against other businesses, the rude Korean drycleaners, the disrepectful Indisn gas station attendant, or White business owners that slight you!

Rudy said...

Corollary to "I have relatives in the northeast, that don’t have those options, and they continue to enrich Whites!":

It doesn't have to be that way. That's of our their own choosing. For example, when a realtor tries to steer blacks to black neighborhoods, they cry racism.

Hell, if we cry can complain when a realtor tries to implicitly help us by steering us to black communities, then folks in the northeast will continue to enrich whites.

Meyer_Lansky said...

Good for them. Jews and Asians have been doing this for years and our communities have been all the better for it. Black leaders have also been calling on people to do this for years. It's great that this family has made that commitment and publicized it.

Anonymous said...

They should be called racist and all types of ignorant things because if white people started sayin this they would be attacked and called racist.

This is not a poor family.Should they move out of their white neighborhood into a black neighborhood so they can complete the ebony experiment?

false1 said...

So if we protest perceived white racism or prejudice we're racialist or poverty pimps.

If we request government funds to get black youth into colleges or provide job opportunities we're reverse racists looking for a handout.

If we spend our own damn money in the understanding that economic development is crucial to reversing some of the negative stats that plague our communities then we're just plain racist.

America never has had anything to say to black folk . . . other than "get in that cell nigger".

Anonymous said...

Field,
I know since I have been living here in DC, its alot easier to patronize black businesses than it was when I lived in Cleveland. But to all those crying racism, go tell that non-sense to a Jew, Asian or an Italian! They go to their businesses first and formost! They only deal with black businesses if their bottom line calls for it. Too many times, you get some bootlicking black folks saying when black people do it, its racism but when the rest of america does the SAME THING, well thats just business!!

B1bomber

La♥Incognita said...

I give my full support to this family. Black people need a wake up plan. Every other group patronize or support their own, including white people, (if not they still find a way to exploit it out your wallet anyway). Yet we are the ONLY set of people that furnish other people's pockets no matter how f-ing rude, scornful and racist they are towards us. A lot of non-black owned stores that fester within the black communities need to be boycotted! I'm sick of it.

Then we have some of us who can't stand to see another black person doing well with a business. We would rather give the money to an outsider (who can't even stand our black ass), just because we think the black business owner is "making too much money". And then there are some black business owners who would rip off their own by a 250-500% profit claiming overhead, while treating you as if you're begging for service. Yet these same black store owners would do the jig or cut deals to any white looking flesh that walks in with a grin, and they rarely walk in.

Then there are those f-king licensing bureaus and lending institutions who would rather lend an Asian, Latin, or friggin Al-Qaida store owner who has NO credit or background history in the US, over a black professional with GOOD credit and long family ties in the US. This is why I also get annoyed when some people bring up the black female beauty industry to scorn black women. You see, nothing is wrong with spending "billions" on black beauty products and services (to each his own), the REAL problem is that black people and black women especially are NOT the ones able to capitalize on those very services and products. If we are going to flush our money down toilets, lets at least be able to flush it towards another black household.

Black people really need to wake up. Everywhere we are, this is happening to us.

RisingTide said...

Orthodox Jews HAVE been doing this for years.
AND SHAME ON THEM!

Just as bad as the fucking Dominionists, who if you won't worship god their way, they won't buy from you. Those motherfuckers run people out of town, by boycotting their businesses.

Support your LOCAL businesses, the ones who give back to the community.

make your own dang money:
http://www.smallisbeautiful.org/publications/essay_currency.html

get together, start a business (folks like field -- here's where your charity should be going!)
http://www.hfls.org/
(I don't mean give to Jews, I mean make a Black free loan society, naturally -- and run it out of the functioning community centres, like churches. these things run halfway on community pressure -- you WILL pay us back, or we don't know you no more).

I try to be sensitive, but I also know that the hardworking Jew or PuertoRican doesn't deserve a fucking boycott because of his race.

Don't make it about race -- make it about building community.

You know the businesses that do the right thing -- be that keeping the graffiti off, hiring local kids, sponsoring a local sports team, giving out free Thanksgiving dinners to the homeless (or hell, just giving leftovers to the homeless most of the year).

Support them, regardless of race. Trust me, that'll make sure that plenty of black businesses get your money, without leaving other folks out in the cold.

Also, it doesn't hurt to ask folks "what have you been giving back to the community?" Maybe they don't have a penny to spare, and will say so -- or maybe you'll start something.

RisingTide said...

La igcognita,
I just posted a link on how to start your own community bank. ;-)

I don't mean to suggest that the folks who are racist or just plain rude shouldn't be boycotted. They SHOULD, and as the token white chick, I'd appreciate knowing who should be boycotted (translation: don't keep the boycott to yourself, i want a piece!) for good reason.

I just happen to not think that choosing businesses based on group identification is a good thing.

Community businesses can chose whether to help their community or hurt it -- anyone can play. I think that's a little fairer, and that it will end up doing the same thing anyhow -- supporting the good guys.

Pelmo said...

I think everyone has missed the biggest point of the dollar having a very short life in the black community.

It's something that is seen on every corner of other ethnic communities, but a very rare thing in black ones.

It's not where blacks shop, it's the fact they shop to much and fail to SAVE.

It doesn't matter if you are black, yellow or brown. You have the money you can live, eat and go anywhere.

As long as blacks continue to spend, spend, spend instead of save, save , save they will not get out of this rut.

Jamel Toms said...

maria
--you're comments are unsupported...spending money in the community makes the money stay in the community???

La?Incognita
--I like you're atttitude

QueenLi said...

PLEASE Check Out this Link! It is dealing with what your post says:

The Brother's name is
Dr. C. Anderson, and this is called
POWERNOMICS. If you cannot click the link, put POWERNOMICS in the *Google-Video Search* This lecture is NO JOKE, but it is 2 hours in length. {If you watch this at work, make sure Only "Fields" will hear it, not "House" or the ones I'll call "Overseers"

http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=Powernomics_A_Vision_Beyond_The_Dream.avi&hl=en&emb=0#

Christopher said...

As long as blacks continue to spend, spend, spend instead of save, save , save they will not get out of this rut.

Are you saying Whites are some sort of sterling example of thrift, who save 10% of their incomes each month?

If so, nothing could be further from the truth.

The USA has one of the worst rates of saving in the industrialized world. From the start of the Iraq war, prices for everything from gas at the pump, to gas to heat your home, food, medicine and education, skyrocketed, leaving even less money to put away for a rainy day or retirement.

Wages fell dramatically during the time the Motherfucker from Midland was president and failed to keep up. The sad reality is, there are only so many ways to stretch a dollar anymore.

QueenLi said...

P.S. If you don't have time to look at the entire video, look at the last Hour in particular, where he breaks down our spending habits! 98% of our money does NOT bounce ONE TIME within our communities!

momo said...

I hadn't heard of this family's idea before, but I like the fact that they are spending mindfully, and choosing to support businesses that are probably local over big chains. In my own life, I've made a decision to only buy (to the extent possible) from local business, that carry either locally made or fair traded items. I want my money to stay in the area, or to support people elsewhere who are getting a fair return for their labor. This includes food. It has meant doing a little research, and changing a few habits, but one of the side effects I like is that I now have relationships with the people I buy from: the farmers who sell their stuff at a local market, the shop-owners and workers who are tell me the stories of the people who made the things they sell. If this family is choosing to support black-owned business, good for them. I can't do it 100%, but if more of us made an effort of this kind, more local business would prosper.

Anonymous said...

It makes more sense for everyone to buy local, not just black or jewish or whatever. I try to support the local guy, whether he's black or white. I use a a locally owned ace hardware or truvalue hardware instead of Lowes or Home Depot. This keeps your dollars in your town, instead of going to Bentonville.....lol.

Marc B said...

It's always a good thing when people support their beliefs with their important $$$. I do my best to keep my dollars within the white community with businesses that employ large numbers of white people, and I applaud blacks and other ethnic groups doing the same thing. An economically empowered community is good for all of us. The better you take of your own, the less others have to deal with your problems.

The Jews were smart enough to figure this out long ago, and it's one of the reasons they are so successful.

QueenLi said...

Okay, I had to search for this one, but check out this site!

http://www.10-10-50.org/index1.html

Anonymous said...

When I heard about this story, I knew that cries of racism wouldn't be too far behind. That nonsense aside, I applaud the idea and while I support all businesses, if there is an opportunity to support one of my own, I do. Taking this to another level, I heard about a tshirt company, Kindred Gear that sells black themed stuff that is planning to help someone else start a business. I think once they have a certain number of sales, they give away money to a small business. That's doing.

Anonymous said...

I just happen to not think that choosing businesses based on group identification is a good thing.

Well, we know you live in color blind fantasy land but things work differently in the real world. Group identification is real and here to stay.

Lisa J said...

@ Marie, I think you need to reconsider your statement that Field has no critical reasoning skills. Obviously he was not saying literally that this family is poor as in below or near the poverty line. He meant poor in the sense of unfortunate, like your kid falls down and skins their knee and you say, "awww poor thing".

Secondly, you missed his point that the overwhelming majority of businesses, large and small, are owned by white people so white people don't even need to think twice about only or predominately supporting white businesses, especially if they don't frequent lots of small stores.

Driving 14 miles, really isn't that far to go get groceries. I know plenty of people who will go that far to get to a Sam's or a Costco to get deals and especially if you live in a certain area without any grocery stores near by you can go far. I live in DC and until they started bringing in newer chain stores to the district and spruced up some of the older ones, I would happily jump in my car to drive 10 miles or so to VA to get food.

I also doubt that one couple or even several black couples in Oak Park trying to buy black and not buying in their local stores will destroy the local stores in Oak Park. Also, given how many chain stores there are out there for anything, it is often just as easy, if not easier to not shop in your community at all and I'm sure there are plenty of folk in Oak Park who only use the small local store for small items or when they run out of milk or tp unexepectedly and usually go to non-locally owned big stores to do the bulk of their buying. Those small local stores can be pricey and lots of folks in cities try not to use them if they don't have to, especially if they have a car. I have a car in the city and I use it to go to bigger stores so I don't have to spend 50 cents on one potato when I can get a whole bag of them for $2 or $3 at the store.
Finally, these people are making a decision about how to spend there money. I thought that was the American way; you take your money and spend it how you will. They have chosen to go out of their way to support their black brothers and sisters who disproportionately don't own businesses to do, as others have pointed out, what white conservatives have been telling black folks to do, to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, which we need to do as a group and part of that is helping other black people build wealth by supporting each other.

Frank Drackman said...

Easy for Chris to talk, living in a town thats %2.11 Afro-American,,, only Brown he deals with is....
UPS when they deliver one of his Sex Toys..
Seriously the best pulled pork BBQ I've ever had was cooked by a little old Jewish Lady in Connecticut... Lets get away from the Stereotypes People!!!! Just cause that young Black Man has "Thug Life" tatooed on his deltoid, smells strongly of the Marriage-wana, and says "Nome Sane" every other word, doesn't mean he can't be a Neurosurgeon...
If I had a nickle for every cocky middleaged black dude I've faked out of his Air Jordans cause he din't respect a bald jewish guy...

Frank

rainywalker said...

That dollar story smells like fish. I use businesses for their service not who is behind the counter, culture or race.

Jody said...

Frank said:
Lets get away from the Stereotypes People!!!!

Frank.... seriously? coming from you after all the horrible, stupid stereotypical statements you have posted on this blog!!????

I hope that in the future you will heed your own advise.

La♥Incognita said...

Today is feed the troll day:

Frank, handing out meth pills from your brother-cousin's trailer doesn't make you a physician (ok ok that wasn't nice, I couldn't resist).

Pay no mind to that Frankie, this is an intervention. We know you're curious, and fascinated with black people. Deep down you really want to make friends with us over here in the fields. We can tell, you're not the first. It's ok, just embrace it, don't fight it. We are wonderful people.

You don't have to say bad things to us, or to our other white friends just to get our attention. You might easily make a friend or two. Soon enough, all your pain and anger will go away. Let it go. Field might even make you an honorary field negro one day. Now, don't you feel a little better already?

Christopher said...

Frank,

You're too stupid to even be a troll. Do you require help wiping your ass after you shit?

Now, put down your copy of Tom of Finland and listen up.

Where I live is none of your business but since you have some peculiar need to know, let me hip you to some facts.

I live in Rochester, NY:

Per the 200 US Census: The racial makeup was 48.30% White, 38.55% African American, 0.47% Native American, 2.25% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 6.58% from other races, and 12.75 Hispanic or Latino.

I interact with, and work along side more African Americans in a single day than you've seen in your entire lifetime. So just keep yapping -- your reputation as the biggest horse's ass on this blog remains unchallenged.

Next?

Anonymous said...

Think about where you money goes and what it supports


When people visit Sapelo Island, Georgia you have the option to stay in one of two places - The Big House or in Hog Hammock.

My wife and I chose Hog Hammock because the people of Hog Hammock are trying to preserve what is left of their geechee culture. Money that I spent in Hog Hammock will eventually go to the Sapelo Island Cultural and Revitalization Society and not to some organization that does not have the communities best interests are heart.

AmericanMe said...

I read about the Andersons about a month ago. The Andersons plan to write a book about their experiment.

In another forum, people are calling the Andersons racist because of their announcement to buy black for a year. This is capitalism at its finest.

The Andersons are self-sufficient and can afford this experiment. They are spending their own money to support black businesses. It's the same thing when other people do it.

When did it become racist to spend your own damn money? When did it become racist to support a business of your choice?

maria said...

14 miles IS far. how many shops they pass on the way?

and i do know what i am talking about--local dollars pass hands 6-8 times.

it is econ 101.

these folks are a bad example.

"Secondly, you missed his point that the overwhelming majority of businesses, large and small, are owned by white people so white people don't even need to think twice about only or predominately supporting white businesses, especially if they don't frequent lots of small stores."

sorry, but this is plain false. i did't miss the point; i don't agree this is a point. in many areas, including where i live, whites aren't even the majority. do white people frequent small business? apparently you don't think so. if an asian family did this, they wouldn't be considered racist? or a white family? sure would. double, triple standard at work.

RisingTide said...

AmericanMe,
It's bigoted, is what it is, and it's bad when you drive out good businesses from your community.

Orthodox Jews, Dominionists, and these fool Andersons, I don't make no difference.

So what if it helps you get ahead? don't make it right.

'Sides, if you think about it, giving to the local businesses who help out the community is just as likely, if not MORE, to be going to black folks than an Indian convenience mart (ignorance, if nothing else. if they want to give back to the community, they may not know what the culturally approved of ways are).

RisingTide said...

maria,
Funny, you should see my costco! Farmers drive the whole dang way from West Virginia to go there. They do it once every three or six months, buy 200 lbs of flour or whathaveyou (sugar more likely for the still...).
people do still drive for their groceries, and it continues to be well over eighty miles to the nearest patch of West Virginia from where I live.

WV has shit for grocery stores. absolute shit.

Blinders Off said...

@lincolnperry

I do not patronize ANY businesses that have horrible customer service relations.

When I am spending my hard-earned money at an establishment, I expect a certain level of customer service. To make another point I do not and will not ever shop in an establishment where the owner has obvious bigots working for them. I am a firm believer that money talks and bull shit walks.

FN's topic was about black owned businesses. Unfortunately, many black owned businesses and non-black owned businesses have employees who are slackers.

Sharon from WI said...

lincolnperry said... @Blinders off
Why is it that the first excuse we make about not supporting Black businesses is customer service, do you maintain a boycott or embargo against other businesses, the rude Korean drycleaners, the disrepectful Indisn gas station attendant, or White business owners that slight you!


I would't call it a boycott or embargo, but I would stop patronizing the offending business.

The rude drycleaner, gas station attendant or white business owner are not the only game in town and I can take my money and spend my time elsewhere.

Blinders Off said...

@lincolnperry

I forgot to mention...as I mention in my first post I actively seek black owned businesses. Here is another example of a black owned business experience I had.

I contracted a black owned business to have some remodeling done in my home. The first thing he did was make sure he demolished the two bathrooms and the great room I was having remodeled. It reminded me of how many black beauty shop owners wash your hair as soon as you get there and eight hours later, you are still there. Note :( that practice stopped me from going to shops that book 15 people at the same time) any who...$12,000 dollars later I had enough of the contractor slacking and the theft one of his employees committed. I had no choice but to fire him and have someone else complete the job correctly.

One would think I would never hire or patronize black owned businesses after some of the experiences I had, but you could not be further from the truth. I will never stop giving black owned business an opportunity for my business, but I would be a fool to work with one or patronize one that is not about their business.

Kathy said...

Mr. Field (and others here who live in Philly but don't venture to West Philly for whatever reason) - I just want to boost my neighborhood to you! Please excuse this shameless promotion, but I want people to know that we are more than just a part of "Killadelphia"; we are also a vibrant community of workers, community activists, small businesses, families, students, etc. I just see so much racism, ignorance and hostility in the comments at PI website towards WP. That we are all animals who should be surrounded by barbed wire and blocked off, etc. And West Philly is the most diverse part in all of Philadelphia. We have people from all over the world here.

I invite you all to come some first Saturday of the month when the weather gets nice to our flea and farmers market in Clark Park in West Philly (I think it is every other month - google it). The Amish are there, many of the vendors are African American, and you can purchase one of the best fish fries (HUGE!) and have lunch there, too. Then walk it off and enjoy some of the most beautiful and unique architecture in the city. Maybe check out Second Mile Thrift Center (African American-owned) on 45th for some more bargains, and stick around for Ethiopian food for dinner on Baltimore Ave. or Liberian food on 52nd, and a Crossroads concert of international music at Calvary Church on 48th in the evening. I have no problem (other than a growing waistline) keeping my money in the community and supporting diverse enterprises.

myblackfriendsays said...

What keeps us from encouraging white people to shop at black-owned businesses?

Sharon from WI said...

I do not patronize ANY businesses that have horrible customer service relations.

There is a Chinese restaurant in my neighborhood that I have been patronizing for years. Every time I had a taste for Chinese or if boyfriend did, this would be the place we’d place an order.

One evening, my daughter and I ordered dinner and the deliveryman’s behavior was terrible.

He called ahead to let my daughter know that he was on his way and she met him at the door. She had been at the grocer just up the street and got to the apartment in the nick of time. He began yelling at her and threw the packages of food on the floor of the foyer. She was absolutely shocked as so was I when I heard of her ordeal.

Rather than feeling angry, however, I was more disappointed than anything. This was my favorite restaurant and never, ever experienced anything like this from its employees. I really didn’t want to stop doing business with this place.

And I told the restaurant’s manger just that.

She responded by offering us a coupon for a free dinner and went a step further and fired this guy. (He apparently was giving other customers grief too.)

Naive-One said...

Blinders Off said that she would not patronize a badly run store. But the store was just opening, and in the interests of black solidarity could she not have asked to speak to the manager or owner? Make it a point to let the owner know that they needed to manage the store more? I know that is snitching, but I'm just asking....

Lady-Cracker said...

I was just counting the stores I shop at and if there are any black owned stores it is not obvious. There are Hispanic, Persian, Indian and Asian markets that I shop at when I need the fresh or exotic ingredients.

It is a pretty damn white area, even though there are people of colro living, working and going to school here. This made me smile when La Incognita asked me how I felt when I saw a black man walk down the street towards me. Because the only black men walking around on the streets and malls have been mostly high schoolers and college students. It is that kind of place, is it a class thing?

Frank Drackman said...

Might have a Civil Rights Case for you Field...was at a Big Box Electronics store last night, lookin to upgrade the Plasma, won't tell you which one, but it's initials are "BB"...Overheard one of the "Associates" say there was a "Kuro" in the back row, which was strange cause it was where they keep the DVDs...went back to check it out, and sure enough there was no Pioneer Kuro 63 Inch Plasma, just a Brother tryin to decide between "Bolt" and "Kitt Kittrell: American Girl"...wrote it up to typical BB incompetence till I found out later "Kuro" is Jap for "Black"...(its really "Kulo" but thats how they pronounce it)... I'm tellin ya, there's a big commission for an ambitious attorney...

Frank

Jody said...

@ Kathy,
I go to West Philly for all you describe and more. Though I live and work in Center City, Baltimore Ave, Poweton Village, are what make living in Philly fun. Agreed.... Ethopian food at Dalaks or Abasynia is worth the trip alone. And Satellite Coffee shop is one of my favorites.

Anonymous said...

Remember that episode of "A Different World" when Whitley purchases jewelry from an uppity white-owned store to prove to the store owners she could afford their wares, after less than stellar treatment?

Well, I believe the slave-psychology of "I have to prove to white folk that I'm worthy" plagues many black folks. Actually it's pretty pathological.

I own my own business, and I see it all the time when I meet some black potential clients. When I started out, I couldn't get black folks to do business with me. I was grateful other races & nationalities embraced me. Only then, black folk ran to me.

And when they did, these black people would give me the third degree, tell me my rates were too high and then go patronize the white guy down the street. I can't tell you how many of those same people would come back to me (after the fact) with many regrets that they didn't use my services in the first place.

Point is, we black people collectively have a serious inferiority complex. Especially if we are willing to pay more for a terrible service or product just because someone white owns it. Why prove to them we are worthy black people? Shouldn't we know we are already worthy?

It's truly pathetic, but I see it all the time. I find statusy black people who are always flaunting their cars, homes, & degrees to be the worst. I must say though, my best customers have been black. They send me referrals, have patronized my business several times, and generally respect what I have to offer.

lincolnperry said...

@Blinders off,
The point that I making is that folks who make excuses for not supporting Black Businesses always bring up the customer service issue, I not saying support bad business, I saying there isn't excuse not to SUPPORT our businesses!

When Magic Johnson open a theater in the community, the customer service was exceptional. Now its terrible! So I support AMC, but I intially didn't raise the bar because it was a black business!

And before you go there yes it was a white/black partnership...nonetheless it was black owned and employed black people!

Lisa J said...

@ Maria, I guess you've never lived in the country, 14 miles is not far to go shop. Plenty of people do it even if they don't live in the country.

Also, you obviously don't know much about the populations in this country. According to the most recent data from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, in 2006, of the approximately 299 million people in the US , Whites make up appoximately 76% the population, African-Americans 13.4% Hispanic or Latino in ethnicity of any race 14.8%, Asian 4.4%, Some other race 6.5%, two or more races 2%, American Indian or Alaskan Native, .68% and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islader .14%. Now how could it be that most busineses aren't white owned? A little further digging showed that according to a Census Bureau report issued in 2005, in 2002 there were 23 million businesses in the US, 1.2 million were black owned, 1.6 million were Hispanic Owned, 1.1 were Asian American owned,32,999 were Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander owned, and 206,125 were Asian American owned. http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/business_ownership/005477.html That leaves about 19 million other busineses. Now guess who owns them? Maybe... WHITE PEOPLE? Now do you still disagree with the fact that whites don't own the majority of businesses in this country? So much for your "facts"

Kathy said...

I just want to add after my shameless promotion of West Philly, and now reading many of the obnoxious and racist and whiny comments on other websites and blogs about this story, what the hell is so wrong about patronizing non-white businesses that has many of my peeps twisted in knots and clutching their pearls? The economic vitality of my neighborhood depends on this,and it affects all of us, not just POC. As I commented on another blog just now, it isn't that this family is deliberately boycotting white-owned businesses out of racism (although I would like to know how many of my peeps deliberately do not patronize African American businesses for just that reason), they are trying to keep money circulating in a community that has long been denied economic sustainability. I would think this is "duh", but as someone else pointed out here or at the other blog, it seems some white people feel the need to always be cast themselves as a victim of various negro/illegal immigrant/insert your favorite non-white villains du jour conspiracies, denying their obvious privilege, and always making something, like this, about THEM, when it has absolutely nothing to do with them.

maria said...

@lisa J--i guess you find it convenient to apply generalizations where they don't apply, to make a point?

they live in OAK PARK, not the country. and your other generalizations about white business owners is a distraction and irrelevant to this situation.

you're stretching and you know it.

Blinders Off said...

@Naive One

The boutique sat between a clothing store and restaurant I frequent often at the shopping center. I started to walk in again to give it another try, but I observed the same young people behaving the same way I mentioned above...that was it for me and each time I pass the store it was always the same two people…Maybe they were the owners. Who wants to patronize a store when the workers are busy with each other instead of working?

I am the type of consumer who will complain about the service I or product receive if it is not correct. A business or company that is managed correctly usually handle complaints to the customer satisfaction.



@lincoln perry

You are obviously missing my point...I would be a fool to contract or patronize a business that is not about their business.


Customer service issues in a customer-oriented business is a problem for ME...rather the business is black owned or not!

Do not get it twisted...I am about supporting my brothers and sisters.

Swiff said...

I've shopped at a black owned grocer maybe a handful of times. Running a corner store is NOT easy, it is more often than not financially grueling. That doesn't stop thousands of Italians, Koreans, and Mexicans from sticking it out and keeping the lights on though.

I've seen lots of black owned liquor stores though. There's one in Camden called the "Liquor Bank" - its a pawn shop that gives you booze instead of money. SMFH.

Swiff said...

Oh and Field why is Nebraska in the House? I thought plenty of places had laws criminalizing INTENTIONAL HIV infection. There are nuts out there that catch da Virus and seek revenge on the world by spreading it to unwitting victims...

field negro said...

"It's not where blacks shop, it's the fact they shop to much and fail to SAVE.

It doesn't matter if you are black, yellow or brown. You have the money you can live, eat and go anywhere.

As long as blacks continue to spend, spend, spend instead of save, save , save they will not get out of this rut."

Thank you Pelmo!

"sometimes field it seems you are not capable of critical thinking at all."

Maria, reading comprehension is just as important as critical thinking.

"Your provincialism is showing Field, we have plenty of Black businesses to support in rural Red States, who do you think lives in Jackson, Miss."

lincolnperry, you are right. I stand corrected. I slipped into a moment of ignorance, there. Places like Jackson, Ms have quite a few black owned businesses. Ans I should know better, because I have been there.

Anon 4:38PM, I feel you. Been there done that. It's sad and scary.

La~Incognita,go easy on Frank. I think deep down the poor guy just wants to belong.

It's Okay Frank, we will be your black friends. :)

Kathy, I am all over West Philly. Mrs. Field and I actually considered Univeristy City when we were buying a home, but we couldn't afford it. :)

Most of my favorite Jamaican eating spots are in West Philly, and so are quite a few of my clients. So yes, I would recommend it to everyone here in Philly. Although I always thought Mt. Airy was the most diverse neighborhood in our fine city.

Constructive Feedback said...

My good friend Filled Negro:

I work to give a Black owned business or restaurant first pass at my business where possible. Some of them are hanging on by a thread and thus my business means more to them than do the big box store that has a lot of foot traffic.

At the same time Filled Negro we need to vocalize the two greatest threats to Black owned businesses from my personal experience and from recent news reports:


1) VIOLENT ROBBERIES

2) Customer Service Skills Among Employees


Filled Negro - in the past month there have been a string of armed hold ups (one store clerk was killed as he was shot in the head in Atlanta), bricks thrown through glass windows and inventory cleared out. All of these push struggling businesses to the brink.

Employees that fail to treat the business as if it were their own is another problem. They know that they would not be allowed to act in a certain way if the owner was present. There needs to be some agreed upon standard of customer interaction that retail sales clerks seek to maintain.

With that said - I have several friends who are store owners and I want them to succeed.

StillaPanther2 said...

Brother Field... Hampton,VA about 50% Black population.... City of Hampton used Black business less than 1% of city contract. When we have Black business on the Penninsula, the thugs use them as a training ground to shoplifting. We will have to create own society. but..... wishful thinking. Again, I have lived in a world where people of my kind was successful and took care of our own...today. my race can only hope to meet the basics of survival.

Frank Drackman said...

Thanks Field, you're a real Mensch(thats a compliment) if you're ever in the A-T-L give me a call and we'll take in a Braves game, on TV of course, Turner Fields in the part of town even Bad Bad LeRoy Brown stayed away from...and I pull for the Phillies whenever they're not playin the Bravos...someones gotta beat the Mets...

Frank

Anonymous said...

@ Swiff

come again? Liquor Bank, as in liquor used as currency? That's a shame and hilarious at the same time

Lisa J said...

@ Maria, can you read? I didn't say they lived in the country, I said that people who live in the country can drive 14 miles and so do a lot, so do people in other places. Also, what generalizations am I makin when I gave you solid facts from a government agency that you didn't respond to? For some one who claims that field, a well educated man who writes well, has no critical thinking skills, you seem to lack them yourself. Don't start off by insulting other people's intelligence, make stupid statements, refuse to accept facts when they are presented to you and then stick your fingers in your ears and scream "la-la-la" when you can't refute those facts. You obviously aren't too swift and you need to not insult those who are much brighter than you are, such as field. Then you don't have to worry about someone telling you the truth and then get your nose bent out of place.

EzMun said...

The greatest lie of America was trying to tell Black folk that they are "racist" or "bigotted" when they 'choose' to support themselves and their community. Greatest damn lie alive!

When America "celebrates" places called 'Little Italy' and "Chinatown" and patronize those places with money, foot traffic, and adulation and sees nothing wrong with such places then I'll gladly accept the title 'racist' or 'bigot' when I choose to support Black folks who look like me.

It is perfectly natural to support people who look like you. Anyone who says anything different is a liar... and damned one. There is no need for a 'choice' for White people... they own more than 90 percent of the wealth in America. They neighborhoods are mostly White... so the only issue for White folks to determine is which class among the social strata they fall into. Minority groups in America have an entirely different look. We don't own jack in the relative sense. And when we make a little money all social pressures suggest that we move away from Black (a.k.a. poor) communities and give our money to a system that hates us in large numbers.

Spend your money and make it black and brown, because no one cares about us like us.

Constructive Feedback said...

Christoper says:

[quote]
The USA has one of the worst rates of saving in the industrialized world. From the start of the Iraq war, prices for everything from gas at the pump, to gas to heat your home, food, medicine and education, skyrocketed, leaving even less money to put away for a rainy day or retirement.

Wages fell dramatically during the time the Motherfucker from Midland was president and failed to keep up. The sad reality is, there are only so many ways to stretch a dollar anymore.

and then he said:

I live in Rochester, NY:[/quote]

Christopher - I have avoided even responding to you for it is not worth my time. The rant above shows that you have little knowledge of economics and markets but simply a whole bunch of ideological hatred and bigotry within you.

In the 3 major career changes/income increases that I have made over the past 15 years I am able document both the educational preparation that preceded the shift and the RISK that I chose to take (ie: relocation or choosing to leave an otherwise safe job)

You just keep on waiting for your "Obama pay raise" though.

ROCHESTER NEW YORK????

Interesting that with a city with a crappy school system that you focus so much on "National Republicans" yet avoid critiquing "Local Democrats". I am not surprised at all. This is what Ideological Bigots do.

Rochester Mother Arrested For Sending Her Child To A Neighboring Greece School District In Pursuit Of Quality Education
http://withintheblackcommunity.blogspot.com/2009/02/naacp-is-only-going-to-do-what-you.html

Chris with a 100% Democratic city council, mayor and school board - WHO do you blame for the crappy schools in Rochester NY?

Some Republican, somewhere, no doubt.

Filled Negro says:
[quote]Good point Bob, and that is exactly why black folks need to become more business minded and entrepreneurial in spirit. We could be guarantee our children work for live by passing down our business to them, and help to build the communities where we live.[/quote]


Filled Negro:

Do you support allowing everyone within the Black community to reside at the STANDARD OF LIVING which our ORGANIC ACTIONS produce within the community?

Thus the community is only as good as the stores that it has within BUT ALSO is a function of the support for these stores by the people?

In metro Atlanta several hospitals in otherwise wealthy Black communities (Southwest Community Hospital in SW ATL and Hillendale Hospital in South Dekalb) are having financial problems. Beyond the national health care debate their specific problems stem from the fact that the WORKING PEOPLE with INSURANCE who live close by these places choose to drive past these facilities and obtain their medical services from other hospitals. (I am resistant to saying "White hospitals" but there is a correlation.)

These local hospitals that are not part of a larger chain are left with a greater percentage of people who are uninsured. A good portion of these people don't pay their bills. The red ink mounts.

If these hospitals received the business from the local residents with insurance - they would be able to make ends meet just like the hospitals "on the north side".

At some point, Filled Negro, the standards that are desired by the people must come from the people's aggregate actions.

Who else can you look to to do this for you as a people?

Christopher said...

Christopher - I have avoided even responding to you for it is not worth my time. The rant above shows that you have little knowledge of economics and markets but simply a whole bunch of ideological hatred and bigotry within you.

Unconstructive Douchebag,

You mindless bloviating is increasingly reminiscent of the wild, psychotic-driven comments from Charles Manson, who comes up for parole every few years.

Psychosis: a psychiatric term for a mental state in which thought and perception are severely impaired. Persons experiencing a psychotic episode may experience hallucinations, hold delusional beliefs (e.g., grandiose or paranoid delusions), demonstrate personality changes and exhibit disorganized thinking (see thought disorder).

This is often accompanied by lack of insight into the unusual or bizarre nature of such behavior, difficulties with social interaction and impairments in carrying out the activities of daily living. A psychotic episode is often described as involving a "loss of contact with reality".

Villager said...

Jim Clingman, who you quote in this blog post, is a colleague of mine here in Cincinnati. He volunteers as head of the economic development committee for the local NAACP branch. I agree with him and you ... Black folks need to be much more aggressive about supporting our own businesses. The 'Buy Black' mentality is something we should do without apology.

Never do we see Chinese people having to apologize for Chinatowns around the nation.

Never do we see Koren people apologize for Korea Town in Los Angeles ...where the billboards and business signage is in Korean (with *NO* english subtitles). These folks don't even pretend that they are seeking consumers or investments from non-Koreans.

That is the community-building mindset that Black people need to have.

I applaud the Andersons. I encourage those reading your blog post to 'get busy'!

peace, Villager

Frank Drackman said...

That what sucks about being Jewish, I gotta go to the Doctor or Pawn something if I want to "Shop Hebrew"... strangest thing though...in Cobb County there's an Asian restaurant run by Hispanics, and a Hispanic restaurant run by Asians...Wierd...

Sharon from WI said...

That what sucks about being Jewish, I gotta go to the Doctor or Pawn something if I want to "Shop Hebrew"

Frank, that is so much nonsense. Pick up any Jewish publication and there are scads of ads by business owners of every kind--real estate agents, restaurants, tutoring services, life coaches, day schools, etc.

... strangest thing though...in Cobb County there's an Asian restaurant run by Hispanics, and a Hispanic restaurant run by Asians...Wierd...[sic]

I don't find that strange at all.

There are Koreans who run beauty supply shops aimed at African American clientele.

There also are kosher Chinese restaurants. (Regular Chinese places serve shellfish and just about everything on the pig except the squeal.)

Omitting trief fare and the fact that milk is not part of Chinese cooking--therefore there is no concern about milk and meat restrictions--make Chinese restaurants perfect for kosher fare.

Anonymous said...

I had a lot of work done to my house. And I’d say 90% was with black folks. Now, I hate to be a hater... BUT... I have to say I wish there were more PROFESSIONAL black businesses who realize how important customer service and timeliness is. Why should I support a black business just because theyre black if they don’t give good service? Don’t get me wrong. I still support black business even though I end up pulling my hair out.

I went to the only black owned florist in the city. The clerk kept me waiting while she continued her personal phone call. She never did acknowledge me. I hired a black contractor to put a roof on my house. It took him over 6 months to complete the job. I hired a landscaper. It took him 2 months just to lay mulch. I went to my black dentist. He performed root canal on the WRONG tooth and then wanted me to PAY him for it.

I go to the black grocery store and the clerks are so busy socializing with each other they mess up my change. I dont even get a “thank you” or “have a nice day.” No customer service skills.

I hired another black contractor to put in replacement windows and he skipped with my down payment. And now I’m working with another black contractor who is putting up siding. He started the job back in September ‘08 and Im STILL waiting for him to finish. I tried to sell my rental property to a black preacher and his church on land-contract. Without notice he reneged on the contract, leaving me with an unpaid water bill and a vandalized house. And I wont even go into the sistas with “attitude”.

This is only a few. And in all fairness, not all are like this. Ive had some people do exceptional work for me. But the ones who dont make it harder on the rest. With all of this said, I still try to support black business and entrepreneurs. It aint easy. Im not giving up.

Anonymous said...

Asians & jews are fucking vampires in the black community,sell our ignorant ass youth knock off sports bullshit & bootleg rapp cd's please & the crackers keep that shit out of thier areas.It's to late for blacks in america,this bullshit country was never desighned for us in the first damn place.why do you think everybody can come here & prosper but us dumb blacks still wanting to live up under thier oppressors,I swear we blacks are dead & in hell alredy,with the devil!
33 real talk.

Anonymous said...

Asians & jews are fucking vampires in the black community

Yo! Us Asians and Jews are forced into slavery by the baby daddy, looting, public assistant addicted blacKKK KKKommunity. I am sick of seeing our hard working people degraded by f-ing baby daddies. Yeah my father would rather spend money saving for his children's education that buying you a bottle of Crystal and Phat Farm leasure suits. Get over it. So Asians work hard for very little money. At least they're not mugging old ladies, committing car jackings, selling crack to kids, or pimping. Funny how the same black folk who will flap their gums about "them jews and asians whos exploit our community" don't have one word or criticism for people who live their lives beginning to end on public assistance or by crime. Funny how that works.

FlyNMy40s said...

To anonmyous speaking of Asians not being pimps, let me remind her/him that the largest international sex trade organizations which consist mainly of underage girls, are based in Asian countries. In other words, the last time I saw this subject being featured on CNN or 20/20, Leroy, Tyrone, n dem' were NOT running the show.

And you're right, it's funny how statistics really work when you've finished high school and managed a stats class in college. True, there's a larger PERCENTAGE of blacks on welfare, but there will never be more blacks than whites on welfare simply because there aren't enough blacks folks in the US. Do you understand the difference between the percentage of a number and the number itself?

Suffice it to say that Madolf and his 50 BILLION dollar ponzy scheme, is the largest case of theft that the world has ever seen. All the car jackings, welfare recipients, Phat farm and FUBU in the world can't come close to what this ONE WHITE man has done where money is concerned.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Flynmy40's:

You told Anonymous 5:01 and 8:00 right, but Granny got a feeling that he/she is the same person and just comes to stir up division on this blog.

Anonymous said...

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