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With Over $1 Trillion in Spending Power, Black Community Needs to Shift Focus to Economics Over Politics

092311-national-black-dollarWith so many prominent Black politicians finding success in the Republican Party and years of loyalty by the Black community to the Democratic Party, there’s still the ongoing debate about whether the Democrats have Black voters’ interests at heart. But one columnist says its time for Black voters to shift their focus altogether.

National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) columnist George E. Curry explained that the Black community should focus more on economics than politics.

For years, Black voters have been looking for political candidates who would address the problems that have long plagued Blacks across the nation.

From disadvantages in education to a flawed justice system, it seems like the issues dear to the Black community don’t come to the forefront of either party’s political agendas and decades of hoping for change have resulted in disappointment.

“Even when we have given it our best, politics have never delivered the expected results,” Curry wrote on “I am old enough to remember how exuberant we were with the election of the first wave of Black big city mayors: Carl Stokes in Cleveland, Richard Hatcher in Gary, Indiana, Ken Gibson in Newark and later, Tom Bradley in Los Angeles, Andrew Young in Atlanta and David Dinkins in New York…In January we will have not one, but two Blacks in the U.S. Senate (Cory Booker and Tim Scott), the largest African-American contingent ever in the upper chamber.”

But that, Curry explains, is not what will bring about real change.

Instead of waiting for politicians to deliver solutions, Curry says Blacks should focus on a sector where they already have the upper hand—economics.

Black people have extraordinary spending power as the community is on the verge of spending $1.3 trillion every year, according to a Nielsen study.

“It’s time to shift our attention to economic development and empowerment,” he wrote. “I am not saying we should abandon politics—we shouldn’t—but it should no longer be our primary focus.”

Curry acknowledges that there have been some improvements in recent years, such as a boost in employment, but the impact of that economic boost was barely felt in the Black community.

African-Americans still have disproportionately higher unemployment rates than any other demographic group.

This is where focusing on the battle of economics can prove truly effective.

Studies reveal that many company CEOs will hire the demographic that seems “familiar” to them, although this is often an unconscious decision.

By empowering Black business owners, communities can pave a road to more Black employees and drastically cut down on unemployment rates.

This could also encourage the growth and expansion of other Black-owned businesses.

Increasing wealth in the Black community will allow more people of color to invest in education, afford health care and boost homeownership, Curry says.

These are the types of responses that could give African-Americans the power to make major changes in their own communities and eventually across the nation.


What people are saying

8 thoughts on “With Over $1 Trillion in Spending Power, Black Community Needs to Shift Focus to Economics Over Politics

  1. Jay Contreras says:

    Yes, economics is important but remember Black Wall Street. You have to be capable of DEFENDING what you have built with a militia or army so that WHEN they decide they want to drop a bomb on you or come in and loot, burn and kill like they did in Tulsa & Rosewood–we have the means to fight back. Now any other group has not had that problem, whites don't seem to be threatened by Chinatown or other immigrant economic centers–but something about US building economic autonomy does something to them. I'm really for getting out. Not feeding the beast at all b/c even if we do set up a separate economic foundation, we are STILL feeding this beast.

  2. Blacks first will have to get rid of the attitudes of jealousy. Many will not patronize black business out of jealous. Instead of defeating something that we must do, come together for self determination, a powerful measure to bring black people out of this hole we are in. Instead, open a business of your own, get foreigners out of the black community, we will begin to grow as a group economically. We will have more power, decrease unemployment as the article stated, cut down on incarceration, our own schools, with government financial support, no more low reading skill among many of our children. I cannot begin to list all the positive results we will see, when we practice self determination. Jealous cannot be more powerful than self determination, and giving our money to others who hate us.

  3. I wish folk would quit saying how much spending power blacks have. It sounds great but fundamentally it's not true. No matter how big the number, 1 Trillion, 2 or 3 Trillion, blacks will never have "spending power" until the money is aggregated. Until it is spent with other black businesses and turns over in our communities 9,10,11 times or more blacks will have NO SPENDING POWER. 98% of that 1 TRILLION is spent with other groups of people giving them spending power…Furthermore, there is not 1 black community in this country to begin with…

  4. Shaun Humphries says:

    You can start by sending money to the black business owners who lost their businesses due to ignorance.

  5. Terrance Amen says:

    Everything this article talks about, is what was created for. But we have to get the message out to our community. We can solve our problems using the money we're already spending. Black Unity is the solution, is the plan.

  6. "For years, Black voters have been looking for political candidates who would address the problems that have long plagued Blacks across the nation."
    The truth is that you cannot expect someone who is not black to properly vie for black's injustices to be corrected. As well as for immigration, it is hard to fight for immigrants' rights when one does not fully know the immigrant experience. For this to be corrected, we need people who can directly identify with these problems to lead and be the forefronts to solving the problems America has.

  7. Ronald Scott says:

    Brother Jamaal is absolutely correct. This is why others, Politics, Police, and the Justice System have no respect for us, because we are not respecting the economic game of living and surviving as a community, not as indivduals. We have been socially engineered to play this game as indivduals and not as a group. We are living under the "Willie Lynch" doctrine. "Separate But Equal. We have got to live and survive under the Code of Conduct = Together We Stand / Divided We Fall!

  8. Ronald Scott says:

    In the City of Riverside, California, we are planning our first Black Business District Community in 2015. We have reached out to over 600 Blacks on Facebook to join and support us as a New National Black Family, adopting a Black-Owned Bank "OneUnited" in Los Angeles.
    We want to network our business community with every Black Business Community as well as our African Nations to begin aggregating our wealth. We are wanting everyone to stand and support with us. We have lots of work to do next year. Our children needs to learn economics and becoming producers within their own communities. Not workers for other ethnic groups ever again.

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