Money Talks

The time has come to adapt the old civil rights agenda to a new economic power strategy. The NAACP and the National Action Network are leading the charge.

for each group’s success. "We have historically tried to muster our economic power as consumers to effect change. But frequently it’s been sort of a one-shot deal," says Conrad. "We’ll speak out, there will be a big hoopla and maybe negotiation and then it’s over. What I see here is the idea for follow-up, that this is something we’re going to do every year."

Graves says that while the spotlight has shone hotly on the advertising companies and the separate industries targeted by the NAACP, "The truth is there is
probably no industry you could go into where we wouldn’t find issues across the board. The key is they should be responding not to ‘Oh, God, Sharpton is on the phone. We better run out an ad,’ but to getting out in front and realizing this makes sound marketing sense for us.

"Black people are not dark-skinned white people," adds Graves. "The advertisers and different companies have to understand that. There are differences, and those differences can and should be celebrated."

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