Our Choice: To Empower

Can a middle-class, professional, suburban black couple lead a Black Power movement?

My family made a choice, publicly, to spend as much money as possible with black business owners and professionals.  We made this decision and make this sacrifice because we believe black people have too much talent and spend too much money for their community to look the way it does and for its families to suffer the way they do.   We urge our community to practice self-help economics.  We want our people to unite, in this positive and peaceful way, to counter social ills that disproportionately impact our people (recidivism, unemployment, gang activity and drug abuse, lack of education), by infusing wealth into underserved neighborhoods, creating more jobs, and providing role models for the youth.

Sounds good…right?

Many people have violently criticized our pledge, our project (called The Empowerment Experiment or EE) and our overall mission.   Through hate-email, blogs, Facebook, letters to our home, we have been called racists and Nazis, and demeaning, malicious attacks have been lodged against us and our people.

There are those dismayed by EE’s call for blacks to leverage and engender collective consumerism as a solution to our problems… threatened by EE’s blatant refusal to continue to wait and rely on the largesse of others or well-meaning government programs to trickle down… confused by our public and proud choice to support our own genius and products.  Those people have been feeling that way about any call to ‘buy black’ for a long time.

But they’re more fired up now because what really burns them about EE is us.

John, Maggie, Cara and Cori—the Anderson family of Oak Park, ‘Apple Pie’ USA.  We scare and appall them.

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  • Boyddollar

    EE is a good thing but most blacks move out the black community when they become successful because the community has gone to the dogs litterally. Blacks including me need to support the community (hood) and clean it up block by block street by street. We destroy the community and wonder what happen we let it happen, there are no roll models left in the community they all went to suburban and never look back.

  • Shabazz

    I applaud them for doing this. I also come from well to suburbs and got a college education and am doing pretty good for myself. There is a need for blacks when possible to stay within their communities and spend at all times possible with black businesses. It just makes economic sense. If we don’t “spend black” then who will? Quite a few of us feel that “making it” means being as far away from our own people as we can. Its time for us to be community, clean up our communities, and for those who left consider coming back to your community.

  • Don Smith

    Many of our professional people are divorced from the masses. We need to reconnect the learned of our people to the unlearned of our people. Be sure to check out a great new book on this very subject matter. Click link below:


  • I think this is a wonderful experiment, and I hope more professionals follow their lead.

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