Our Choice: To Empower - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Page: 1 2

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.

Page: 1 2

Join the Conversation

Maggie Anderson, and her husband, John, have been living off black business and talent, and buying black made-products for all of 2009. They call their pledge The Empowerment Experiment (EE). National media follow EE and the Andersons use that platform and their website (www.EEforTomorrow.com) to inspire more Americans to support Black business. EE seeks to defy negative stereotypes about Black entrepreneurs, goods and services while proving that Black communities could be improved if Black consumers would spend/invest more money with their own businesses. Their experiment will serve as the foundation for a landmark study on self-help economics in the Black community. Maggie, a business consultant, is a graduate of Emory University, and earned her MBA and JD from the University of Chicago. John, a Harvard graduate, is a financial advisor, who earned his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. They live in Oak Park, Illinois, with their two daughters; Cori 2, and Cara, who is 4.

MORE ON BlackEnterprise.com