Over the past month, we’ve seen many different black advocacy groups asking for donations. If you’ve donated, thank you! If you’re planning to donate, please do! This article isn’t to ask for another donation though. I want to ask you to go spend money on yourself. Not only that, I want you to spend money you’ve already budgeted to spend, on the things you’ve already budgeted to spend it on.
What’s the Catch?
So, you’re asking, “What’s the catch?!” The catch is, I’m committing, and challenge you to commit, to spend at least $101 every month at black-owned businesses starting in July. If you do budgeting, you probably have line items for restaurants, groceries, and gifts for friends and family. You also probably have black-owned businesses in your town that provide these goods and services. So, join me in committing to spend at least $101 every month at black-owned businesses as you purchase the goods and services you already planned to purchase. We did this for Fathers’ Day. We were going to go out for lunch anyway, so we want to Marie’s Soul Food. The food was excellent, the prices were great, and we got to help a local black business thrive.
As white people, we’ve been lied to. We’ve been told that black people are lazy, that they want a handout, or that they’re criminals and gang bangers. Most black people don’t match any of these descriptions in the slightest. However, those who have resorted to crime or handouts have done so as a direct result of growing up in poverty with no hope. They’ve been unjustly deprived, and watch others who look like them be unjustly deprived, of the “unalienable rights” of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” We’ve seen throughout history in numerous countries that this deprivation leads to crime and poverty.
How do we fix this? By supporting every black business in our communities. These are the leaders in the black communities. These are the people who can hire young black people and teach them that they too, not just white people, can achieve the American dream. I love the Boys and Girls Club, YMCA/YWCA, and all the other local groups training and mentoring black youth. However, this is all for naught if they see no path when they graduate. Conversely, it will all be unnecessary if they see people all around them, who look like them, talk like them, and dress like them successfully pursuing the American dream and offering them jobs, coaching, and mentoring, organically, in flourishing businesses.
Each of us committing to #Spend101, won’t necessarily make the difference between each business succeeding and failing. So, if you can do more in your community, by all means please do. However, I want to challenge those of us who weren’t spending any money at black-owned businesses to start with a goal we can consistently achieve and work up from there.
Here’s some great ways to find local black-owned businesses:
- Ask a black friend
- Ask a friend who’s an activist for black equality
- See if you have a local Black Chamber of Commerce: Black Chamber of Commerce Directory.
- As your local general Chamber of Commerce: National Chamber of Commerce Directory.
- This article has some more good ideas to try: How to Find Black Owned Restaurants.
So, if you want to help solve the mess we’re in as a country…whatever your take is on why we’re in the mess we’re in…if you’re committed to fixing it…join me in committing to #Spend101! Also, I’d love to see the creative ways you #Spend101 each month, and the more people who see us doing this, the more the movement will spread, and the more impact it will have. So, please post pictures or comments to your social media of how you #Spend101 each month, and let’s encourage all our friends to take this small step towards solving the wealth gap.