Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Business of "Black In America"

African Americans make up more than 14% of the United States population. This may sound like a small figure, but that adds up to nearly 40 million people. As a group, African American consumers spend nearly one trillion dollars a year - creating the largest buying power by far than any other minority group.

Those facts, published by the U.S. Census, makes Black people a very valuable group to advertisers and marketers. Thus, you have Ebony, Jet, Essence, Black Enterprise and hundreds of other Black magazines and newspapers that are a vehicle for advertisers to reach African Americans.

You have web sites such as,,, and others that allows sponsors to create online marketing campaigns towards African Americans.

You have over 400 radio stations that target African American listeners, and you have at least two nationally-syndicated television channels (BET and TV One) that target African American viewers.

Believe it or not, but companies spend billions of dollars annually using these avenues to encourage African Americans to buy into their products and/or services.

Last year, CNN launched the "Black In America" documentary series and were able to get 2 million viewers to tune in. This was a huge success for advertisers looking to reach that market, and so they are back again this year with "Black In America 2".

It wasn't always this way, but these days being Black in America makes you a very valuable asset.


  1. With 300 Million+ people in the US, 15% of that is actually 45 Million blacks in the US. Even though I had been hearing for over 20 years that there are 40 million blacks in America. I know that blacks have kids and families, why haven't these numbers grown? Or is the Census not getting an accurate count? Hmmm!?!

  2. Fantastic piece Dante. We are indeed a valuable consumer base but the sad part is, everyone knows this EXCEPT us. Personally, I have known this for YEARS - - which is why I have attempted over and over and over and over and OVER again to encourage economic empowerment among Black folk by telling them to SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER. I was unsuccessful and recently decided to give up because I literally went broke trying to make us understand this. In spite of the circumstance, I look forward to celebrating the moment when WE as Black people realize how powerful we are.

    Now I'm going to say a prayer that I'm ALIVE to see that day. I love my people but...we really need to wake up.

  3. Truth be told, we never stopped being a"very valuable asset!" The only difference is that before, we were valuable as slaves for white men. Today, we're indentured servants. We let everyone including white people pimp us: nail shops, weave and hair care products, liquor stores, lotto tix, rims and things or other bling, fatty foods/unhealthy, clothes, the list goes on...CNN is getting paid for the program, but did the people who participated? Will CNN take part of the proceeds and invest back into the black communities it garnered stories from? Do any of the other cultures care about being black in America except to know our needs and wants and convert it to cash as soon as the broadcast ends? Black in America is a business venture. It hardly addresses how the rest of America intends to help black people move forward...