A community-oriented art & graphic design collective. We make graphic apparel, hand-crafted accessories and produce events. And most importantly, spew randomness about important and non-important topics.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Culture: Can You Shop BLACK?

This article talks about a couple that did an experiment to shop ONLY Black (purchasing exclusively from Black-owned businesses) for a whole year. They thought it would be mildly challenging but doable, but found out that it was extremely challenging and they had to be creative to make it possible. There were also some 'consequences' such as weight gain & having to 'do without' certain things.

I remember in college a friend of mine was telling me about a Bay Area 'Black Pages' listing for Black-owned businesses. I thought the concept was interesting, but at the time in my life wasn't quite able to wrap my head around it. I mean I was a college student, and my purchasing power was limited in both how much I could buy, and how much I needed to buy. Maybe it was an excuse but I think at the time, it would have been a lot of work to try to figure out buying textbooks, daily meals & such from exclusively black-owned.

Now I'm curious about this experiment...It sounds like the couple had a few things, that I may not quite have as much of 1. $$$ 2. Support/Patience of their partnership 3. Err *insert something here* haha.

And it also brings up other questions for me, as someone who is not only a consumer but also a business owner. Since in this case buying exclusively black (purchasing from black-owned establishments) means that you can purchase white-created/owned product as long as they are distributed by black owners

then what happens if: I had a black-created/owned product in a white-owned business?

The concept is something that I'm interested in, on various levels...I've wondered and talked about the creation of local economies & government structures. A friend of mine grew up in a community (in the west coast of the U.S.) where for a few years they had their own currency with incentives attached to using the local currency as opposed to the dollar.

I'm wondering how it could work with the concept of local government or deliberately created communities. What are the pros? Cons? Backlash?

If you had the opportunity to shop 'exclusively' Black or African or Nigerian or (insert cultural or political group leaning) would you do it? Why? Why not?


1 comment:

chichi said...

Given the opportunity, I don't know that I would. There's so much others have to offer in terms of variety that I could be missing out on.
I will however, patronize a Nigerian when I can.