by Michael P Coleman
Many African Americans will rush out this weekend to take advantage of Black Friday deals.
Making up almost 14 percent of the US population, black shoppers will cast quite a shadow on
crowds, both in stores and on-line, this weekend.
If projections hold true, retailers are going tohave a great Black Friday and weekend, and rest assured they’ll all be bragging about it early next week.
Here’s today’s question: will black-owned businesses be in that chorus of pre-Christmas cheer? reports that last year, total Black Friday spending — just the Friday alone — topped
$3.7 billion. If the math holds, the African American community in the United States spent over
half a billion dollars last Black Friday.
How much of that did you spend, and how much of what you spent was at a black-owned
78%ofus say that our “cultural and ethnic heritage” is an essential part of who we are
( At the same time, African Americans are 50% more likely to start our own
business, but those businesses fail at a much larger rate than those of our white counterparts,
according to a study conducted by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
“So when you piece together the various data, you can see the story that unfolds, which is a
story about a tremendous gap between a minority’s dream of entrepreneurship and the reality of
making it happen,” says Wendy Guillies, spokesperson for the Ewing Marion Kauffman
“African Americans are very entrepreneurial oriented,” says Bill Boudreaux, author of The
Complete Startup Guide for the Black Entrepreneur, “yet they are failing at very high rates.
Something in the process is causing that.”
As with most issues in our community,we have to be on the front lines on this one. If African
American business are to succeed,we need to get behind them. And there’s no better day to
start doing that than the biggest US shopping day of the year, Black Friday!
African Americans are padding the pockets of Walmart, Target and other big box stores on a
 regular basis, but overall, we’re failing to take care of our own.  
If Apple CEO Tim Cook were African American, I’d feel even better about the time I’ve spent
waiting for Apple to announce their Black Friday deals, as I’m in the market for some new
equipment for my business. (OK, I’ll confess: I want a new Apple TV, too.) I’ll also be at
Target (I usually am), and Black Friday’s one of the few days of the year that I actually stop by a
Walmart. Some of the deals at those and other chains can’t be ignored.
But as I’m spending on Black Friday — both in stores and online — I recall a fact that keeps me
coming back to my black-owned mom-and-pops: for every dollar spent at a local black-owned
businesses in my community, 68 centsstays in my community(
We always come through for black-owned businesses on Small Business Saturday, but let’s put
the “black” back in Black Friday this year, and make sure our entrepreneurial brothers and
sisters have sales numbers that THEY can brag about next week.
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