The Almighty Dollar
“Money, money, money, money, money. Some people got to have it, some people really need it. For that lean, mean, mean green almighty dollar, money.”
For the Love of Money by The O'Jays is a classic so, If you don't know, now you know. I'm reminded that the so called almighty dollar, is the currency and power we exchange for what we want.
How do we use said power? Are we using our buying power to liberate ourselves and our community? Or, are we exchanging our buying power in an absent minded way, consuming “stuff” without thought to why? In a TEDx Talk by Maggie Anderson, author and brainchild behind The Empowerment Experiment. Anderson goes on to explains that, “that if the middle-class black consumers were to spend a little more — 7 percent more, just 10 percent of their spending — with black firms and the mainstream firms that engage them, we can create almost 1 million jobs.”
Creating jobs is a direct and an intentional way to be liberated. Creating jobs in black communities will lower unemployment rates as well as, provide jobs that are local, for those who find transportation to be an obstacle. What are some other ways we can support current black owned companies, and empower ourselves? Keep this question in mind. Now, let's talk about some of the popular brands purchased. As well as the implications of buying decisions.
Adidas (Adi Dassler), Air Jordan, Fendi, Adidas, Louis Vuitton and Eddie Bauer to name a few. These all have something in common. They are all namesakes. Each brand, shares the name of the family associated with its creation.
I'm not speaking against these brands. I am simply stating that they're branding was intentional. When you wear a brand, or purchase items with its logo on it, you are giving free advertisement for the company. As well as directly or indirectly supporting the mission and division behind the brand.
Let's be very clear, Black people make things cool. We can go down the rabbit hole of cultural appropriation but let's just broad paint stroke it by saying, whether it's hairstyles, fashion, music or inventions of all kinds. We set the benchmark. We are also, at higher rates, stepping into arenas like medicine, technology and government.
According to The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Statistics,”The educational attainment of the Black labor force has increased over the past two decades.” The report goes on to say, “The number of Blacks attaining an associate degree also has increased. However, the largest increase in educational attainment has been in the number of Blacks attaining a Bachelor’s degree or higher.” As we continue to educate ourselves, we bring our wit, experience, flare and most of all, our perspective to our selected field of work. Which allows us to approach situations, conversations, and perpetual problems with solutions that may have never been considered before.
I interviewed local business owner Diamond Marie of D-Marie Hair Boutique. Her boutique is a 100% Human Hair retail boutique and online store that provides high quality Brazilian and Peruvian bundles in various lengths, colors, and styles. As she spoke of her business her eyes widened with her smile. She spoke of not only her consultation services, but also the reason behind her pursuit. Diamond explained, “We are honored by being the only Boutique that offers the type of products and services we provide to the public. It is imperative to create jobs & cash circulation throughout the urban community for future growth and development within.” Diamond’s boutique can be found at 2118 North 24th Street Omaha, NE 68110, as well as their website www.dmariehairboutique.com
Something I remind myself and tell my son is that everything takes maintenance. Both action and inaction, our personal power is ours. You can use your own as a superpower for good or bad.
If we take our buying power and use it to level up long-term, what would that look like? Consider the equity of a home, it has more trading power than paying rent in an apartment. So perhaps with the refund money from your taxes, you and a friend may decide to collab and put your refunds together, to put a down payment on a house or property to buy.
Simple tasks could include supporting black business by submitting reviews and pictures. Tell your families and friends. Think longer and bigger. Look at money exchange as what your investing in. What companies do you like that connect to your personal interests? Let's say you have a love of animals, What companies can you buy from that are cruelty free? Believe in sustainability on all levels? What companies can you purchase from that are involved in our community.
You have power, you have a voice, your ideas and contribution matter. I encourage you to use the exchange of money to create the reality you want to see for yourself and future generations. If you would like to start or even continue investing in black owned products and services, there is an app to assist you in finding them. The app is called BWS (Black Wall Street) https://officialblackwallstreet.com/app/. Also right in our backyards are some upcoming events to support locally:
Fair Deal Village Marketplace Farmers Market
June 2019 - September 2019
Saturdays, 9 am - 1 pm
Location: OEDC Parking Lot, 2221 North 24th Street
Black Business Expo, June 9th
For more details as they become available, go to Facebook: Minorities About Business @MinoritiesAboutBusiness