A couple of years ago a White co-worker purchased a home in a pretty cool and progressive neighborhood in the city I lived in at the time. I told him that I was going to jump in the market once I found a real-estate agent. Being the good friend he was, he whipped out a business card for the real-estate agent he used to purchase his home. I told him "Thanks", but he refused to stop there. He proceeded to give me a business card for his insurance agent (who insured his home), his mortgage broker, home inspector, and plumber to help cut time for me when I found the house I wanted.
Again, I thanked my co-worker and went about my business. When it was time for lunch, I decided to take the information grab bag I had been given with me, as I was planning to call the mortgage broker to start the pre-approval process. As I was sitting in the coffee shop, preparing to call the broker, something caught my eye: all of the people on all of the business cards I received were White.
To most people, this isn't a big thing or isn't something they would've even noticed, but in that moment, this completely stood out to me. So much so, that I decided not to call the broker at that time. I decided to just sit there, drink my coffee and get some reading done during my lunch break, but as I got up to leave the coffee shop, I decided that I would fish for more information from my co-worker.
Once I got back to the office, I found the co-worker who gave me the trove of business cards and I asked him if he could recommend doctors and dentists in the area, since I was fairly new to the region. A few minutes later he gave me a sheet of paper with the names and numbers of a pediatrician, a family doctor and a general practice dentist. After saying thanks, I folded the paper and stuck it in my back pocket.
When I finally got home, I jumped online and did a search for the doctors and dentist, and I found that all three of these professionals were White.
Over the next 12-13 months, I repeated this same experiment dozens of times with different races of people - Caucasian, Black, Indian, Asian, etc, but I also included different types of businesses I asked referrals for, and what I found was pretty amazing:
Do you see what I saw?
If not, here's what I saw: every race practiced Group Economics EXCEPT the Black race. Now, this isn't new or surprising information for me, as this is something I've seen my entire life, but to see the tangible evidence of it opened my eyes.
The next thing I did was I decided to go back to the Black people I spoke to and I asked them why they didn't refer any Black service providers to me. The answer I got surprised me, "It's so hard to find Black service providers, especially when you move to a new state or city and you don't know anyone, so you just take the first referral you get and keep going to them."
What I've come to know is that Group Economics works, but it works over time with a consistent investment in one's community. Black Americans have over $1 Trillion spending power in this country, but our communities are blighted, other races have businesses in our communities, we don't create that many jobs for our own community. In short, Black people have wealth in the US economy, we just work really hard to give that wealth to other communities.
At Local Black™, our goal is to help start the process of targeting this wealth to be invested in our own communities. Our aim is to be more than a business directory, we want to become a distribution channel of Black-owned business products and services across the United States; a vehicle, if you will, to help plant the seeds for future growth in all of our Local Black™ communities.
So, Make the Switch -- and sow your investment seeds in your Local Black community by switching to a Local Black service provider today.