House

By Gary A. Johnson – Publisher, Black Men In America.com

Updated October 3, 2018 (Originally posted on November 5, 2010).

How black people spend their money has been a hotly debated topic not only on this site, but in our office, at social events and in beauty and barber shops across America.  As we look at the year in review, this article has been the most read and commented article for 8 years running.  Once I learned that this was the most popular and discussed article on the website, I decided to do some research and share this information with others.

Here are the facts:
  1. 96.1 percent of the 1.2 million households in the top one percent by income were white.
  2. America’s 100 richest people control more wealth than the entire Black population.
  3. The 5 largest white landowners own more land than all Black people combined.
  4. The average Black family would need 228 years to build the wealth of a white family today.

I predict that even after reading this article there a significant number of Black people who will NOT change their habits and work toward changing their situation.  Over time, when things go unchallenged, they seem normal.  After centuries of slavery, black people must realize that they need to work toward building generational wealth and learn to invest their money and establish Trust funds for their wealth that can be passed down to future generations.

Generally speaking, Black people are still living for the moment with a “to hell with the future” mindset when it comes to money.  Too many Black folks tend to only worry about themselves and the money that they have NOW.  That way of thinking is crippling and must STOP now.

A common scenario for many Black folks when they get a “huge” chunk of money or their tax refund deposit is to run to the nearest appliance store, high-end mall or car dealer–(we just love those shiny new rims).  According to The State of Working America, Black people spend 4 percent more money annually than any other race despite the fact that they are the least represented race and the race that lives in poverty at the highest rate.

If current economic trends continue, the average Black household will need 228 years to accumulate as much wealth as their white counterparts hold today. For the average Latino family, it will take 84 years. Absent significant policy interventions, or a seismic change in the American economy, people of color will never close the gap.  (Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and the Corporation For Economic Development).

Dr. Boyce Watkins shares the secret to money that most rich people understand.  Check out this short video.

Faced with that reality, I wanted to know:  How long does money stay in the various communities? 

A dollar circulates:

  • 6 hours in the Black community
  • 17 days in the White community
  • 20 days in the Jewish community
  • 30 days in the Asian community

How Did This Happen?

According to Brian Thompson, a contributor to Forbes.com, the term “systemic racism” ruffles a lot of feathers. It often triggers emotional arguments about how people feel about racism and its effects. Yet concrete data over long periods of time shows very clearly that systemic racism exists.

Blacks were historically prevented from building wealth by slavery and Jim Crow Laws (laws that enforced segregation in the south until the Civil Rights act of 1964). Government policies including The Homestead Act, The Chinese Exclusion Act and even the Social Security Act, were often designed to exclude people of color.

Last year, Janelle Jones wrote and article for the Economic Policy Institute titled The Racial Wealth Gap:  How African-Americans Have Been Shortchanged Out Of The Materials To Build Wealth.”

In her article Jones writes, “Wealth is a crucially important measure of economic health. Wealth allows families to transfer income earned in the past to meet spending demands in the future, such as by building up savings to finance a child’s college education. Wealth also provides a buffer of economic security against periods of unemployment, or risk-taking, like starting a business. And wealth is needed to finance a comfortable retirement or provide an inheritance to children. In order to construct wealth, a number of building blocks are required. Steady well-paid employment during one’s working life is important, as it allows for a decent standard of living plus the ability to save. Also, access to well-functioning financial markets that provide a healthy rate of return on savings without undue risks is crucial.”

The gaps in wealth and income between white and black Americans are stark – and haven’t narrowed significantly in 50 years.  Credit Suisse and Brandeis University’s Institute on Assets and Social Policy took a closer look at disparities between whites and Blacks.  There are some notable differences in how each group approaches their money.  Here are a few:

  • The wealthiest 5% of Black Americans are slightly less likely to hold financial assets (stocks, bonds, and so on) in their asset mix. Of the financial assets they do invest in, wealthy Blacks are more likely than wealthy whites to invest in safer assets, preferring CDs, savings bonds, and life insurance to higher risk (and higher reward) assets.
  • Wealthy Black Americans have more money in real estate holdings than equally wealthy white Americans. The former hold 41% of their non-financial assets in (non-primary residence) real estate, while the figure for the latter is just about 22%. Adding in primary residences brings those numbers to 57% and 34%, respectively. Even after the housing bust, real estate is considered a lower-risk investment.
  •  Wealthy Black Americans are less likely to hold equity in business assets. Looking at this group’s non-financial assets, 9% are equity in business assets. That figure is 37% for comparably wealthy Whites. The numbers are similarly stark if you look at this as a percentage of total assets: 21% of the wealthy Whites’ total assets are invested in their own businesses, versus just 6% for wealthy Blacks. Because both groups are equally likely to run their own companies – 23% in both cases – the researchers calculate that this means white business owners are investing in their businesses at a rate 7 times higher than Black business owners. In raw dollar terms, it means that Black business owners have about $68k in their businesses, while White business owners have roughly $468k.

“The American Dream remains out of reach for many African-American and Hispanic families,” said Signe-Mary McKernan, co-director of the Opportunity and Ownership Initiative at the Urban Institute. “Families of color, who will be the future majority population of this country, are not on a firm wealth-building path.”

inequality wealth lag

There are three main reasons for the widening gap, according to McKernan. Blacks and Hispanics are less likely to be homeowners or participate in retirement accounts, which build wealth.

Federal government programs aimed at helping Americans buy homes and save for retirement rely on tax breaks and aren’t as available to Blacks and Hispanics, who typically have lower incomes. The bottom 20% of taxpayers, in terms of income, received less than 1% of federal subsidies for home ownership or retirement.

And the earnings gap between the races makes it harder for Blacks and Hispanics to save.

inequality white retirement

Blacks and Hispanics have also socked away a lot less for retirement in 401(k)s and IRAs. And as these voluntary retirement plans replace pensions, black and Hispanic families are left on shakier ground in what should be their Golden Years.

According to the Curators of Dopeness blog, Black people love to spend money on fashion.  Black people get made fun of for not having on the newest Jordan’s or a brand name shirt that’s “in style”.  Expensive purses and high heels are a must if you’re ever stepping out.  Your hair needs to be flawless at all times.  So in order to compensate for lack of confidence or trying the whole “look good, feel good” approach, Black people spend their dollars on looking good.  This is some dumb shit that needs to be taken out of this culture because you need to crawl before you walk.  First handle the foundation then move up to Jordan Brand products and red bottom shoes..

Check out this 1954 film made to educate white merchants on the spending habits of Black Americans.

The Secret of Selling the Negro Market is a 1954 film financed by Johnson Publishing Company, the publisher of Ebony magazine, to encourage advertisers to promote their products and services in the African-American media. The film showed African-American professionals, housewives and students as participants in the American consumer society, and it emphasized the economic power of this demographic community. The film, which was shot in Kodachrome Color, featured appearances by Sinclair Weeks, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and radio announcer Robert Trout. The film had its premiere in July 1954 at the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and was shown on a non-theatrical basis.

Watch this film and measure how far we’ve come over the last 60+ years.

White people love to spend money on fashion too.  White people love to buy expensive cufflings, designer purses, custom suits.  Their efforts are more to make sure they look presentable to potential employers.  They really don’t care about being made fun off on a day off.  That’s why you see white people with sandals on or those really high shorts.  White people tend to over do it on the suits but they tend to last them a very long time so they treat them more like investments than clothes.

Black people love to spend money on cars.  Chrysler 300’s, Dodge Chargers and the new model mustangs are a favorite.  Black people also customize cars and don’t really bother with leasing.  The car becomes an investment instead of just something to drive.

White people love to spend money on cars too.  They lease new cars.  Most of the BMW’s and Benz’s that you see are leased.  They have a more economic car and then a leased car.  They figure it’s just a car and pretty soon I’ll need another one so I’ll just rent the newest one out.  Leasing a car is throwing away money that could be used somewhere else.  More on cars later in this article.

According to Tingba Muhammad of the Nation of Islam Research Organization (NOIRG) wasteful Black spending is rooted in slavery.  Earlier this year, Minister Louis Farrakhan gave speech on the root of black spending behaviors and what black people need to do to correct some of these bad habits.  According to the research 42 million Blacks have a spending power amounting to $1.1 trillion, which gives each man, woman, and child an annual spending power of $26,200 dollars.  Black spend their money overwhelmingly with white businesses on the following products and services.

  • tobacco                                    $3.3 billion
  • whiskey, wine, and beer         $3 billion
  • non-alcoholic                          $2.8 billion
  • leisure time spending            $3.1 billion
  • toys, games, and pets           $3.5 billion
  • telephone services                $18.6 billion
  • gifts                                         $10 billion
  • charitable contributions       $17.3 billion
  • healthcare                              $23.6 billion

The NOIRG theorizes that when most Blacks emerged from slavery, it frightened the hell out of White people. They knew that money and knowledge in Black hands meant that Blacks would have the power to determine their own destiny apart from White domination and control. The first impulse Blacks had after slavery was to get as far away from whites as possible. They even set up over 60 all-Black towns, in which they managed free of white authority. This trend had to be stopped because with Black independence came the total loss of the labor that whites totally depended on.  This created a tremendous amount of oppression.  Blacks responded to this oppression by becoming fast spenders.

So, today, many Blacks don’t trust banks, or the courts—Blacks “trust” only that which they can hold in their hands at that very moment. As destructive as that behavior is to Black progress is exactly how profitable that behavior is to whites—who will do anything to keep Blacks on that thinking track.

Hmmmmm!  Something to think about.

Another school of thought is shared by blogger Matthew Corbin who wrote 5 Reasons Why Black People Are Still Broke.  Here are Corbin’s 5 reasons:

  1. Black people spend more money than the make
  2. Black people don’t support black businesses
  3. Black people don’t save their money
  4. Black people don’t know how to invest
  5. Black people aren’t working towards getting out of poverty

Click here to read Corbin’s explanation for each reason.

Donald J. Trump is the 45th President of the United States.  Some say life under a Trump administration won’t be that bad, in fact, it Donald Trump may do more for Blacks than the last several presidents.  Time will tell.  Trump says he will be great for blacks.  Click here to read Donald Trump’s plan for the black community.

The following information comes from the website Racism In America.com.  As the largest racial minority in the United States, blacks make up approximately 13.2% of the population, but have a spending power of over one-trillion dollars. So why is it that Blacks have the lowest net worth of all racial classes?

During the Civil War, small banks were established throughout the country to be financially responsible for freed and runaway slaves’ deposits. However, many of those individuals lost their money because the banks “lost” their deposits. And after the Civil War, Blacks had practically no economic resources, access to capital, or entrepreneurial abilities, making it almost impossible to build, accrue, and pass on wealth. But in an attempt to financially assist soldiers and emancipated slaves with transitioning into “freedom,” Congress established the Freedman’s Saving and Trust Company–a financial institution for Blacks. The bank’s objective was to help Blacks “increase their financial strength.”

In the 21st century, many Blacks still don’t possess bank accounts, but instead rely on check cashing services, prepaid debit cards, and cash apps on their cell phones.  Living an “all cash” lifestyle allows for more spending and less saving. However, because of the history of being financially defrauded, Blacks have grown to rely on tangible items to justify their finances. In other words, many of them feel more secure being able to see and spend their money instead of trusting a financial institution. Consequently, the more items bought and the more expensive items may be, signifies many Blacks’ interpretation of their net worth and status as opposed to what a savings account may reflect or indicate.

Studies have shown that managing: household expenses and budget, money and debt, investments, and to save for college education are areas that many Blacks aren’t financially literate.

In a 2013 survey, Prudential Research reported that 40% of Blacks considered themselves to be spenders, 51% savers, and only 9% that actually invest.  To this date, Blacks only possess 5% of America’s wealth, oppose to Whites that own 61%, Asians 28%, and Hispanics 6%.

Therefore, the real reason why Blacks spend their money and don’t save is because systematic racism prevented them from safely investing in banks, and is currently impacting their ability to own property, land, or businesses, thus leaving them with nothing to pass down to future generations. They were forced into a mindset of poverty–spend now before it’s gone, impacting them generationally. Historical experiences blinded Blacks from recognizing the importance of financial literacy and because of their monetary ignorance, blacks possess the least amount of wealth in America.

I decided to post this article as a clear example of how, in this case, this Black person spends his money.  Why do many Black folks feel the need to flaunt their money?  In many cases, what’s “money” to them, is “small change” to people in other ethnic groups.  I’m not a psychologist, but it is an interesting question to ponder.  The previous 1954 video on Black consumers shopping and spending habits may shed some answers.

A recent report from Nielsen, “The Increasingly Affluent, Educated and Diverse,” explores the “untold story” of Black consumers, particularly Black households earning $75,000 or more per year.  According to the report, Black people in this segment are growing faster in size and influence than whites in all income groups above $60,000.  And as Black incomes increase, their spending surpasses that of the total population in areas such as insurance policies, pensions and retirement savings.

According to Nielsen, “African-American households spend more on basic food ingredients and beverages and tend to value the food preparation process, spending more time than average preparing meals. Other popular buying categories include fragrances, personal health and beauty products, as well as family planning, household care and cleaning products.”

The authors of this report emphasize that as the social and cultural clout of the Black consumer is on the ascendancy, it is incumbent upon advertisers and marketers of consumer brands to develop a long-tern game with the Black community.

As The Atlantic notes, Black buying power is expected to reach $1.2 trillion this year, and $1.4 trillion by 2020, according to the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth.

 LetsBuyBlack365 is a national grassroots movement that utilizes the online community and local networking to harness Black buying power, with a goal to create jobs and resources to help Black people.

A few years ago we updated our original post with some information from an article written in September 2013, by Stacy M. Brown posted on the Washington Informer.com website titled, “Big Spenders, Small Investors:  Blacks Have Little to Show for Hard-Earned Dollars.”  In that article, Ms. Brown writes, “If black America counted as an independent country, its wealth would rank 11th in the world.  However, African Americans continue to squander their vast spending power, relegating blacks to economic slavery instead of financial freedom, according to several consumer reports detailing the use of cash in the black community.”

We also incorporated 2014 data from the Nielsen Company.  If history is any indication of future behavior, this updated article will be hotly debated in 2018.  Let’s hope that we can make some progress in this area and close the wealth gap.

Compared to all consumers, Black people as a group spend 30 percent more of their total income — even though we make $20,000 less than the average household. A whopping 87 percent of annual retail spending consists of Black consumers. But where does our money go? Hudson Valley Press Online gives us the scoop via an article from Nielsen’s SVP of public affairs and government relations, Cheryl Pearson-McNeil.

When it comes to shopping at the mall, we make eight more annual trips than any other group pulling in an average of 154 visits. Blacks also patronize dollar stores the most; we make seven more trips than the average group making a total of 20 trips. Lastly, Black Americans made more visits to convenience/gas stores by a small margin: making a total of 15 annual visits.

However, Black trips to grocery stores and warehouse clubs (like Costco) are a bit more scarce. “Less time is spent at grocery stores, with three fewer trips. The exception to grocery store shopping, though, is with Blacks who earn upwards of $100K annually. We also make three fewer trips to warehouse stores and two fewer trips to mass merchandisers than the total market. However, more upper-income Blacks (73%) shop at warehouse clubs than non-Blacks annually,” Pearson-McNeil said.

It could be that the lack of grocery stores and other healthy establishments in Black neighborhoods that contribute to this trend. This is why it’s not at all surprising that Black people frequent McDonald’s and Burger King more than other U.S. household.

What you probably won’t see in our carts are diary products such as milk and yogurt. “[T]his could be because many of us are lactose-intolerant,” Pearson-McNeil adds.

But probably the largest retail disparity between Blacks and other groups rests in the hair and beauty industry. We spend about nine times more on hair care and beauty products in comparison to other demographics.  “In fact, 46% of Black households shop at Beauty Supply Stores and have an average annual total spend of $94 on products at these stores,” Pearson-McNeil says.

All the aforementioned figures were pulled from Resilient, Receptive, and Relevant: The African-American Consumer 2013 Report. With African Americans approaching $1 trillion buying power, one must wonder why aren’t marketers paying more attention to Black consumer trends.

** The average Black household contains 2.57 persons. In addition, Black households averaged 1.25 owned vehicles. Most of these households were renters, living in apartments or flats.8 Their dwellings averaged 5.45 rooms (including finished living areas and excluding all baths) and 1.49 bathrooms. Black households’ annual expenditures averaged $36,149, which was 79.8 percent of their average income before taxes. The amount spent on housing ($13,530) consumed the biggest portion of annual expenditures, accounting for more than one-third of the total. This was followed by transportation ($5,946) and food ($5,825). The remaining expenditures made up roughly 30 percent of total spending: personal insurance and pensions, healthcare, entertainment, cash contributions, apparel, and education, in addition to personal care, tobacco, alcohol, reading, and miscellaneous expenditures.

Black Americans are just 13 percent of the U.S. population, and yet, we’re on trend to have a buying power of $1.4 trillion by 2019.  A new Nielsen study hints that marketers may want to start developing a better consumer-producer relationship with African Americans if they want to make big bucks.

Titled “The Multicultural Edge: Rising Super Consumers,” the report finds that the Black American sweet spot, in terms of buying power, lies in ethnic hair and beauty aids (surprise, surprise). Black American dollars make up a whopping 85.8 percent of the industry.

floyd-mayweathers-luxurious-lifestyle-2-10

**Here are highlights of the spending patterns of low-income versus high-income Black households:

  • On average, low-income Black households spent $16,627 in total annual expenditures, compared with high-income Black households who spent approximately $50,000 more.
  • Housing was the biggest expenditure for both types of households. For the high-income Black households, housing was 34.2 percent of the total annual expenditure. For the low-income Black households, it was nearly half of the total annual expenditure, at 45.5 percent.
  • Food was another large spending category for both types of households. However, it made up only 12.7 percent of total expenditures for high-income Black households, compared with 23.5 percent for low-income Black households.
  • Transportation and personal insurance and pensions made up only 11.5 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively, of total expenditure for the low-income Black households. However, for the high-income Black households, these shares were 17.1 percent and 15.0 percent, respectively.
  • Cash contributions, such as charitable donations, was a smaller expenditure category in which low and high-income Black households differed. Cash contributions were 2.1 percent for the low-income Black households and 4.6 percent for the high-income Black households.
  • Among the remaining expenditure categories, alcoholic beverages, apparel and services, healthcare, entertainment, personal care, reading, education, and miscellaneous expenditures, low-income and high-income Black households had similar expenditure shares.
  • Tobacco and smoking supplies was the only expenditure category in which low-income Black households spent both a higher share and a higher actual dollar outlay than their high-income counterparts. For low-income Black households, tobacco and smoking supplies was 1.5 percent ($248) of their total expenditure but made up only 0.3 percent ($218) of total expenditure for high-income Black households.13

Reginald A. Noël, “Income and spending patterns among Black households,” Beyond the Numbers: Prices & Spending, vol. 3, no. 24 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, November 2014), http://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-3/income-and-spending-patterns-among-black-households.htm

Floyd Shoes

According to Nielsen:

  • Blacks are more aggressive consumers of media and they shop more frequently.
  • Blacks watch more television (37%), make more shopping trips (eight), purchase more ethnic beauty and grooming products (nine times more), read more financial magazines (28%) and spend more than twice the time at personal hosted websites than any other group.
  • Blacks make an average of 156 shopping trips per year, compared with 146 for the total market. Favoring smaller retail outlets, blacks shop more frequently at drug stores, convenience stores, and Dollar stores.
  • Beauty supply stores are also popular within the black community, as they typically carry an abundance of ethnic hair and beauty aids reside that cater specifically to the unique needs of black hair textures.

bling-bling-rapper-hip-hop1Bronner-Bros-Hair-Show_blog-39331

While the numbers indicate that Black folks are an important part of the buying public, companies spend just three-percent (3%) of their advertising budgets marketing to black consumers. According to Cheryl Pearson McNeil, a Vice President at Nielsen, “The Black population is young, hip and highly influential. We are growing 64 percent faster than the general market,” she explains.

However, Noel King, a reporter for NPR’s Marketplace, cautions companies against trying to reach Black consumers without knowing our needs.  “If you want to market to those groups, then you should know what particular group buys your stuff,” says King. “Blacks tend to spend more on electronics, utilities, groceries, footwear. They spend a lot less on new cars, alcohol, entertainment, health care, and pensions.”

Despite our collective buying power, statistical data reflects that much of that money is spent outside of the Black community and not with Black-owned businesses.

Compare these numbers about “dollar circulation” reported by the NAACP:

“Currently, a dollar circulates in Asian communities for a month, in Jewish communities approximately 20 days and white communities 17 days.  How long does a dollar circulate in the Black community? 6 hours!  Black American buying power is at 1.1 Trillion; and yet only 2 cents of every dollar blacks spend in this country goes to black owned businesses.”

If the “dollar circulation” data does not get your attention, consider the following information from an article written by financial expert Ryan Mack:

55 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or under-banked meaning they do not have a bank account or the appropriate bank account (Federal Deposit Corporation Survey)

  • “About a quarter of all Hispanic (24 percent) and Black (24 percent) households in 2009 had no assets other than a vehicle, compared with just 6 percent of white households. These percentages are little changed from 2005.” (Pew Research)
  • “The median amount Black households reported saving on a monthly basis is $189, compared to $367 among White households…. [This is] the first time in a decade that Black households have reported saving less than $200 per month.” (Ariel Investments 2010 Black Investor Survey)
  • “Blacks on the average are six times more likely than Whites to buy a Mercedes, and the average income of a Black who buys a Jaguar is about one-third less than that of a White purchaser of the luxury vehicle.” Earl Graves, Black Enterprise Magazine
  • Although Blacks make up 13-percent of the U.S. population, just seven-percent (7%) of small business are owned by Blacks. Access to capital, clientele, and other resources hinder many Black folks from starting business, despite a long history of entrepreneurship.

Highlights from “Big Spenders, Small Investors:  Blacks Have Little to Show for Hard-Earned Dollars”:

  • Blacks consistently outpace the total market population in overall growth, smart phone ownership, television viewing and annual shopping trips according to the new study, “Resilient, Receptive and Relevant: The African-American Consumer 2013 Report,” a collaborative effort by the Nielsen Company in New York and the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), located in Northwest Washington, D.C.
  • Black buying power continues to increase, rising from its current $1.1 trillion level to a forecasted $1.3 trillion by 2017.
  • Despite the strong economic outlook, Blacks continue to spend most of their money outside of the Black community and, according to Nielsen and NNPA, advertisers have repeatedly slighted the black media, spending only three percent, or $2.24 billion, of the $75 billion spent with all media last year.
  • Each year, Blacks spend more than $47 billion on Lincoln automobiles, $3.7 billion on alcohol, $2.5 billion on Toyotas, $2 billion on athletic shoes, and $600 million each year on McDonald’s and other fast foods, according to Target Market News Inc., a Chicago-based marketing research group.
  • Blacks also spend wildly to keep up their appearances.  The black hair care and cosmetics industry counts as a $9 billion a year business, but while African Americans are spending the most, they are profiting the least, said officials from the Black Owned Beauty Supply Association (BOBSA) in Palo Alto, Calif.  Beauty product lines designed for African Americans were once 100 percent owned and operated by blacks, today other ethnic groups control more than 70 percent of the market.
  • The current homeownership rate reveals that 73.5 percent of whites own homes while approximately 43.9 percent of Blacks are homeowners, according to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies State of the Nation report for 2013.
  • Sixty percent of Blacks have less than $50,000 saved in company retirement plans and only 23 percent have more than $100,000.
Photo:  Hundreds of people gathered in the church to say goodbye to Michael Brown. (Richard Perry/The New York Times)

The loyalty Blacks have to their church also has proven costly, said officials at Faith Communities Today, a nonprofit based in Hartford, Conn.  A 2013 study revealed that Black churches have collected more than $420 billion in tithes and donations nationwide since 1980, an average of $252 million a week.

“What people fail to see and understand is that, the church pastors aren’t waiting for miracles to fund their lifestyles, they don’t have to pray, day in and day out, to make their ends meet,” said Northwest resident and author, Byron Woulard.  They are getting rich off God, not from God,” he said. Woulard, whose books include, the 2011, “Pawn Queen,” noted that the money spent tithing could buy as many as 93,333 homes valued at $150,000; pay for tuition up to $15,000 a year for 933,333 college students, and feed every homeless American for a year.  “It’s the best hustle on the planet. If you don’t get it here on earth, you’ll get it when you die and go to heaven,” Woulard said. “And, it just so happens that not one person in the history of this planet has died, went to heaven, and come back to tell everyone that it’s true.”

Rich Blacks vs. Poor Blacks:  Income and Spending Patterns

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Consumer Expenditure (CE) Survey provide information on annual household spending.  Looking at demographic subgroups of the population can provide a deeper understanding of consumption preferences and spending behavior for a particular group. Using data from the CE Survey, the following charts compares and contrasts the spending patterns of low-income Black households to their high-income counterparts.

Average annual expenditures of all, high-and low-income Black households, 2010–2012 combined
Category All Black

households

High-income Black

households

Low-income Black

households

Total average annual expenditures $36,148.98 $67,114.17 $16,627.29
Tobacco and smoking supplies $239.06 $218.26 $248.34
Housing $13,529.96 $22,956.40 $7,569.19
Total food $5,825.34 $8,514.41 $3,910.12
Transportation $5,945.94 $11,469.17 $1,915.35
Personal insurance and pensions $3,678.55 $10,043.75 $315.33
Cash contributions $1,347.50 $3,081.13 $349.31
Healthcare $1,794.27 $3,240.21 $689.57
Apparel and services $1,000.48 $1,907.43 $474.05
Education $503.25 $1,354.23 $190.31
Entertainment $1,362.24 $2,485.95 $635.57
Personal care $318.71 $645.89 $117.30
Reading $45.22 $97.22 $12.86
Alcoholic beverages $168.09 $329.53 $95.40
Miscellaneous expenditure $390.37 $770.58 $104.60

The only category which low-income Black households were not outspent was tobacco and smoking supplies. This particular statistic supports the phenomenon that tobacco tends to be a higher share of total expenditures for those with lower income as compared to those with higher income.

Source:  Reginald A. Noël, “Income and spending patterns among Black households,” Beyond the Numbers: Prices & Spending, vol. 3, no. 24 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, November 2014), https://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-3/income-and-spending-patterns-among-black-households.htm

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Stacy M. Brown’s article posted on the Washington Informer.com website concludes with what is described as an inescapable fact:    When black folks make money, they are quick to spend it!

According to Dr. Boyce Watkins, a Scholar in Residence in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Syracuse University in New York, also known as “the people’s scholar,” “We don’t use money to invest or produce,” said Watkins, 42.” When we get our tax refund, we go straight to the store.”

The 17th annual report on “The Buying Power of Black America” also includes a dollar-by-dollar breakdown of the Black economy.

Copies of “The Buying Power of Black America” can be purchased from Target Market News for $99.00  for the hard copy version and $65.00 for the digital version.  For more information call 312-408-1881, or click here to purchase online.

Below is our original article posted in November 2010.  Have their been any improvements?  You be the judge.

“How Do Black People in America Spend $507 Billion Dollars Annually?”

With $836 Billion in Total Earning Power, only $321 Million Spent on Books while $7.4 Billion Spent on Hair and Personal Care Products and Services

New ‘Buying Power’ report shows black consumers spend as economy improves

New 16th edition shows expenditures rise to $507 billion

(November 1, 2010) African Americans consumers are cautiously increasing their spending in some key product categories, even as they continue to make adjustments in a slowly growing economy. The finding comes from the soon to be issued 16th annual edition of “The Buying Power of Black America” report.

In 2009, Black households spent an estimated $507 billion in 27 product and services categories. That’s an increase of 16.6% over the $435 billion spent in 2008. African-Americans’ total earned income for 2009 is estimated at $836 billion.

The report, which is published annually by Target Market News, also contains data that reflect the economic hardships all consumers are facing. There were significant declines in categories — like food and apparel — that have routinely shown growth in black consumers’ spending from year-to-year.

“These latest shifts in spending habits are vital for marketers to understand,” said Ken Smikle, president of Target Market News and editor of the report, “because they represent both opportunities and challenges in the competition for the billions of dollars spent by African-American households. Expenditures between 2007 and 2008 were statistically flat, so black consumers are now making purchases they have long delayed.  At the same time, they re-prioritizing their budgets, and spending more on things that add value to their homes and add to the quality of life.”

The median household income for Blacks dropped by 1.4% in 2009, but because of students going out on their own, and couples that started their lives together, the number of black households grew 4.2%. This increase meant that many household items showed big gains. For example, purchases of appliances rose by 33%, consumer electronics increased 33%, household furnishings climbed 28%, and housewares went up by 37%.

Estimated Expenditures by Black Households – 2009

Apparel Products and Services $29.3 billion
Appliances 2.0 billion
Beverages (Alcoholic) 3.0 billion
Beverages (Non-Alcoholic) 2.8 billion
Books 321 million
Cars and Trucks – New & Used 29.1 billion
Computers 3.6 billion
Consumer Electronics 6.1 billion
Contributions 17.3 billion
Education 7.5 billion
Entertainment and Leisure 3.1 billion
Food 65.2 billion
Gifts 9.6 billion
Health Care 23.6 billion
Households Furnishings & Equipment 16.5 billion
Housewares 1.1 billion
Housing and Related Charges 203.8 billion
Insurance 21.3 billion
Media 8.8 billion
Miscellaneous 8.3 billion
Personal and Professional Services 4.1 billion
Personal Care Products and Services 7.4 billion
Sports and Recreational Equipment 995 million
Telephone Services 18.6 billion
Tobacco Products 3.3 billion
Toys, Games and Pets 3.5 billion
Travel, Transportation and Lodging 6.0 billion

Source: Target Market News,

“The Buying Power of Black American – 2010”

“The Buying Power of Black America” is one of the nation’s most quoted sources of information on African-American consumer spending. It is used by hundreds of Fortune 1000 corporations, leading advertising agencies, major media companies and research firms.

The report is an analysis of consumer expenditure (CE) data compiled annually by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The CE data is compiled from more than 3,000 Black households nationally through dairies and interviews. This information is also used for, among things, computing the Consumer Price Index.

The report provides updated information in five sections:

– Black Income Data
– Purchases in the Top 30 Black Cities
– Expenditure Trends in 26 Product & Services Categories
– The 100-Plus Index of Black vs. White Expenditures
– Demographic Data on the Black Population

According to Forbes magazine, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., made more than $420 million in 2015.  He is the highest paid athlete in the world.

Click here to read how Floyd Mayweather, Jr. spends his money.

Portions of this article came from Clutch Mag online.

james_clingman-240x240

If you want to educate yourself and others about how to earn and spend your money responsibly, read the book, Black Dollars Matter: Teach Your Dollars How to Make More Sense, by James Clingman.  Clingman is a friend to this site.  He’s also the founder of the Greater Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce and the nation’s most prolific writer on economic empowerment for Black people. He can be reached through his website, www.blackonomics.comBlack Dollars Matter: Teach Your Dollars How to Make More Sense is available through the website www.professionalpublishinghouse.com and Amazon Kindle e-Books.

Black Dollars Matter Book Cover

If you want to educate yourself and others about how to earn and spend your money responsibly, read the book, Black Dollars Matter: Teach Your Dollars How to Make More Sense, by James Clingman.  Clingman is a friend to this site.  He’s also the founder of the Greater Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce and the nation’s most prolific writer on economic empowerment for Black people. He can be reached through his website, www.blackonomics.comBlack Dollars Matter: Teach Your Dollars How to Make More Sense is available through the website www.professionalpublishinghouse.com and Amazon Kindle e-Books.

There is a great organization called World of Money.  Founded in 2005, the World of Money is a New York City based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to empower youth through the engaged, local delivery of professional quality financial education. World of Money Founder and CEO, Sabrina Lamb, while attending a financial planning seminar, was inspired by a compelling question. Are children, in the course of their education and upbringing, getting this information on how to manage their financial life? After conducting some research on the subject, Ms. Lamb found that the answer to her question was a resounding “no”. So, after affirming the detrimental effects of this knowledge gap, she set forth to leverage her experience as an entrepreneur and love of working with children to create World of MoneyClick here to visit their website and learn more.

There are already over 35 Black owned banks and credit unions in the United States where you can put your money if you find these type of efforts for financial stability and reinvestment in the black community important.

Check out the list below!

  1. Omega Psi Phi Credit Union – Lawrenceville, Georgia
  2. Phi Beta Sigma Federal Credit Union – Washington, DC
  3. One United Bank – Los Angeles,California
  4. FAMU Federal Credit Union – Tallahassee, Florida
  5. Credit Union of Atlanta – Atlanta, Georgia
  6. North Milwaukee State Bank – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  7. Seaway Bank – Chicago, Illinois
  8. The Harbor Bank- Baltimore, Maryland
  9. Liberty Bank – New Orleans, Louisiana
  10. United Bank of Philidelphia – Philidelphia, Penn
  11. Alamerica Bank – Birmingham, Alabama
  12. Broadway Federal Bank – Los Angeles, California
  13. Carver State Bank – Savannah, Georgia
  14. Capital City Bank – Atlanta, Georgia
  15. Citizens Trust Bank – Atlanta, Georgia
  16. City National Bank – Newark, New Jersey
  17. Commonwealth National Bank – Mobile, Alabama
  18. Industrial Bank – Washington D.C.
  19. First Tuskegee Bank – Tuskegee, Alabama
  20. Mechanics & Farmers Bank – Durham, North Carolina
  21. First Independence Bank – Detroit, Michigan
  22. First State Bank – Danville, Virginia
  23. Illinois Service Federal – Chicago, Illinois
  24. Unity National Bank – Houston, Texas
  25. Carver Federal Savings Bank – New York, New York
  26. OneUnited Bank – Miami, Florida
  27. OneUnited Bank – Boston, Massachusetts
  28. Tri-State Bank – Memphis, Tennesse
  29. Citizens Bank – Nashville, Tennessee
  30. South Carolina Community Bank – Columbia, South Carolina
  31. Columbia Savings and Loan – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  32. Liberty Bank – Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  33. Liberty Bank – Kansas City, Missouri
  34. Citizen Trust Bank – Birmingham, Alabama
  35. Liberty Bank – Chicago, Illinois
  36. Liberty Bank – Jackson, Mississippi
  37. Toledo Urban Credit Union – Toledo, Ohio
  38. Hill District Credit Union – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Are you currently putting money in a Black owned bank? Leave any testimonials you have below!

Photo credit:  Couple counting money — Image by © Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Blend Image/Blend Images/Corbis

** Sources:  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Consumer Expenditure (CE) Survey, http://racisminamerica.org/the-real-reason-why-blacks-spend-their-money-and-dont-save/, CNN, Harvard Business Review, http://curatorsofdopenessblog.tumblr.com/post/72870270050/black-money-white-money

Here’s another related and informative article on black spending.

How Blacks’ Dollars Can Achieve Black Power by William Reed

By William Reed (Posted June 12, 2017)

What is your view of black economic development?  Most blacks say they are tired of being slighted and disrespected; yet the majority of us ignore tried and true capitalistic practices that would improve the race’s poor economics.  It’s too bad there’s no accumulation of Blacks oriented toward race-based economic empowerment and wealth building.  Black people collectively pooling economic resources aren’t the “wishful thinking” that many suggest.  The thing we need to recognize is “to do for self‘”.  When blacks across the nation make economic growth and development functioning realities collectively practicing means and methods that create jobs and opportunities we will be well on our way to respect and admiration.

It is generally accepted that there’s been progress for black Americans over the last 60 years, yet our overall status is bleak. Too many blacks are focused to rid the country of “white supremacy”.  Black politicians and civil rights “leaders” boast that they’ve gotten blacks to 72 percent parity with whites.    Truth is whites have “superior” understandings and adaptations of capitalistic procedures.  Blacks must “stay awake” to more than partisan politics.  Even as our poverty and unemployment rates continue to be higher than whites’, it’s a challenge to get most blacks to see benefits that can accrue if we come together and do more financially for betterment of our communities.

Black buying power is currently $1.3 trillion according to a Nielsen and National Newspaper Publishers Association Report.”  With such money and buying power blacks should be utilizing methods and practices that circulate those dollars to Black owned initiatives.  Each of us should look at our own actions and practices that keep us from spending substantial portions of money we get with Black-owned businesses.  Why do we not deposit in Black-owned banks when doing this enables black financial institutions to fund our projects, goods and services.

To “be equal” in American society, blacks must learn how to build business/investments, hold onto it and pass it on. Some skeptical blacks must see the value in spending their money with our businesses.  More blacks must “do more for self” to bring about Black Economic Power.”  The prevailing “Black Leadership” has its focus on partisan politics and elusive “’racial harmony”.  When will blacks learn that it’s imperative for concerned individuals, groups, organizations, churches and businesses push vital black financial and entrepreneurial cooperation to turn around disproportionate negative conditions that continue in Black communities?

Opportunities exist across the nation for black individuals, their organizations, churches, lodges, frats and entrepreneurs to provide educational programs, workshops and business conferences that teach and show people how and why to do for self.  America needs local black leadership demonstrating the power of the black dollar and increase community awareness to recycle dollars within our community, by banking with black-owned banks and buying from black businesses.  The solution to the high unemployment and income inequality black communities must come from us.  It includes development of black businesses.  Local or national groups, be them small or large: the thing is to do for self.  If we are serious about tackling unemployment in our community, the quickest fix is to start financially supporting Black-owned businesses.  Too many blacks rely on getting whites to remedy their financial problems.  Data suggests that if African-Americans invested more money in Black-owned businesses, these businesses would be sources of employment for more of us.

The stand we suggest all blacks adopt is empowering the black community toward taking control and redirecting its wealth and investments.  Blacks need more education on consuming and capitalism.  More blacks must establish locations where people come and learn economic and financial principles on how to create and sustain Black businesses where they live.  Let’s more of us hold power networking conferences for training and networking to bolster and educate Blacks.   We all have to engage what we know and have toward operational unity.  Enterprising individuals and organizations can sponsor regular business networking socials and gatherings.  Do them at Black-owned establishments.  Be sure to invite blacks in banking.  Those provide opportunities for entrepreneurial blacks to meet one another, exchange ideas and partner.

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via Busxchng@his.com

Gary A. Johnson is the Founder of Gary A. Johnson Company & Associates, LLC, a management training and consulting company. The company manages a variety of Internet and digital media enterprises including Black Men In America.com, one of the most popular web sites on the Internet, Black Men In America.com Dating and the Black Men In America.com Syndicated Blog. In addition, the company manages Black Boating and Yachting.com.

Scroll down and leave a comment.  Tell us what you think.

Black Men In America.com Administrator
Black Men In America.com is a popular website with a focus on black men. Approximately 45% of our site visitors are women. According to Alexa Internet and Ranking.com, Black Men In America.com is consistently ranked as one of the Top 10 most popular web sites (online community) on the Internet in the Ethnic/African/African-American category. Although our focus is on black men, we welcome all people, points of views and perspectives. Please do not use this site to post or transmit any unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane or indecent information of any kind, including without limitation any transmissions constituting or encouraging conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability or otherwise violate any local, state, national or international law. You alone are responsible for the material you post.
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Black Men In America.com Administrator
Black Men In America.com is a popular website with a focus on black men. Approximately 45% of our site visitors are women. According to Alexa Internet and Ranking.com, Black Men In America.com is consistently ranked as one of the Top 10 most popular web sites (online community) on the Internet in the Ethnic/African/African-American category. Although our focus is on black men, we welcome all people, points of views and perspectives. Please do not use this site to post or transmit any unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane or indecent information of any kind, including without limitation any transmissions constituting or encouraging conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability or otherwise violate any local, state, national or international law. You alone are responsible for the material you post.
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Comments (19)

  1. Jerome Thornton

    This is what we really need to focus on thanks for the breath of fresh air…

  2. […] have great potential to accumulate wealth. And, the first step towards building riches is to save. The annual expenditure of black people is 4 percent greater than any other race despite the fact they have the highest rate of poverty […]

  3. Me I am investing in a Black Owned Company Ztegrity the ZBlackcard let me lay it done. White people want to fee you tii death on prepaid card a lot of black people use. Rushcard was suppose to be for the black community. hey Russell Simmons sold it for millions to Green Dot. Finally a prepaid Mastercard or Visa for the people that buy everything. Of course what makes it special NO FEES what makes it more special Reports to the credit Bureau. What makes this card 3 times special you can have a trade line from $1000 to $10000 for a year to build your FICO scores built in just keep paying. And to top it off for $50 a month Drive your Dream Car. Black people support this CEO he doing it out of Houston TX for us. See More at http://zblackcard/getyours. Oh one more thing, the Zblackcard is all Metal just like an American Express Blackcard that you can’t even get. ENJOY BUY BLACK❤

  4. OMG, so much information to ponder. Are these statistics correct? I have always been a believer in putting money back into your community and this article solidified my reasoning.

  5. This article is truly amazing. It is full of important information and data that should spark African-American “to do for self.” You have gain a new follower. Thanks for all this information!!!

  6. Too much damn information. How many people do you think are going to read this? This article, more concisely stated, could be ten times more effective. You make many solid points however, and I suggest that many of our people are crippled by self-hate and dysfunctional families which is where the battle begins. Tteach us to love ourselves and rebuild our families from the damage done by the well-intentioned section 8. Right now single parent families by race are blacks 62%, latinos 34% and whites 22%. It was not always so and up to 1960 something like 92% of white women had been married at least once by the age of 40 with 86% for black women. So start there, teach self-love, bring the family back and teach financial literacy. Earl Graves (Black Enterprise Mag.) is doing some good work. all this tendency to ostentatious living, bling bling and fast cars is born of self-hate and insecurity.

  7. […] this episode, we tackle some hard truths about the deep divide between spending habits of Black Consumers and the selling habits of Black Business Owners. The video below is a primer to white business […]

  8. Most mega churches are owned by white board members who teach them how to pimp their own Black people. This is nothing new, it stated during slavery when the white so- called master taught the slave preacher to teach the slaves to be submissive. and never think of running away. The slave Preacher made sure he taught the slaves to love his master more than he love himself. The Negro Preacher could never preach about independence or freedom because he was too scared to even thinking of being away from his white blue eyed oppressor. Today, the Black church is no better. 99.0% of all Black preachers are scared of the word independence or freedom. They all remind me of Fiddler from Roots. When the brave warrior was trying to teach old Fiddler about freedom he said stop that! I don’t want to know nuttin about freedom! The Black preachers today is the modern day Fiddler. They are too scared to build up wealth for the Black community. Most of them have borrowed so much money from the white man bank he probably owned their church and the Black preacher too. They are afraid to be completely free from their white Lord! I bet most of these big and small churches have their account set up at the white man’s bank. Until these Black preachers get that hump out his back, the white man is going to continue to hell! The brother was talking about the night club taking Black people’s money is different because people are aware that they are going into the Lions Den. However, the church make you believe that you are coming into the house of the Savior to be save but really you are being pimped out of you money in the holy name of the Messiah! The only person who wins in these mega churches are the Black Preacher and the man he owes his mortgage to and that’s his modern day slave master- The white bank!!

  9. […] bloggers and commentators have suggested that the $12 billion to $13 billion per year going to black church […]

  10. […] bloggers and commentators have suggested that the $12 billion to $13 billion per year going to black church […]

  11. JOSEPH MAAT AT RA

    HI JONATHAN, GREAT COMMENT, ALL THIS ARTICLE IF FACTUAL , I THINK THERE MUST BE CHANGE AND FOR BLACK FOLKS TO WAKE UP FROM THERE SLEEP. I’V NOTICE WHILE OUT SHOPPING , WHEN YOU LOOK AT OTHER PEOPLE OF COLOR IN THE FACE, YOU CAN SEE THE SELF HATE THAT HAS BEEN PROGRAMMED INTO SOME NOT ALL, I PERSONALLY THINK WE SHOULD STOP GIVING ALL OF OUR FUNDS TO THE DAM CHURCH AND SPEND IT WITH OTHER BLACK BUSINESS LIKE I DO, IM SELF EMPLOYED WITH 3 DIFFERENT BUSINESS, AND CURRENTLY BUILDING ANOTHER FOR MY KIDS, TEACHING THEM ABOUT KEEPING THERE CREDIT SCORE HIGH, INVESTING IN STOCKS,WEALTH BUILDING THRU REAL ESTATE, PEOPLE SHOULD ALSO CONSIDER INVESTING IN OR ALL OVER THE CARIBBEAN, WHERE WE ALL SHOULD BE SOMETIME OR ALL TIMES OF THE YEAR.

    I CAN RECOMMEND SOMETIME THING TO TRY BUT ITS ALL LEFT UP TO THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE MAN/WOMAN OF THE FAMILY..

    FIRSTLY WE HAVE TO TRY TO STAY OFF ALL THE FAST FOOD WHICH IS CAUSING OUR BODIES NOT TO THINK CLEARLY, ALL THOSE GMO,HIGH SUGARS FOODS (SYNTHETIC) STUFF.

    SECONDLY, SELF EDUCATE IF KEY, GET A INTERNET CONNECTION AND RUN WITH IT, I DO IT DAILY,

    THIRDLY: START SMALL SUPPORT YOUR OWN FIRST, I PRACTICE THIS IN MY BUSINESSES AND ITS REALLY HELP , YOU SEE IT IN SALES AND YOU MUST ALWAYS GIVE BACK IN SOME WAY, THE UNIVERSE WILL RETURN IT BACK TO YOU BECAUSE IT KNOWS WHAT YOUR HEART IS DOING, ITS ALL SEEING!!

    FORTHLY, WILLINGNESS TO SHARE YOU KNOWLEDGE, TO MANY OF US GAIN THE INFORMATION , GET A LITTLE MONEY AND FORGET ABOUT EVERYONE ELSE, THIS WILL SPELL FAILURE, WHAT WILL YOUR CHILDREN INHERIT . YOU SEE, YOU HAVE THIS GREAT THING INSIDE OF YOU CALLED MELANIN, (CARBON) , ONCE YOU GET TO KNOW WHO YOU REALLY ARE, THE WORLD IS YOURS. TRY IT , IT REALLY WORKS, ITS WORK FOR ME,

    LISTEN TO GUYS LIKE THE FOLLOWING, DR. DELBERT BLAIR, JOHN HENRY CLARKE, DR. SABI,MINISTER ENQI, DR. UMAR JOHNSON, DR. LALLIA AFRIKA, DR. BEN JOCHNNEN , PROF IVAN VAN SERTINA, TO L;ONG OF A LIST TO NAME, PROF JAMES SMALL,

    BIG PRAISE TO MINISTER ENQI AND KT, THEY HAVE TAUGHT ME SO MUCH, I LIKE TO SHARE THERE NAME , GO TO YOUTUBE FOR MORE INFO, THEY KNOW THE BLACK BODY. THIS IS WHY WE NEED TO CHANGE OUR DIETS

    BUSINESS: START SMALL, DO BUYING AND SELLING, SELL SOMETHING,THERE ARE LOTS OF SUPPLIERS ALL OVER THE WORLD LOOKING FOR DISTRIBUTORS, START OFF WITH ONE SAMPLE, JUST LIKE I HAVE STARTED ONE OF MY BUSINESS. KNOCK ON DOORS OF FRIENDS,FAMILY, PEOPLE ON THE STREET, ANYONE, PUT UP A FACEBOOK PAGE, INSTAGRAM IN YOUR COMMUNITY, TRUST ME ,ONCE THE UNIVERSE SEE WHAT YOU ARE DOING, ITS WILL PLACE THE RIGHT PEOPLE IN FRONT OF YOU.

    I’LL STOP HERE OR ELSE I CAN WRITE A BOOK, THIS IS JUST THE SELF LOVE FOR MYSELF AND MY FAMILY, SO PEOPLE GET OUT THEIR AND TAKE ON THE WORLD AND BUILD A WEB-SITE, TRY WIX.COM OR VISTAPRINT, DO IT YOURSELF.

    AND NO IM NOT GETTING ANY KICKBACK FOR THE LISTED REFERRALS ABOVE.

    P.S WHEN YOU READ THE ARTICLE AND THEY TELL YOU THAT YOU ARE SPENDING 18.6 BILLION ON USELESS GOODS, THAT HAS NO FUTURE PROFIT. BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. […] back to the point, think about this for a minute blacks spend about $1.1 trillion a year. This is more money than the wealthiest man in the world is worth. Bill Gates is only worth […]

  13. i find it interesting that the writer mentioned pastors taking people money which this type of behavior is a great minority in the church period and yet the writer did not give the other side of what churches do with tithes which is give to the poor, provide a place of worship which is clean and comfortable for the parishioner. also many churches help members who are in need but there was no mention of this. I might also add by the way how many smokers and drinkers and drug users and ex prostitutes and criminals go to church and change their lives whether you believe in it or not and thus they are not killing, breaking into our homes, selling their bodies, doing drugs anymore and thats ll because they walked into a church one day where the tithes kept the lights on and allowed them a place to go and find help. oh and if you want to know the greatest hustle in our community that takes and gives nothing back its the clubs that we go and pay thousands of dollars in entry fee and drinks only to dance all night and yet they give nothing back to the community. Nike and the tennis shoe industry, the clothing industry etc….

    So who ever you are to be so irresponsible to place that statement in your article without looking at all the good the church has done and actually coming up with a comparable dollar amount it has given back to our community is very irresponsible. see all good can’t be calculated in dollars and cents, let me leave you with this which no amount of money can ever equal. this is just one example of this. As a pastor five years ago I met a lady once who was cheating on her spouse and he was not in the church at the time and he believed all the church wanted was people money. What he did not know is the church, was working with his wife to help her overcome her behavior because she loved her husband and didn’t want to do that to him… Through prayer and many days and hours of walking with that person she was able to be delivered from this behavior, this woman found the church one day and wasn’t coming to join but for another reason but instead God helped her. Now you may believe that all the pastors want is the tithe and to get rich but i have you know the average pastor earns less that 28 thousand through pastoring and its a very hard and long hours job. Only 3 percent of churches with more than 1,600 people in attendance pay senior pastors more than $300,000, said Warren Bird, research director at Leadership Network. At the other extreme, a recent study by the National Association of Church Business Administration found that the average American pastor with a congregation of 300 people earns a salary of less than $28,000 a year. I sometimes give my parishoners time set aside for my children and wife because they are in need. I am not angry at you because clearly you are using a lightening rod subject to advance your notion that the church is keeping Blacks poor. I simply want you to do what journalist who actually care about fair and honest reporting are taught to do. get both sides of the subject matter and report them with integrity… by the way that woman has once said to the church God used you to save my life and i think she will tell you that 50 dollars a week to have her marriage back and leave a place for a new soul to come in and get help with the broken part of their life is well worth it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Hi,

      While you can argue that in time past, the church has done so much good (I just finished writing an article about the positive influence the church had during the slave era), in the present day, the objective of the church needs to be evaluated. All the time spent in praying and organizing church events, could be spent in skill capacity building and acquiring more knowledge.

      The present day environment reveals that nobody has all the answers. Thus, the church ought to evolve to meet the present needs of the populace rather than depending on it for sustenance. It is my opinion that pastors should work. I currently have the desire to establish a church, so as to help create more inspiring pictures in the minds of the attendees. I aim to instill ambition into them, love, worthwhile values, and push them to contribute their quota here on earth (And God said, “Let us make man in our own image, and let them ‘dominate’ the earth…”).

      However, I am working to establish the companies and businesses that would ensure my family is well taken care of, so that I do not have to succumb to receiving an offering/collection in the church. In this manner, the church would be run like a nonprofit. However, every money gotten and spent would be accounted for, and put up on the church website.

      We need to do more for our environment than make ends meet; and then, attend religious events. It’s my strongest belief that it is our responsibility (each of us) to build God’s world. Since the 7th day, He “rested”, and man has been doing the building ever since.

    • Tony must be a pastor. Lol

  14. […] you read my article, please read the latest article written by the publisher of Black Men In America.com.  The article is “How Do Black People Spend Their Money?” This article is scary and will […]

  15. Jonathan Singleton

    Thank you for that information! I humbly accept these findings as some lay particular in my household. We as a community need to recognize and take responsibility for our own actions and make better decisions for our households. We’ve lost two generations of fathers and grandfathers to prison, drugs or death. We have to make a come back and remove this “status quo” or stereotypical: Jordans wearing, McDonalds eating, Flat-screen TV buying, Tax refund spending, beauty product buying, human-hair weaving/fixing, Premium package cable looking, dollar store snooping, malt liqour drinking, no job having, apartment renting, EBT name brand spending, Mentality. I’ll take my cut of the $1.1 trillion buying power and now spend it elsewhere in our community and put more in my retirement. Regards

  16. […] black Americans having an estimated $1.3 trillion in buying power, a single dollar stays in the black community for only six hours compared to 17 days in the white community and 30 days in the Asian […]

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