I appreciate all of you contributing to the discussion about The Ebony Experiment. I don't expect all of you to have wonderful things to say about what my family is doing, but I do hope we can just keep talking and that you'd check in with us from time to time. And for those of you who do “get it” and see the potential for positive change we can stimulate in our community by making little sacrifices, please read on.
Even if you don't "get it", just keep reading. Maybe you'll change your view!
Let me just take a second to share what The Ebony Experiment has been like. I am the new authority on Buying Black. Trust me. We’ve been doing this for almost a month now. Our lives have changed forever; and I have compromised NOTHING in terms of quality of goods and services for my family. If anything, it’s been a blessing, because I’ve encountered so many wonderful entrepreneurs and their families. They have been so grateful and willing to listen to my criticisms and earn my support. Best part of this is that I am confident that my money is going towards resolving the problems my community faces (by creating Black jobs, improving the economy in poverty-stricken neighborhoods, converting tax-burdens into tax-payers, etc.). You just can’t get that feeling shopping at Walmart all the time, even though they may do a lot of wonderful things for minority communities. It is not enough. We have not done our part. You cannot get that feeling when you keep putting your money in a large bank conglomerate, that has no minority owners. There are many Black-owned community banks. As long as they are FDIC insured, and they ALL are, why not at least have a checking account with them? You can do virtually all your banking online. They are part of large ATM networks. What’s the excuse? Why isn’t this the norm for us by now? Why are we making sure our money goes toward giving another banking executive a six-figure bonus, so he can buy his own jet and send his great-grand kids to fancy boarding schools? Chances are that executive is not contributing millions to UNCF or building schools in South Africa. What about gas stations? There are many black-owned gas stations. Not enough, but some. Why not buy gas cards from them? That’s what we did. We can get our gas wherever we want with the gas cards, but most of the money went to that Black owner. Why isn’t this our standard practice as a community?
So sorry for digressing/ ranting. Let me get practical for a second. It is indeed almost impossible to find the businesses. That has been the worst, most disappointing part of our journey so far. We hope, through The Ebony Experiment, to create, finally, the largest, national, most credible database of Black businesses, professionals and manufacturers ever. Because of the project’s appeal to the media and that it lasts a whole year, we hope to create enough buzz and hope that millions of businesses and professionals, and consumers and investors will register here at the website, www.ebonyexperiment.com. The Ebony Experiment Foundation, supported by other nonprofit business groups, will help us manage and populate the directory and accommodate the pledges by individuals who believe in this. If you cannot find a business, product or professional in our database, we will do the research for you and keep in touch. We will work with you. Then, all of you can post your stories and dollars spent. We will keep track, as a community, of all the money we spent Black over the year. That number will be on the website and updated hourly. Can you imagine how big that number will be if we just start making small changes now?
Yep, this all takes money and work. We are finding the resources to make this happen. We have enough talent, smarts, and products out there. We have enough consumers and investors eager to buy Black. We just have to get organized. The Ebony Experiment Foundation is working on that now. After we get enough sponsors, the website, www.ebonyexperiment.com, will be revamped. Please go there now and register. That way, when everything is set, we can contact you.
I want all of us to learn and grow from this as a community. So I'm asking you guys to go back to the website, the home of The Ebony Experiment, and just make sure you register. That way, I can email you all directly about how we're doing and how much we've spent, send you details about the Victory Celebrations we are planning, and if you want to try this yourself, accommodate your inclination to make small Buy Black commitments of your own.
You can also make the website one of your Favorites!
Peace and love,
Maggie Anderson, CoFounder, The Ebony Experiment