Friday, January 2, 2009

Middle Class Chicago Family Commits to Buy Black for all of 2009

My name is Maggie Anderson. My husband John and I are the founders of The Ebony Experiment. It is a year-long study and campaign about economic empowerment and Black entrepreneurship grounded in my family's pledge to try to exclusively support Black-owned businesses and professionals for an entire year. The project officially launched yesterday, January 1, 2009.

I created this blog to keep my community informed of our progress, the ups and downs of our commitment, and maintain a dialogue about the plight and potential of Black business.

For more about The Ebony Experiment, visit You should also read the article in the Chicago Sun Times (,CST-FIN-buyblack21.article?plckCurrentPage=18& that presented our story to the world. I also copied our national press release below. You can also find it on Forbes, Reuters, Yahoo! Finance, Hoovers, and several other local, national, and international media outlets. Our little project has created quite a stir! Join the conversation. Join the movement.

Black Family Pledges to Solely Support Black Owned Businesses For One Year
CHICAGO (December 22, 2008) – John C. and Maggie Anderson are ready to engage in an experiment that will change their lives. On January 1, 2009, the Andersons will launch “The Ebony Experiment,” a year-long effort to generate significant economic growth within the Black community. During this time, the Andersons will only support Black owned businesses and professionals in efforts to motivate other Black consumers to do the same. With a concerted national push, the Andersons look to prove that Black communities can be improved when Black consumers and investors support their own.
Tracking Every Penny Spent
For the Andersons, the Ebony Experiment will be no small undertaking as they will transition their standing contracts and household expenditures which include loans, utility bills, credit cards, etc., to truly execute their initiative. The Andersons will track their progress on the experiment’s website, The website will feature a ticker that tracks the Anderson’s expenditures in real time with a national goal of one million dollars by 2010. “During the coming months, we want The Ebony Experiment to become a national movement connecting Black consumers and investors to Black businesses and professionals,” said Maggie Anderson, president of The Ebony Experiment Group. Anderson continued, “Ultimately, this will unify the struggling and successful sectors of the Black community so we can determine and improve our standing together.”

An Effort Worth Supporting
The practice of supporting your own community is not new and is often exercised by many races in the United States. However, The Ebony Experiment will be the first time that a Black couple steps outside of their daily conveniences in order to help build their community. There are nearly 2.5 million Black households with incomes over $100,000. The Ebony Experiment targets these middle-class and upper middle-class families and asks them to make commitments to buy Black. “The Black community is energized and engaged as we look to 2009. This is the perfect time to leverage that excitement by maximizing the potential of our business community and the bargaining power of Black consumers and investors,” said John C. Anderson, co-founder of the Ebony Experiment.

An effort of this magnitude has drawn the attention and support of esteemed Black scholars and leaders including world-renowned author Dr. Michael Eric Dyson and Steven Rogers, the director of the Levy Institute of Entrepreneurial Practice at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. At the end of the experiment, a comprehensive and revealing study will be published by Dr. Michael Bennett, the executive director of the Egan Urban Economic Center at DePaul University. Dr. Dyson will also co-author “The Ebony Experiment,” a book that will chronicle the Anderson’s journey and how their efforts impacted the Black community.

About The Andersons
John C. Anderson is a Harvard graduate with a MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and is a native of Detroit. Maggie Anderson is a first-generation Cuban American, reared in a drug-infested area of Miami, and has a JD and MBA from the University of Chicago. The Andersons live in Oak Park, Ill., with their daughters Cori and Cara, who are ages two and three respectively.

About The Ebony Experiment Group, LLC
The Ebony Experiment Group, LLC, was created by John C. and Maggie Anderson of Oak Park, Ill, and is a community service oriented project that is seeking sponsors to support the experiment and maintain the website. The purpose of The Ebony Experiment is to infuse long-term wealth into the Black community by galvanizing and uniting Black consumers, investors, businesses and professionals.

Media Contact: Courtney Quaye or
Carla V. Oglesby
CGC Communications LLC



  1. We have shared information on your 2009 'Buy Black' campaign with our blog readers and we continue to promote the idea of supporting Black businesses in a conscious way. I look forward to reading updates over the coming weeks and months...

    peace, Villager

  2. An effort worth supporting? This is racism pure and simple. This is not promising to buy based on location and supporting local businesses, this is buying something based on COLOR alone.

    It doesn't matter how you slice it, white, brown, black, yellow or purple; it's racism!

  3. Is it racist when the Government say buy American? Is it racist for whites to ask the question of Why are they doing this? When most non-blacks are not even thinking about the Black business status. The bottom line is it is not racist when Mexicans, Jews or any other culture spend in their communities but it is racist when black spend in their own communities. Blacks only spend about 1 trillion dollars a year. Yes, I know there are some who FEAR the days black wall street return. I say, why spend with people who dislike when colored face enter their business. I do not see anything wrong with the black community investing in their own community and businesses. Keep up the good work