Our Black Year

Our Black Year

One Family's Quest to Buy Black in America's Racially Divided Economy

By Maggie Anderson; Ted Gregory

PublicAffairs, Paperback, 9781610392280, 298pp.

Publication Date: May 2013

Maggie and John Anderson were successful African American professionals raising two daughters in a tony suburb of Chicago. But they felt uneasy over their good fortune. Most African Americans live in economically starved neighborhoods. Black wealth is about one tenth of white wealth, and black businesses lag behind businesses of all other racial groups in every measure of success. One problem is that black consumers--unlike consumers of other ethnicities-- choose not to support black-owned businesses. At the same time, most of the businesses in their communities are owned by outsiders.

On January 1, 2009 the Andersons embarked on a year-long public pledge to "buy black." They thought that by taking a stand, the black community would be mobilized to exert its economic might. They thought that by exposing the issues, Americans of all races would see that economically empowering black neighborhoods benefits society as a whole. Instead, blacks refused to support their own, and others condemned their experiment. Drawing on economic research and social history as well as her personal story, Maggie Anderson shows why the black economy continues to suffer and issues a call to action to all of us to do our part to reverse this trend.

About the Author
Maggie Anderson lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her husband Hank and a self-absorbed black cat named Cry Baby. When the author isn't braving New Hampshire's frigid winters, providing transfusions for the black flies or fighting off mosquitoes the size of humming birds, she spends much of her time trying to keep her teddy bear, Ethan From, out of harm's way

Ted Gregory is a Pulitzer prize-winning reporter at the Chicago Tribune. In addition to his newspaper work, Ted is co-author of the acclaimed book "Our Black Year".