The Black dollar doesn’t circulate like it should

Photo courtesy San Francisco Bayview National Black Newspaper

Its time to put your money where your mouth is. The racial wealth gap isnt going anywhere.

In the wake of the pandemic and protests for racial and social justice, Black businesses continue to remain a fragile coterie in the eyes of the economy. The dollar in the Black community is inconsistent and the racial wealth gap could take decades to bridge.

The common recurring statistic in money circulation within communities, according to the NAACP and other organizations, suggest that the Black dollar is unregulated. Studies say that the average lifespan of the dollar is approximately 28 days in Asian communities, 19 days in Jewish communities, 17 days in white communities — and just six hours in Black communities.

These statistics have been largely argued over the last two decades, yet the massive gap of wealth is still clear within communities. The Black dollar is extremely limited potentially leaving Black businesses in the dust.

Cheryl Grace is Nielsens senior vice president of community alliances and consumer engagement and co-creator of the DIS Report. In a report posted by Nielsen, Grace spoke about the buying power among Black Americans.

At 47.8 million strong and a buying power thats on par with many countries’ gross domestic products, African Americans continue to outpace spending nationally,” Grace wrote.

The national buying power of Blacks in 2019 was $1.4 trillion, according to a report by Selig Center for Economic Growth. However, this number has nothing to do with the wealth within the community since that money was already accounted for and spent. By definition, buying power consists of the exchange of goods and services and the needs within our communities.

Black Americans must do a better job at extending the lifespan of the dollar back in the community. Buying Black is one of the simplest ways to continue that circulation, yet it can be a struggle to live completely Black in a society post-segregation. Michael Santiago Render, better known by his stage name Killer Mike,” went on a quest to live completely Black for three days in a docuseries on Netflix called Trigger Warning with Killer Mike.”

That included buying daily essentials from Black owned brands and reducing the money spent in other communities. During his journey, Render chose to sleep on a park bench the night before a show after learning there were no nearby Black owned hotels in Athens, Georgia. He had soon come to realize that living completely Black is harder than it should be.

Your protest signs and internet posts are nice,” said Render. But what we need is for allies to put your money where your tweets are.”