African-American Purchasing Power


Global Team Work

My name is Alvin S.  – The National Urban League, the NAACP, and other organizations have long said that we need to organize the $400-500 billion dollars generated by the black community per year. I’m very familiar with electronic commerce and the Internet and have been trying to share a business idea with these organizations with not much success. My background of 13 years with the military in Telecommunications has given me an inside look at the power of telecommunications and especially the Internet. This is a vast opportunity for our race and we need to take advantage of it in a big way. This is the way to organize the money generated by African-Americans in a big way but I need some help in getting us to recognize this opportunity for what it is. Corporate America right now is moving business to the Internet in a big way. I’m involved with some businessmen who are on the forefront of this move to the Internet and I much want to be able to share what knowledge that I’ve gained from them. What do I need to do to get my message across so that I can help the most people become successful with Internet businesses? I need your insight!

#AskRecy Response:

Your question is one that is asked quite frequency, especially from frustrated minorities confronted with obstacles and roadblocks and is desiring to become entrepreneurs in this fast pace business world. You have used the words e-commerce, Internet and telecommunications in describing your dilemma. Let’s define what is e-commerce for our reading audience?  We will also define telecommunications for the readers. It is important to understand these three closely intertwine often used words and how they will affect all  consumers, especially African-Americans, today and in the near future.

E-Commerce is a general concept covering any business transaction such as the trading of goods and services that is executed electronically between business-to-business, consumers to business, consumers to consumers, business to the public sector, and between consumers and the public sector. E-commerce can either be indirect such as the electronic ordering of tangible goods, (physical asset, car, television, etc.) or direct e-commerce, which involves the electronic ordering and delivery of intangible goods (software, games, video, etc.)  Before the Internet e-commerce, these types of transactions were mostly business-to-business and handled in different forms of closed networks. For the average consumer today and most importantly in the future, the importance of e-commerce offer great advantages especially when you can shop in the comfort of your home and not face the crowds in the shopping malls. A recent report showed that American shoppers are expected to spend $469 billion shopping this holiday season.

Telecommunication is the science and technology of transmitting information such as words, sounds and images over great distances. Presently, the United States is the most technologically advanced country in the area of telecommunications with over 45++ million phone lines, 327,577,529++ million cellular phone users in the U.S., less than 5+ thousand AM radio broadcast stations, 6+ thousand FM radio stations, 4+thousand noncommercial radio stations, 1800+ television broadcast stations and the list goes on with cable television systems,  radios, television sets, I-pads, computers, , and scores of satellite facilities.  The point here, if you have an idea, the means are there to get the message across.

When you use the Internet to bring awareness to African-Americans through the e-commerce transactions and telecommunication services, you have the potential of a hot potato waiting to explore. How this can be accomplished is a difficult question to answer, but many have conquered it. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, are prime examples.

African-American’s Buying Power To Be $1.1 Trillion By 2015.  To “organize” the black dollar buying power is a greater hurdle to climb. However, it’s not out of reach. Too many companies have already taken advantage of this purchasing power by targeted advertising. You indicated your lack of success with the NAACP and the National Urban League. It doesn’t surprise me if your initial contact was at the local and state level since The NAACP’s principal objective is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of minority group citizens of United States and eliminate race prejudice. Another mission of the NAACP is to seek and remove all barriers of racial discrimination through democratic processes. Their mission is accomplished by seeking the enactment and enforcement of federal, state and local laws securing civil rights, and by informing the public of the adverse effects of racial discrimination.

Have you tried going straight to the source by contacting Lorraine C. Miller, the Interim President and CEO of the NAACP.  She was appointed to this position in October 2013 at the NAACP Board of Directors meeting. If that don’t work contact, Chairman Roslyn M. Brock, or Vice Chairman Leon W. Russell,  or anyone of the leaders of the NAACP to explain your concept and business idea to see if they believes that it has any merit to warrant pursing?

On the other hand, the mission of the Urban League is to enable African-Americans to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights. They launched, “I AM EMPOWERED,” an initiative focusing on four aspirational goals for empowering communities to achieve in education, employment, housing, and healthcare, the cornerstones of our approach.

Did you contact Hugh B. Price, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Urban League? Better yet, if that do not work, go to their website and, contact anyone of the board of trustees. Fifteen years ago, my partner and I had what we thought was a great software product to be used as a marketing concept tied to young adults and kids movies. We simply pick up the phone and start calling people at Warner Bros Studio until we reached a key person in the marketing department who will see and listen to our presentation. He like the concept and idea, but we couldn’t agree on terms.


Another suggestion is to not try to conquer the world overnight – try using the systemic approach. Start by and organizing and developing a small effective audience of African-Americans with buying power in a local market. Build upon that concept, develop a record of accomplishment and bring in others as you become more successful. Then you may have a program that works and others can buy into. Present your program to local African-American Chambers of Commerce, neighborhood community center, churches and community associations.

There are numerous programs and people with an idea on how to capitalize on the black buying power and some major companies have been quite successful in obtaining those dollars.

#Askrecy – recommendation on what you need to do to get your message across to help blacks become successful with Internet businesses idea is, If you wish to travel a direction that no one has previous considered or venture, you may have to plow that road yourself until others catch on and follow your lead.

If you have a question, email  – or twitter #Askrecy


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