Help A Sista Out: Why I’ll Spend More To Buy Black

January 11, 2013  |  


For as long as I can remember I’ve been taught to buy black. If there were a white mechanic in the neighborhood and a black mechanic 30 minutes away, who charged a bit more, in financially fit times, my father would have opted for the black mechanic. This behavior was drastically different than my maternal grandfather’s. A Jamaican living in Indianapolis, Indiana, my grandfather didn’t always view American blacks in the most positive light. In fact, his sentiments would lead you to believe he regarded them as inferior– and he might have. Though, in his defense, he’s grown over time.

But buying black was an important lesson I learned at the crib. One that stuck with me once I got a little money of my own…which was just three years ago really.

I can honestly say that I do as much, if not more shopping online than I do in actual stores. Everything is at your disposable on the internet in ways that the stores are drastically limited. And not only that, on the internet, you’re more than likely to find more black owned and operated businesses. There’s jewelry made by black women. (Earrings are my everything.) Books written by black women, businesses run by black women and unique, one of a kind clothes designed, made and shipped to your apartment or workplace by black women. It’s a beautiful thang. And I’m happy to support even if it means I end up spending a few dollars more than I would have if I bought said item from a white and or mainstream outlet.

Now, please know that my money is not long. With rent, student loans, regular utilities and other things that come up, I don’t have an extensive shopping budget. But as hard as I work, every month I have to buy myself at least one something nice.

In November it was a necklace from Peace Images Jewelry. In December, it was a Boxing Kitten dress. For Christmas I asked my sister to buy me an Ifenkili pillow and earlier this week I was looking at a $55 sweatshirt from Quelly Rue Designs. The sweatshirt featured a simple design on a plain, solid colored hoodie. I showed it to my sister telling her I was thinking about buying it. She agreed it was cute; but when she saw the price tag, her immediate reaction was, as it often is, “I can make that.” My sister, the artsy one, is probably right. But would she actually make it. Probably not. But that’s not the issue, I was contemplating buying the hoodie because the design, although simple, was still beautiful and the designer was a black woman. Historically, that’s been a good reason to spend $10, $20, even $50 dollars more than what I would pay somewhere else.

I support black women because one day I know I’ll need the same and I believe in karma. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. My father, who recently started up his own business selling and installing blinds and window fixtures works with all types of people. But recently he had a client, a black man, who said that he was buying from my father, though he probably could have gotten a lower quality product for less, because he was a black man and he was trying to support his business. As a black woman with a dream, that will ultimately require the financial support of others, it’s important that I regard these women and their products as I would hope they would one day do for me.

Do you go out of your way to patronize black businesses? Are you willing to pay more to buy their products?

Trending on MadameNoire

View Comments
Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN
  • guest

    I was buying blk hair products asduming they would know my hair bettet than any 1. Not. Changef and used a product that I assumed was for whites only and now my hair looks and feels fab. Its all about the product for me. If it is good am there. You walj into a blk pwnwd store and they got there kids there. They hardly have anything on the shelves. They act like they could care less if u but anything for them. Just b/c u r blk does not meam u automatically get my biz.

  • Linette

    If there are black owners making good quality stuff, I support. But the keyword is good quality. Black, White, Asian, doesnt matter to me if you’re oroduct is crap. I would also love it if black people stopped making Tshirts and merch and maybe did something useful, like diving into technology. I would pay for that.

  • Patricia

    Yes. I will buy black and go out the way to find black business and support them. I try to discreetly ask people if certain businesses are black owned. I don’t have a problem paying more. We pay more money for some things that are done by whites particularly white designers and don’t have not one problem with it and some of them are rude, call you a n****r and give you bad service and some blacks will still buy from them. When it comes to supporting black business we complain about how expensive it is and the bad service. Now, there are some black business that are delivering bad customer service, you have other races that had bad customer service as well. I am all about supporting all good black business and wish all black would support it. I have gone to black business where I was the only black there and the rest of the people were whites. It is ashame that you have whites that will quickly support black business quicker than we do. So PLease, Please, Please support good black business, they need us.

  • Nisa

    I like to support my people but I do want support in return. I used to spend my hard earned on Carols Daughter then they got big and went the “polyethnic” route. I was pleasantly surprised when I went on their website the other day and saw a bunch of black women. I tried to support Hairveda but when one of my products got moldy I had to resort to Facebook to try and reach them and when the owner finally responded to me, she gave me a lame “the computers have been down.” I loved her products but I’ll be dayumed if I ever buy anything else from her. So I’m more careful now and I pay attention to signs. I don’t have money to waste so I need a great product combined with great service.

  • psylocke_2001

    buy black, buy black, buy black! and if the customer service is excellent spread the word. we need to support each other. financial freedom is a stepping stone to our overall freedom.

  • no i dont go out of my way at this point in my life unfortunately its all about price for me

  • And if u go on Instagram you will find lots of young AA people trying to start clothing lines and stuff the merch is usually unique and it feels good to help someone with their business

    • Tamz

      The people that I follow on IG that do clothing are very up close and personal with their customers. I really do try and support black businesses most of the time though.

  • I was willing for carols daughter but the formula has changed so much but I do try to buy weave from black owned companies