I am linking arms with Nikki Porcher in support of A Black Woman Year. And I’m doing so as a Black woman from Liberty City. And on behalf of the strong but struggling brothers and sisters I reach and represent all over the country, who are crying out for political, cultural and economic power.
For them and with them, I honor Nikki Porcher, Buy From A Black Woman and their initiative A Black Woman Year. And I thank her for:
Taking these economic justice and empowerment issues seriously
Teaching and enabling our community to create, preserve and pass down our own wealth, jobs, businesses and legacies
Honoring our women as leaders in this beautiful revolution
And for being bold about our right and responsibility to lift up our businesses, banks, and professionals.
You do that with class and courage, and with smart, stylish and sophisticated solidarity, Nikki!
Our Black Year was just the beginning
And I am humbled that Nikki would recognize my family and our stand and study to only support the businesses, professionals and products of our community for an entire year with The Empowerment Experiment. Learning how our journey inspired A Black Woman Year, in the same way that my mother inspired me to buy Black exclusively that year, is testament to how impactful this work can be.
I have been living in The Empowerment Experiment for almost 15 years now, so I have seen what we can change and achieve if we promote and channel our buying power. That’s why my focus as a social and economic justice and empowerment activist and Black business history academic has always been on women consumers and women business owners. And the work that Buy From A Black Woman is doing is in alignment with this.
Black women have always been at the forefront
Buy From A Black Woman now leads and represents this economic empowerment and financial freedom revolution for Black people. In fact, our story of so much struggle and so much success comes from a long line of industrious, intelligent and inspirational Black women. Women like Nikki Porcher. Women like Marie Stewart, who in 1832 exclaimed, “Daughters of Africa, awake!”
“Let us make a mighty effort and arise and let us raise a fund ourselves. Do you ask, what can we do? Unite and build a store of your own. Fill one side with dry-goods and the other with groceries. Do you ask, where is the money? We have spent more than enough for nonsense to do what building we should want.” ~ Marie Stewart
Sis Marie, who was newly freed from enslavement, was angry about racism, injustice, and inequality. And about how her culture and community were eroding and exploited. And like our Nikki, she chose to fight back by focusing more on building up her own, instead of waiting and wishing for her oppressor to give her anything.
Instead, like Nikki, she began calling on Black people to lift themselves up by building stores and spending with solidarity. I borrow my voice from women like Marie, Rosa Parks, Maggie Lena Walker, and from Madam CJ Walker. Madam CJ Walker, mother of the Black hair care industry was the first woman self-made millionaire — not Black woman millionaire! She made those millions, but she also helped other women achieve the American Dream, and enabled the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National Conference on Lynching. This is what Black women do!
Those Black women did that for me. So I did my year and then wrote my book, “Our Black Year” in their honor. Which is why I am honored to link arms with the bold, brilliant, beautiful Nikki Porcher, share what I have learned and support this amazing project. This is what Black women do! And I hope you too can join us on this journey.
This post was written by activist, author and CEO of The Empowerment Experiment Maggie Anderson.