Hair As Identity Menu


Black Women POWERFUL Consumers: How Will We Use This Power?

Black women of Brazil

Check out to find more stunning images like this one.


Black women are POWERFUL.  If you’re like me, you didn’t need to be told this, all I have to do is look at my own Mom to know that.  Working full time; keeping a house TOGETHER (old school style like you can SERIOUSLY eat off of her floors; don’t try that in my house); with my Dad raising strong daughters; cooking amazing meals (people put in special requests weeks in advance), all while looking fly.  Plus, my Mom worked in an environment where she may have been initially viewed as “just an assistant” but quickly rose to be viewed as one of the most valuable employees at IBM.  Her strong work ethic, sheer smarts and ability to read people (both understand them and put them in check if need be) made her someone folks wanted on their team.  She’s retired now but still the woman I call when I need sage advice.

Ok, I digress.  That Black women are powerful was underscored in a recent Black Enterprise article citing a Nielsen report that found that Black women wield tremendous consumer power.  Black women, what will we do with this power?  How can we wisely use our money to help make the world safer for our families, children, communities?  Do you have any tips that you can share?

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“Among the key takeaways is the fact that many African American women are greatly influenced by their culture and community. Roughly 62% of black women believe embracing and supporting their culture is important. Furthermore, about 59% feel a strong obligation to support minority businesses.

“Black women are one of the most powerful consumers because they are three times as likely to be the head of household than any other minority culture,” saysTarra Jackson (also known as Madam Money), a money expert who specializes in economic empowerment. “Marketers should pay attention to African American women because they control over 50% of the annual adult black purchasing and spending power,” Jackson continues.

Here is a link to the full article:

We can send a clear message to the world.  For example, when it comes to natural hair, many women ask me how I find products and lament the dearth of available products once you leave major metropolitan areas.  Ladies, you have a voice, it’s green and folds. Make yourself heard.  Nielsen underscores that companies will listen.

  • Petra Lewis

    Love This!: “Ladies, you have a voice, it’s green and folds.” Read the actual article, and like this:
    • 80% of black women agree that being aware of purchasing decisions is important.

    • 63% are more likely to purchase a luxury vehicle than the general market.
    • Black women are twice as likely to shop at Neiman Marcus than the general public.
    • Close to 40% of black women consider themselves to be trendsetters.

    Trust me, like everyone I’ve indulged in retail therapy from time to time, but we need to be very shrewd about how we spend our money. I have a friend who is a self-made millionaire, and she is very conservative about her spending (she does NOT own a luxury car)–that’s the true millionaire mindset. I once did a Mexico travel piece for Essence, and the spa owner said that a previous article Essence had done on them generated the most repeat customers, and among their best customers. I thought that was powerful! However, when we spend, we need to spend judiciously, not just on flashy, high-profile purchases; and not reinforcing the old adage: What do Black people buy?–whatever we earn as consumers. We need to make “sound” purchases–*that’s* how we earn respect as consumers. I also loved what natural blogger Taren Guy recently did–advocating for the Black Friday boycott. Considering that corporate sponsorship drives what she does, I thought this act was wonderful and very powerful. Who should be be as Black female consumers? Like Shirley Chisholm: “Unbought and Unbossed”–picking and choosing how we spend our dollars *carefully.*

  • Petra Lewis

    That thought on that old adage had a typo. I meant to write: “What do Black people buy?–whatever we put on the shelves…”

  • Tina Opie

    Hey Petra! I LOVE your comments! Thanks so much for your comments! I’m trying to build the brand and nothing speaks like readers, comments, etc. I love the idea of saying, “Whatever WE put on the shelves” in response to the question, “What do Black people buy”. People try to make it seem like we’re being racist when we say that but don’t even bat an eye when other communities do exactly that. It’s not about hating others it’s about supporting yourself. Amen and amen

  • Thanks for leaving a comment, please keep it clean. HTML allowed is strong, code and a href.