Book Review: Our Black Year

| Mon Feb. 13, 2012 6:00 AM EST

Our Black Year: One Family's Quest to Buy Black in America's Racially Divided Economy

By Maggie Anderson, with Ted Gregory

PUBLICAFFAIRS

During the 1990s, according to the National Housing Institute, less than two cents of every dollar spent by African Americans was going to black-owned businesses. Troubled by this and other stats demonstrating stark economic disparities, Maggie Anderson's family, a well-to-do bunch who attended the Obamas' Chicago church, decided to patronize only black-owned businesses for a year. In the process, they had to put up with gangsta wannabes, racism allegations, and the difficulty—shared by many a low-income urbanite—of finding a decent grocery store. But they emerged with an appreciation for how African Americans' collective $913 billion buying power, wielded with due care, might bring a little prosperity to the hood.

Be sure and read our interview with the author here.