Best In Black Awards Panel Discussion Seeks to Increase Spending In the African American Community

Maggie Anderson, author of “Our Black Year: One Family’s Quest to Buy Black in America’s Racially Divided Economy”, comes to Memphis to stress the importance of “Buying Black”

Consumer Panel Discussion Thursday Aug 24th

Consumer Panel Discussion Thursday Aug 24th

MEMPHIS, Tenn.Aug. 18, 2017PRLog — Thursday, August 24th the Best In Black Awards, presented by The New Tri-State Defender, will host the panel discussion “The Community Conversation: Co-Operative Economics Harvesting the $10 Billion Local African American Buying Power”. This discussion will explore the importance of “Buying Black” as a means to increase the number of successful sustainable African American-owned businesses and the positive impact doing so could have within the community in areas such as job creation and building generational wealth. It will be held at the National Civil Rights Museum, located at 450 Mulberry St. at 6:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

It’s estimated that $10 billion is spent annually by African Americans in Memphis and Shelby County, TN and according to the 10th edition of “African Americans:Demographics and Consumer Spending Trends” within the past five years the national buying power of African Americans has topped $1 trillion. The discussion is sure to yield some thought provoking and insightful commentary. The panelists include local and national economics and conscious consumerism experts such as Attorney and Founder of the Mem-Power Conference Ricky Wilkins; Founder of the Black Business Directory Melvin Jones; President of the Black Business Association of Memphis Roby Williams; political and economic activist Tami Sawyer; and activist and entrepreneur Pearl Walker. Special guest Maggie Anderson, a resident of Chicago, will share the insight she and her family gained when they spent a full year patronizing, as much as possible, only African American-owned businesses. Anderson chronicled the experience in her book, “Our Black Year: One Family’s Quest to Buy Black in America’s Racially Divided Economy.” ¬†One of the things she cites is that African Americans often patronize businesses within their own ethnic group less than other ethnic groups.

Bernal Smith II, the president and publisher of The New Tri-State Defender media outlet and majority owner of its parent company, Best Media Properties, Inc. agrees. “Research has shown that the African American dollar circulates less than one time before it leaves our community opposed to other ethnic communities whose dollars circulate as many as eight times before it leaves. As a news publisher and a businessman, I am quite cognizant of the spending power African Americans wield and how the harnessing of it more strategically could create major changes in our financial, political and societal status. Many of us don’t recognize the vast power we have to shape outcomes in our community when we consciously and intentionally spend money first with African American owned companies,” said Smith. He plans to use the discussion as a tool for healthy dialogue, education and a catalyst for improvement. The final objective for the night is to formulate at least three action items the local African American community and individuals can implement to help further the reach and impact of the African American dollar.

The Best In Black Awards is an annual awards ceremony designed to recognize and celebrate African American-owned and operated businesses and professionals in the Mid-South. The complete celebration is comprised of several events with the panel discussion on Thursday being the first. Then, Friday (August 25th) is the Harlem Nights Casino VIP Pre-Show Party featuring a Memphis Music and Talent Showcase, an open appetizer buffet, martini bar and more. Tickets are $35.00 or $15.00 with the purchase of an Awards Show ticket. It will be held at The Gallery at Madison Square located at 1819 Madison Ave. The grand finale is the black carpet, black-tie Best In Black Awards Saturday (August 26th) hosted by Memphis’ own master of comedy Lester Bibbs along with a fantastic Memphis Music Tribute of legendary hits performed by prominent local artists. The Best In Black Awards will take place at the Paradise Entertainment Complex, 645 E. Georgia Ave. Memphis, TN 38126 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $35.00 and as an added bonus the after party a “Mayweather vs. MacGregor Fight Party” begins at 10 p.m. Tickets to that are only $15.00 with the purchase of an Awards Show ticket. The Best In Black Awards is sponsored by First Tennessee, WMCTV-5, Coca Cola, The New Tri-State Defender, Creative Solutions, 103.5 WRBO and 98.9 The Vine.

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About The New Tri-State Defender

The New Tri-State Defender is one of the longest continuously published African American newspapers in the South. Under the leadership of its Owner, President and Publisher, Bernal E. Smith II, it has evolved into a progressive multi-media business with a distribution that includes print newspaper, digital publications, website/social media pages and events. TSD’s mission is to inform, inspire and elevate the quality of life of its growing audience while serving as the primary vehicle for reaching African Americans in the Greater Memphis market. The New Tri-State Defender multi-media platform reaches 85,000 people weekly. Visit us at

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