The thing that bothers me most about the discussion of race in the United States is the lack of attention being paid to the real issues encountered by African Americans/Blacks in the US.
For example, while the median income for Black families rose from $18,859 in 1964 to $31,966 in 2002, the median income for a Black family in the US was only $32,584 in 2009. This is especially surprising considering that the number of Black college graduates increased from 365,000 in 1964 to 3.5 million in 2002 and an estimated 7.9 million by 2009.
The decrease in the median income for Blacks comes after a 61%increase in the number of Black owned businesses between 2002 and 2007 (According to Black Enterprise "Nonemployer firms, in which the entrepreneur is the only paid employee, numbered 1.8 million . . . [of the] 1.9 million black businesses in 2007, [which] accounted for 7.1% of the nation’s businesses, 0.8% of total employees and about 0.5% of total national receipts.")
So what do these statistics say about the Real state of Blacks in America when there is a decrease in the median income for Black Americans as there is an increase in the number of Black college graduates and an increase in Black-owned businesses in the United States?
According to 2006, Consumer Expenditure Survey, the "average" Black household income was over $40,000.00 per year, much higher than the reported median income of approximately $30,000 for the same time period.
Based on the survey, the average Black household had annual expenditures of $34,583.00. The survey analyzed expenditures on food, clothes, travel, entertainment, housing, travel, and a variety of other items by gender and race in the US. The results of the survey will suprise most readers:
If the BET survey is correct and Black buying power is "about $913 billion and is projected to increase to $1.2 trillion by 2013" (see http://www.blackamericaweb.com/?q=articles/money/personal_finance_m...), then there is money within the Black communities that could support "economic development, enterpuenership, and overall access to capital."
We have to learn to use our "economic buying power" to invest in mom and pop establishments that are committed to use their respective buying power to also invest in other mom and pop establishments.
While many small businesses focus on lack of access to capital as the reason for low or lower revenues. The reality is that for many small businesses the lack of access to capital is due to the low revenues received by the small business from sales. Capital investment decisions are based more on actual revenues than on projected revenues.
According to the Institute for Business Appraisers, small businesses typically sell for roughly 60% to 70% of revenues: http://www.go-iba.org/pdfs/Business_Appraisal_Standards.pdf
If consumers, of any ethnicity or race, are not "investing" in a business by buying from the business then it is hard to get capital investors to provide acccess to their capital.
So, given the increase in economic buying power, the increase in college graduation rates, and the increase in the number of black owned business, what is the real state of Black America when the MEDIAN income declines in light of so many increases?