Maggie Anderson and her family were threatened for supporting Black businesses

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Photo courtesy of Maggie Anderson

Maggie Anderson is CEO and Founder of The Empowerment Experiment Foundation, Inc., author of “Our Black Year” and Creator of “The Black-Owned Hair Care Challenge.” Anderson is Congressman John Lewis’ former aide, President Barack Obama’s former law student, and a successful corporate executive. She publicly pledged to “buy Black” for a full year, amidst threats to her and her family and her mother’s fatal pancreatic cancer battle. Her historic stand, dubbed as “The Empowerment Experiment” resulted in tens of millions in revenue for and deposits into Black businesses and banks.

A landmark Kellogg study proved one million jobs could be created if these businesses received a small increase in support. She wrote about her experiences in her critically acclaimed book, Our Black Year: One Family’s Quest to Buy Black in America’s Racially Divided Economy.

What key skills or qualities make you unique as an African American female leader?

As a woman who is Black and fighting for and representing exploited communities, I have the capacity, inclination and desire to resist and refute the status quo. I have never been on top, so I will never look down at anyone. I only and always will be looking up to God and my ancestors.

Why is it important for women of color to work in leadership roles and decision-making capacities?

Women are maternal, and thus, can make better decisions when in leadership roles. These decisions are not definitely or inherently self-serving and focus on a collective, a community.

Women of color undoubtedly endured and overcame some form of discrimination, sexism, racism, etc. That’s hard-earned wisdom and perspective. We see and feel things that others simply cannot. It builds character, integrity, and enables us to be more engaging, inclusive, courageous and visionary when we lead and make decisions. As leaders, survivors, revolutionaries, we represent and are more likely to reinvest in vast populations of the voiceless and victimized.

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Comments / 148

Cheryl Wood

Why would that be an issue with anyone. I've shopped minority and small businesses for years. I find they know there products better and you get real customer service. Plus your helping your community and neighbors.I haven't shopped in a Walmart in 10 years and I don't miss it.

Jerrell Singleterry

Just the hatred in these comments are unnerving and a pure example of this countries honest feelings. Being someone who's married to someone half white with biracial children, and raising my kids to love all, makes me wonder just how many are raising theirs to hate. I love where I live because their is no dominant race.Look it up, fort bend county in Texas is the most diverse county in Texas and probably the entire country. Nowhere in the bible I read, says whiteness is next to godliness. Let that sink in!

Crystal Smith

No more red lining! money can stop going into white communities and into our own communities. White people don't spend money like us.


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