Tag Archives: African-American

The Other Threat to Men of Color

iStock_000000403827LargeImprisonment and gun violence are the threats to the lives of Black men that are most commonly discussed and reported…for valid reason.

Approximately 12–13% of the American population is African-American.  African-Americans make up 60% of the 2.1 million male inmates in jail or prison

According to a study from the Pew Research Center for People and the Press, a young Black man is nearly five times more likely to be killed by a gun than a young White man. If a Black person is killed by a gun, it is judged a homicide 82 percent of the time. For the broad population, most gun deaths are ruled accidental or the result of suicide; only 34 percent of gun deaths are attributed to murder.

There is another threat.  Click here to learn more.

HIV is a pervasive threat that continues to spread rapidly.  Chief among the challenges that contribute to its spread are poverty, lack of access to health care, higher incidence of sexually transmitted infections, lack of awareness and stigma.

Unfortunately, HIV awareness and how people of color are disproportionately affected are not reported enough.  We are midst of a health crisis.  Education and information about the HIV epidemic is essential.


Tough Love and Truth about the Ad Industry

2014-08-15 16.42.02

Pepsico President — Global Beverages Group, Brad Jakeman  


Harley-Davidson, Chief Marketing Officer Mark-Hans Richter “truth tell”  about the ad industry.

“The Lack of Diversity”

“I am sick and tired as a client of sitting in agency meetings with a whole bunch of white straight males talking to me about how we are going to sell our brands that are bought 85% by women,” he said. “Innovation and disruption does not come from homogeneous groups of people.”

“Fake Fight: Millennials vs. Boomers” — Why limit (your) growth to marketing directed to young adults?

“Youth does not own cool. Youth does not own growth. Youth does not own innovation or disruption.” he said. “Old people are a growth market, too.”

The article, Pepsico Exec Has Tough Words For Agencies, underscores issues that have long been prevalent in the ad industry.

Chief among these is diversity or more appropriately, the lack of diversity within the industry.

Whether the target audience is African- American, Latino, Asian, Women, LGBT or combinations including one or more, your agency has to have knowledgeable staff in order to effectively connect.


“Paying to Take Care Of Self”

Black women play a critical and influential role in driving consumer spending.

In many instances, Black women are the Chief Executive Officer of their household, with the responsibility for managing financial risks, planning, and record keeping.  Her children and family are the core of daily life, though she sometimes feels tired, frustrated and overwhelmed.

She is confident, strong and accomplished.  As the CEO and “money manager,” Black women have much to juggle between family, career and life’s daily demands.  These demands leave her limited time and resources.  This makes it challenging for Black women to have personal celebratory indulgent moments. Perhaps it is a workplace requirement, but Black women have figured out how to turn grooming into affordable indulgences — little luxuries.  These “little luxuries” are not selfish indulgences; instead they are moments of relaxation that make her feel good. 

Chief among these “little luxuries” are hair and nails.

According to the market research specialists at Mintel, Black women spend approximately $500 billion, (yes, BILLION!!) on hair care annually. To put that figure into perspective, that’s about 5 times larger than the gross domestic product of Puerto Rico. In fact, Black women spend more money on hair care than any other group.

These indulgences are not just about making herself beautiful.

She, perhaps more importantly, is paying someone to perform a service — an empowering indulgent reward whose end product is making her look and feel better. 

She pays someone to “do her hair.”

She pays someone to “do her nails.”  

When you see her, you recognize that she “paid to take care of self.”  I love that term.  My friend and colleague, Carol Sagers coined it.  “Getting your hair or nails done in a salon or spa is a luxury;  doing them yourself is grooming.”

Sagers is a dynamic leader with a track record of creating innovative marketing strategies that grow brands and businesses.

In my professional career, I have consistently made having a conversation with Black women integral to every strategy targeting the Black Consumer Market.  It is a guiding principle, one that all markets should pay attention to.

Links to some of my other blog posts about Black women and what motivates their consumer behavior are listed below.

Miss Recessionsita


African-American Women Offer Unparalleled Opportunities for Brands


The Role of Lipstick in a Depressed Economy


The Black Mom and The Barber Shop





“Ghetto Uber” or When S%*t Works Out

I had meetings in Los Angeles last week and flew into LAX.

I didn’t make arrangements to be picked up like I normally do, assuming that I’d order a ride from Uber when I landed.  I was surprised and disappointed to discover that Uber cannot pick up passengers at LAX.

So, I did the next best thing – stood in line for a cab. 

As I stood waiting a young brother approached me and asked if I needed a ride.  He was neatly dressed in a black suit with a white shirt, armed with an Ipad and had an outwardly friendly disposition. 

I told him yes, I did need a car and gave him my destination. He plugged the address into his Ipad and quoted me a fair based on the 20 mile trip. 

“All Love and Respect will get you there right away Sir, and much cheaper than a cab.”

Meanwhile the arrival area at Terminal 7 was absent of cabs and I was the sixth person waiting in an ever growing line. 

I thought to myself, why not give the young brother a try? 

I agreed to his terms.  He grabbed my suitcase, explained that a client’s flight was an hour and a half delayed, led the way to his car and off we went. 

His Lincoln Town Car was immaculate and the complimentary bottle of water was a nice touch.  The a/c was on full blast and the dulcet tones of Anita Baker provided the soundtrack for our ride. I spent the 1/2 hour car ride on my cell and ended my last call just as we pulled up to my destination. I thanked Taylor for getting me there so quickly. 

I am not in the habit of getting into unmarked cabs and I am certainly not the trusting type.  This experience proved that you can never judge a book by its cover.  It wasn’t Uber but it produced the same results.  A young Black Entrepreneur focused on giving superior service. The right time.  The right place. A chance encounter.

“Ghetto Uber” that demonstrated “all love and respect”…or a perfect scenario when “it” worked out?