The Empowerment Experiment (formerly called the Ebony Experiment as of March 12, 2009), was co-founded by John and Maggie Anderson of Oak Park, Illinois. Steven Rogers, director of the Kellogg Entrepreneurial Practice Center at Northwestern University's Graduate School of Management, serves as an Executive Advisor to the experiment, which is a year-long study designed to find out what happens when people buy things only from black-owned businesses.
Some participants who are committed to this movement have been willing to drive substantially longer distances than what they had driven before the movement started, in order to purchase goods from black-owned businesses.
By May 12, 2009, 4,000 people had signed up on the Andersons' website to participate in their experiment.
James E. Clingman, who writes frequently about African-American economic empowerment, and also teaches a class on black entrepreneurship at the University of Cincinnati, said, "I'd rather have more black businesses than black politicians."
Gregory Price, chairman of the economics department at Morehouse College, said the ideas behind the movement were similar to the ideas expressed by black visionaries like Booker T. Washington and Marcus Garvey. Price also said, "The idea is a sound one, given that black Americans are still underrepresented in the ranks of the self-employed and that entrepreneurship is a key component to wealth."
- Black capitalism
- The WhereU app and online directory of black-owned businesses
- African-American businesses
- The Black Wall Street
- Couple's 'buy black' experiment becomes a movement, Associated Press, May 12, 2009
- Their year of buying black, Chicago Sun Times, December 20, 2008.
- Oak Park couple travel far and wide to buy only from black-owned businesses, The Chicago Tribune, March 9, 2009