A Chicago family decided to purchase from only African-American owned businesses for a year, then wrote about the experience — and the challenges they faced while “buying black.”

Though their intent was to support black-owned businesses, the Andersons discovered that most of the businesses owned by African-Americans in their area were in a limited number of categories, like soul food restaurants and hair braiding salons. Chicago has the highest number of black owned establishments of any U.S. city, and yet the family say they still had a difficult time meeting their everyday needs.

From Fox Chicago:

Chicago – A local mom has been making headlines with her family’s experiment to “buy black,” supporting only African-American-owned businesses for a full year. Maggie Anderson of Oak Park has written about her family’s experience in a new book, Our Black Year.

The book is a call to action, Anderson said, in which she exposes the issues troubling the black economy.

“This came out of a conversation that happens among a lot of African-American middle class households. We remember a time when we didn’t have these problems, because we had local businesses that kept our communities strong. Those businesses are gone,” Anderson said, “We figured maybe if we did something extreme to bring that issue into the national dialogue, we can get folks to start supporting the few great businesses that we do have, and maybe inspire economic empowerment.”

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