The Andersons’ Experiment is grounded in John and Maggie Anderson’s public pledge to try to exclusively support Black businesses and professionals and buy Black-made products for all of 2009. They do this to inspire a national dialogue about the plight and the potential of Black business. The Andersons do this to highlight the many markets and industries where Blacks have not been able to access and manifest their pursuit of The American Dream while showcasing all the wonderful unsung success stories that Blacks can hold onto as proof that Black businesses are not inferior.
The Andersons’ Experiment aims to change the status quo. Black people have been in America for 400 years, so why is it so insane to conceive of buying fresh vegetables from a grocery chain started by a Black family? Why is it so inconceivable to buy a refrigerator from a Black-owned department store? Why do Black manufacturers and distributors have to overcome so many hurdles to get a chance at contracts with or supply large American companies? Why can I only find Black-made haircare products in major grocers, drugstores, mass merchandisers – and no cereal, or toilet paper, or picture frames? 400 years. When will these horrific realities change?
The Andersons themselves are an American success story. They believe in and love their country. Their journey is about service, love, and pride. They love America and they love our Black community. The Andersons believe that when the Black community simply begins to tap into its potential in the business world, and Black people start cherishing their own talent, success, and resources, then Black people can tangibly be included in the American Dream. And America will be better for it. Through self-help economics, they can leverage the economic empowerment required to begin to tackle the urban crises plaguing underserved Black communities. If we do nothing… If we do not come together… nothing will change.