Annual Edition 'Buying Power of
Black America' report breaks down billions in expenditures Black
consumers are responding to tighter economic condition by focusing more of
their spending on items and services that improve their homes and
lifestyle. That's one of the trends revealed in the 15th annual report,
"The Buying Power of Black America," published by Target Market News. The
report analyzes spending for black households in 2008 and finds that
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House hosts summit for black Web sites, bloggers in African American
By Richard Prince
Journal-isms (October 11, 2010) President Obama stopped by a "black online
summit" at the White House Monday as part of an outreach to African
American journalists and bloggers before the midterm elections, an
effort that includes the Democratic National Committee spending what it
calls an unprecedented $3 million to reach the most loyal part of
Obama's base, African American voters.
"I thought the meeting was great in that it showed that President Obama
and his administration are taking black new media and our growing
influence seriously," David A. Wilson, managing editor of theGrio.com,
told Journal-isms via e-mail.
"They outlined how the administration's policies have had a positive
effect on the African-American community and they invited us to make
suggestions on how they could work better with us and provide us with
more access to the White House.
The Democratic National Committee says the $3 million it will spend in
advertising to reach African Americans could make the difference in such
states as Pennsylvania, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio and Florida."I also
thought the summit provided a great opportunity for all of us leading
the charge in [the] black new media movement to get together in a way
that I haven't seen since we started theGrio last year."
However, Leutisha Stills, who blogs at Jack & Jill Politics, cautioned,
"The summit was a good one and very comprehensive, but we made it known
that if we really have 'influence,' we are going to test drive it and
see how many more invites we get from the White House."
The Columbus Day session lasted from 9:15 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., with
senior adviser Valerie Jarrett present along with specialists from
various parts of the administration, including the first lady's office.
Among the 20 African Americans working on the Web were representatives
of theRoot.com, Black Entertainment Television, Essence, Jack & Jill
Politics, City Limits, Concrete Loop, AOL Black Voices, Black America
Web and even the gossipy MediaTakeOut.
Monday's session is to be followed Friday by a presidential meeting with
10 members of the Trotter Group of African American columnists.
Moreover, six or seven African American bloggers were credentialed for
Obama's rally in Philadelphia last Sunday, although invitations were
extended to about 20.
"As Obama has steadily increased his outreach to African American voters
over the past month, with interviews and campaign stops targeted at the
black community -- 'our community,' as the president likes to say — he
has sent a clear signal that this election is about him and his record,"
Carol E. Lee and Abby Phillip wrote for Politico.
Derrick L. Plummer, regional press secretary for the Democratic National
Committee, told Journal-isms via e-mail, "Between now and Nov. 2nd the
Democratic Party and the President will continue to speak with and
engage the African American community about why this election [is] so
important and the clear choice we face."
Referring to Tim Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee,
Plummer said, "Chairman Kaine will continue to speak with AfAm media
print, online national radio outlets/hosts."
Obama has appeared on six or seven radio shows that target African
Americans, including those hosted by Warren Ballentine, Russ Parr, Doug
Parks, Joe Madison and Tom Joyner.
"The DNC’s $3 million AfAm paid advertising investment in a midterm
election is unprecedented. In addition to AfAm paid advertising, we’ll
make a significant investment in Latino advertising and continue our
contributions to coordinated campaigns in every key state — most of the
work of which is devoted to base voters," Plummer said.
"In addition, the DNC this morning started running a radio ad nationally
and regionally featuring civil rights icon Rev. Joseph Lowery in which
he calls upon young people of all ages to vote because in '2008 we
changed the guard…this year, we must guard the change.'
"Since Labor Day the DNC has been running radio and/or print and online
advertising -- the earliest we have ever done so -- and will continue to
run ads through Election Day.
"Because of record fundraising the DNC, is looking into the possibility
of television advertisements as well."
Kevin S. Lewis, director, African American media for the White House,
told Journal-isms via e-mail, "The online summit provided a space for an
in-depth, off-the-record dialogue with new media professionals on how
the Obama Administration is approaching pressing issues like jobs, the
economy, health care, education, and community investment, through the
'New Foundation' platform. The summit also served as a space to discuss
how we can build on our efforts to further engage the online community."
It was Lewis' first official day on the job. Lewis, 27, was a press
assistant in the White House press office and worked in that role during
the presidential campaign. He succeeds Corey A. Ealons, who joined a
Washington public relations firm last month.
"Everything that was said was either on background or totally off the
record, so I can't reveal as much as I'd like," Cord Jefferson, a writer
with theRoot.com, told Journal-isms, "but I think it was quite
productive. In my estimation, any time the media sits down and talks
with an administration -- as long as neither side is guaranteeing
anything to the other -- is time well spent.
"I'll also say that just bringing together black web outlets to the
White House, just sitting them down and saying, 'We respect your
mission,' is a huge step. We met President Obama today. It's difficult
to imagine a black web summit even taking place in the Bush White House,
let alone a black web summit that would have seen President Bush stop
by. It's not like we saw any major reforms take place in that room
today, but we did see progress."