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data on African American consumers
Black Buying Power:
$679 Billion (2004)
Black U.S. Population:
Top Five Black Cities
- New York
Top Five Black Metros:
- New York-New Jersey
- Los Angeles
Top Five Expenditures:
- Housing 110.2 bil.
- Food 53.8 bil.
- Cars/Trucks 28.7 bil.
- Clothing 22.0 bil.
- Health Care 17.9 bil.
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Chicago, IL 60604
Brazil’s first black channel, ‘TV da Gente,’ makes its debut
By Stan Lehman
The Associated Press
(December 11, 2005) Looking into the camera, TV hostess Adyel Silva
smiles, greets her audience and turns to Martin Luther King for her
‘‘thought for the day.''
"Even the most starless midnight may herald the dawn of some great
fulfillment,'' Adyel Silva says, quoting from a 1967 sermon by the slain
American civil rights leader.
This is TV da Gente, or Our TV, Brazil's newest channel and the first to
be owned and directed by blacks.
Launched in Sao Paulo
three weeks ago, it's the brainchild of Jose de Paula Neto, an
Afro-Brazilian pop singer and businessman.
‘‘I was never able to identify with what I saw on television,'' de Paula
Neto told The Associated Press. ‘‘What I saw was not part of my reality as
a Brazilian black nor did it embody the racial plurality that prevails in
Brazil. These realities are the mainstays of TV da Gente.''
Half of this country's 180 million people are Afro-Brazilian - the largest
black population outside
Africa. Yet few black TV reporters or entertainers host their own
programs, and blacks in
Brazil's highly popular
soap operas invariably play housemaids, gardeners or doormen.
At TV da Gente, says de Paula Neto, ‘‘blacks will have starring - and not
just secondary - roles as in other channels.''
It will soon offer programs acquired from the Black Family Channel, the
digital cable network owned by boxer Evander Holyfield, former Jackson
Five member Marlon Jackson and former baseball star Cecil Fielder. The
programs are being dubbed into Portuguese.
It could be ‘‘a media watershed,’’ says Teresinha Bernardo, an
anthropologist and race relations expert at Sao Paulo's Catholic
Blacks account for more than 60 percent of Brazil's poor and need more
role models, she said in an interview. ‘‘Imagine a poor kid watching
television and seeing a black actor in a major role, or a black professor
being interviewed. Think of what this could do to improve his
Brazil's problem is that it cherishes the notion that it's a
land of racial equality, ‘‘an image that has kept most blacks from
questioning their reality, which is one of poverty and inequality,''
Emanoel Araujo, curator of
recently inaugurated Afro-Brazilian Museum, says blacks rarely occupy high
government positions. Those who do - soccer legend Pele and singer
Gilberto Gil - are minister of sports and of culture, posts that carry no
Textbooks, he said, rarely mention the fact that great Brazilians like the
18th century sculptor Antonio Francisco Lisboa, better known as Alejadinho,
or the 19th century author Machado de Assis, were black.
A report by the U.N. Development Program says that nearly 120 years after
Latin America's largest country abolished slavery, Afro-Brazilians still
suffer social and economic discrimination.
It cited figures on wages and education showing blacks lag at least a
generation behind whites. They earned an average of $74 a month in 2000,
less than half of what whites earned 20 years previously. Fewer black men
had college diplomas in 2000 than white men had in 1960.
lives in two worlds,'' Doudou Diene, the racism expert of the U.N. Human
Rights Commission, said during a visit here in October. ‘‘It has a vibrant
multicultural and multiracial street life, which is the image we get
overseas. But Afro-Brazilian and indigenous communities are not part of
the political economic, social and media power structures.''
De Paula Neto has invested about $5.5 million in his station - 70 percent
from his own pocket and the rest from three businessmen in Angola, a
former Portuguese colony in Africa. He preferred not to identify them.
This amount can keep TV da Gente on the air for six months, at the end of
which de Paula Neto hopes to have attracted enough advertising to
guarantee its survival. He says advertisers show interest but haven't
signed up yet, and that it will take at least three years for his station
to break even.
Besides Adyel Silva's three-hour live talk show - a potpourri of themes
ranging from cooking lessons to advice from psychologists - TV da Gente's
11-hour daily broadcast includes newscasts, sports, children's fare, music
and a quiz for students about Afro-Brazilian and African culture.
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'Buying Power' report shows black consumers spending more on home life
As the American economy continues to move sluggishly,
African-American households are curtailing their spending in many
categories, including food, clothing and basic household items, while
investing more in home repair, home entertainment and consumer
electronics. Although they are trimming back, black consumers are still
spending more than their white counterparts on most of these products.
According to the newest edition of “The Buying Power of Black America”
report, African-American households are tightening their belts when it
comes to dining out, expanding their wardrobes, and leisure activities out
of the home. At the same time, they are increasing their spending on home
repairs and remodeling, audio and...
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