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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.
Click here for more stats from "The Buying Power of
Get quick access to key
Click here to go to African-American Census Bureau
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BET's marching to a different beat with
upcoming season's programming
(January 12, 2006) Not too proud to brag, BET is entering its second
quarter-century as the self-designated "new school" home of "everything
cool in African-American culture."
As such, it intends to squelch upstart rival TV One, which will celebrate
its second anniversary on Jan. 19.
The two networks aimed their latest pitches at TV critics Tuesday on day
one of a midseason "press tour" that will keep going and going and going –
through Jan. 22. BET's show of force began with the pulsating sounds of
the Grambling University drum line, which marched into a hotel ballroom
with a bang.
"Consider what you heard a wakeup drumbeat for the new BET," said
president and CEO Debra Lee, who succeeded the network's founder, Robert
Johnson, last June.
Seldom short on self-congratulatory rhetoric, BET proceeded to
stage-manage its 45-minute session to the point of distributing printed,
planted questions to some reporters. Popcorn and football-shaped cookies
also were provided beforehand, with the day climaxed by a late-night
BET-hosted hospitality suite. Sweet? Not if you didn't partake.
Ms. Lee also introduced new entertainment president Reginald Hudlin, who
directed the first episode of UPN's much-acclaimed Everybody Hates Chris
and is executive producer of Cartoon Network's The Boondocks. Its creator,
Aaron McGruder, has been an outspoken critic of BET's programming lineup,
which long has been dominated by music videos, standup comedy,
broadcast-network reruns and infomercials.
"Aaron is a very talented social critic" whose opinions are his own, Mr.
Hudlin said diplomatically.
"Just to have one critic out there or several critics is not a death
knell," Ms. Lee added.
BET highlighted three new unscripted series as evidence of its bigger,
The six-episode Season of the Tiger, premiering in May, will document days
and nights in the lives of Grambling's renowned marching band. Sunday
morning's Meet the Faith, starting March 19, gathers religious leaders to
discuss "the day's hottest topics." And the four-part Lil' Kim: Countdown
to Lockdown chronicles the rap diva's last two weeks of freedom before she
recently began serving a one-year, one-day sentence for refusing to
cooperate with authorities in a shooting incident.
A promotional clip seemed to unduly laud Lil' Kim as being true to her
"Is she a leader? Is she a victim? Watch the show and decide for
yourselves," Mr. Hudlin then told critics.
He later assured, however, that BET will "take a very serious look at her
life and her choices and the consequences of those choices. We do not look
away from the hard truth that's going on."
After the session, Mr. Hudlin said he's eager to at long last launch BET's
first scripted comedy series.
"We thought it would be a couple of years from now, but we're trying to
see if we can put together an economic model to make it happen by the end
of the year," he said. "We're very anxious to do something."
Ms. Lee discounted any rivalry between BET and TV One, which bills itself
as a "lifestyles" network aimed at a more adult black audience.
"They're doing things we did 20 years ago," she said of TV One, which
reaches 25 million homes. "Their promise of great new programming hasn't
really materialized. Right now they're not our major concern in terms of
TV One president and CEO Johnathan Rodgers said he expects BET to win any
race to develop an unscripted comedy series.
"They're in 80 million homes and make about 20 times more than we do," he
TV One's new programming initiatives include a reality series about a west
Oakland custom paint shop and documentaries on black theater.
There's also Cosmetic Surgery: The Changing Face of Black Beauty, a
one-hour special on changing attitudes in the African-American community
toward facelifts, nose jobs, etc.
It begs the question of America's most famously doctored African-American,
Dr. Monte Harris, who hails from Mr. Jackson's hometown of Gary, Ind.,
said that the King of Pop has been on the receiving end of "devastating
"In no way do I think he appreciates or wants to look the way he does,"
said Dr. Harris, director of Washington, D.C.'s Cultura Cosmetic Medical
Spa. "Hopefully we won't make the mistakes that were made on Michael
Jackson in the years to come."
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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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