She has been hurt, downtrodden and degraded in music, television and media countless times over. Reports said she would never be married, she would never excel in the workplace, that her hair was wrong, her lipstick was too loud, her diet was deprived. The black woman in America has seen and heard it all about herself. Nonetheless, she presses forward relentlessly, stirring centuries of negativity into a potent fuel to strike a bold fire and emerge as a glowing phoenix with sassiness to spare. Now, with wings spread wide over modern humanity, we can’t help but step back and say, “Go ‘head, girl!

With Black Girls Rock in existence since 2007, and the #BlackGirlMagic hashtag trending on social media for years now, we are not strangers to our own excellence. To add icing atop the cake, Nielsen released a report this week further verifying the proof in the pudding that the Black woman is more than just a pretty face with a round backside.

Not only do African American women own more than 1.5 million businesses which garner over $42 billion in sales per year, the entrepreneurship in this demographic continues to grow exponentially more than all American women combined. No wonder Black spending power is expected to reach a record $1.5 trillion in less than 5 years. The Black woman is a human generator who is driving the force in over half of their households.

This is no slight to the brothers, specifically those who live in the household, boasting the most valuable and interpersonal relationships with their children more than any other ethnic group. But their female counterparts, who make up 52% of the race, are presently at a unique place of power – driving influence, commerce, and mainstream trends in a country where African American women were not able to freely exercise their right to vote until the 1960s. The secure black man will be found supporting her with pride and exaltation along the journey.

Recently, I was involved in a debate about Beyonce. “She’s too full of herself,” said the guys, “It’s like she thinks she’s some kind of queen or something.” I had the privilege to explain that this is exactly the point! Here, we have a culture of women who have been demeaned for so long that we gain a much needed boost in the medicinal mirror of confidence and self-love from other ladies of color who dare to be great. We are embracing our role as “trendsetters, brand loyalists, and early adopters who care about projecting a positive self-image,” as Nielsen reported, “The African-American woman’s independent mindset is present in her growing confidence, self awareness and rising income.”

The report was unveiled at an event featuring the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and Congresswoman Maxine Waters. “We have power, we have influence, we can do things others have told us we can’t do,” declared Waters. The findings presented by Nielsen offer data and insight into Black women’s ability to drive and shift culture like magic.

“Understanding how black women’s values affect their buying decisions has long been a marketing necessity,” Nielsen released in an announcement, “Now marketers must also recognize the intercultural influence of black women on the general market as an increasingly vital part of how all women see themselves, their families and the rest of the world.”

Among other key findings revealed in the report, not only are black women capitalizing on the media more than anyone else, watching and transforming the television market the most, succeeding as entrepreneurs, shifting the musical demands in radio, and buying the most health and beauty products – we are also aware of our impact on the planet and our carbon footprint. “The majority of Black women agree they are willing to pay more and give up convenience for a product that is environmentally safe,” Nielsen reported, “a company’s environmental values are important to them in their purchasing decisions.”

All in all, it’s safe to say we’ll be seeing more adverts targeted specifically to the African American woman, as well as more media and products being produced to serve the high demands of her social palette. The moment she truly realizes the power of her American dollar and social influence, especially on a collective level, will be the moment of metamorphosis within her community, her country, and her world.

You can download the entire 53 page Nielsen Report: African American Women: Our Science, Her Magic at this link HERE.

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About The Author

CC Roberson is an award winning filmmaker who has written and directed a variety of stories from comedy/drama to sci-fi/thriller. She is a proud member of Yale University's Storytellers in Modern Media Program 2016. Most recently she served on the crew of HBO's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and the hit television show Greenleaf which is now showing on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

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