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Finding the business stories in Black History Month

There are a myriad of ways to commemorate and celebrate our country’s Black citizens and it would be shortsighted to think a business story isn’t one of them.

So, brush up on your history and consider one of these angles this month!

Embrace the theme

Did you know that Black History Month has a theme to focus on specific developments that merit emphasis each year? This year’s theme is ‘Black Health and Wellness’, to acknowledge the ‘legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, but also other ways of knowing (e.g., birthworkers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths, herbalists, etc.) throughout the African Diaspora.’ Consider some of these topics to start your reporting:

  • How much do doula services cost around the country? Are they affordable for the average American?
  • Interview a local midwife to see how demand has changed over time.
  • How much is the herbal medicine market grown and what are the projections for the next decade?

Profile Black creators and entrepreneurs 

Recently, Forbes released their analysis of the top six highest-paid celebrities on TikTok, none of whom are Black. This doesn’t mean that Black influencers don’t exist and that they don’t have a large following. They very much do, and deserve our attention. Check out some of the lists that have been created of Black influencers to follow and the up-and-coming young Black entrepreneurs of 2022 and then consider some of these ideas when writing a profile:

  • Interview influencers who have worked with the same brand and see if their experiences differed.
  • Outline communities of support available to help Black entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground and funded.
  • Don’t get caught up in tokenism, keep profiling Black creators when the calendar switches to March. 

Don’t forget about the consumer 

Even with the wealth gap, lack of access to capital, and institutional racism hindering black entrepreneurship, the Black consumer still has rising purchasing power every year. According to Nielsen, Black buying power is slated to grow to $1.8 trillion by 2024. Consider some of these questions in your reporting:

  • How are companies changing their advertising to woo Black consumers?
  • Are businesses making an effort to widen their product offerings?
  • What sectors are overlooking this demographic and which are going all in? 

With more companies making pledges to combat racism you don’t have to look too far to find a business story this month. Now is the perfect time to look back at those pledges and see who is following through and who was all talk.

Author

  • Julianne Culey

    Julianne is the Assistant Director of the Reynolds Center with expertise in marketing and communications and holds a master's in Sociology from Arizona State University.

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