Celebrating Black History

Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

Next week we will celebrate Black History Month – an event that celebrates and recognizes the impact that Blacks/African Americans have had on our history. According to ASALH, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the theme for 2021 is The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.

Blacks/African Americans continue to be a growing and influential segment, projected to represent 22% of the U.S population by 2026. The Selig Center for Economic Growth forecasts a 2024 buying power of $1.8 trillion – nearly double 2010. According to a recent study of H Code’s new Black intelligence panel, “86% of respondents say it’s time brands recognize the power of the Black community.”

Community matters. With the challenges experienced by everyone throughout 2020, 82% of Blacks/African Americans believe that the brands they purchase and where they purchase them from should support their employees, based on MRI Simmons data. As the behavior of many consumers shifted throughout the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement, what impact has it had on Blacks/African Americans and their buying intentions?

According to data from the December MRI Simmons COVID-19 study, Blacks/African Americans are doing the following more or about the same:

  • purchasing cooking or backing supplies (85%)
  • focusing more on health and wellness items such as vitamins, fitness/activity monitors (83%)
  • buying beauty products such as skin care, hair color, makeup (76%)
  • gardening supplies (72%)
  • home improvement and renovation supplies (69%)
  • updating/buying home appliances (67%)
  • purchasing auto accessories (66%)

Radio has always played an important role to all communities, but as a medium, radio reaches 28.2 million Black adults 18+ – more than any other medium, according to the Nielsen November 2020 Total Audience Report. Radio is also trusted by Blacks/African Americans. Based on the MRI Simmons study, Blacks/African Americans believe that radio is very trustworthy – 30% more likely than the U.S. population.

As the month of February approaches, this year there will be an even greater focus and appreciation of this history – a history that should be celebrated year-round.


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