I’ve been skimming through a new book called Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority written by Tom Burrell, founder of Burrell Communications.

Burrell (pictured above) discusses African-American consumer behavior in the context of the Black experience in the United States.  Among his arguments:

  • African-Americans tend to prefer high-end brands because of a need to compensate for feelings of low self-esteem.
  • African-Americans’ saving rates are low because of a need for immediate gratification “based on a chilling pessimism about an uncertain future.”
  • African-Americans spend a disproportionate amount of money in every product category related to cleanliness to compensate for being historically stereotyped as dirty.

Pretty deep and insightful material.  Here is a Q&A at the author’s website.