A platform statement by Ranada D. Robinson, in the Miss Black Georgia USA Pageant on Sunday, April 22, 2007, at 6:00 p.m. at the Carter Center in Atlanta, GA.
According to the 2000 Census, one of every four Black Americans lives in poverty. The poverty rate for Black Americans is three times the rate for White Americans. In 1999, the median family income for Black Americans was still only $31,778, compared to $51,244 for Whites. Fewer than half (46%) of Black American households own their own homes, compared to the national average of 72%.
On the other hand, according to the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth, in 2000, Black Americans comprised the largest buying power group at $572.1 billion per year, representing two out of every three dollars spent by minorities. It is for these reasons that I would like to assist with economic empowerment of the Black community.
Many of the barriers we face are institutional, but there are many that can be combated with education. Through workshops, forums, and activities, I would like to encourage and educate our community, particularly our youth, to be better stewards of our money—to realize that our power lies in our money and how we spend or choose not to spend it. The importance of saving, investing, homeownership, and supporting black business should be resounded throughout our community. Together, we can help ourselves out of poverty. Together, we can strengthen the economic wellbeing of our communities. Together, we can make a difference in how we’re treated if we show that we know how much spending power we have.