Couple Buys Black-Owned Only in 'Ebony Experiment'

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2009 3:32 PM CDT

(Newser) – A Chicago family is trying to use its household spending to invest in the black community by buying exclusively from black-owned businesses for 1 year, the Tribune reports. The Andersons’ ambitious “Ebony Experiment” has them driving 14 miles for groceries (and farther for other stuff) and has earned hate mail accusing them of racism—but they say it’s worth the costs.

“More than anything, this is a learning thing,” said Maggie Anderson, who has a law degree and an MBA. Her financial-adviser husband concurs: It’s “an academic test about how to reinvest in an underserved community.” The couple has set up a website to promote the businesses they patronize and have invited Northwestern academics to analyze the impact of their spending on the community.