A new project at Howard University is devoted to debunking myths about the black community. One of the unsubstantiated claims they’ve run across, according to NiemanLab, is the idea that a black dollar only circulates in the black community for six hours.
Recall that the NAACP reported the following:“Currently, a dollar circulates in Asian communities for a month, in Jewish communities approximately 20 days and white communities 17 days. How long does a dollar circulate in the black community? 6 hours!!! African American buying power is at 1.1 Trillion; and yet only 2 cents of every dollar an African American spends in this country goes to black owned businesses. “
Is the Claim “A Dollar Only Circulates 6 Hours in the Black Community” an Urban Myth?Click to tweet
Researchers at Howard University were unable to find any data to substantiate those claims, however.
From Howard University’s research website Truth Be Told:
The claim that a dollar circulates in the black community for only six hours cannot be substantiated.
The federal government does not produce data that would allow such a comparison.
In addition, economists contacted by TruthBeTold.news said some of the data cited, such as information about dollars circulating in the Jewish community, is questionable because the federal government does not collect information by religion. And researchers would be unable to get the information accurately from a survey of consumers.
The earliest source of the statistic appears to be a book that is nearly 20 years old. The book also never mentions the name of the study nor provides any information about the author.
And as Antonio Moore recently observed at Inequality.org, racial inequality is getting even worse, meaning blacks have even fewer dollars to spend anywhere. As a matter of fact, African-Americans are worse off economically than South Africans during apartheid:
Some historical context: In South Africa, during the atrocities of apartheid, the median black family held about 7 percent of typical white South African family net worth. Today, using Wolff’s analysis, the median African American family holds a mere 1.5 percent of median white American family wealth.
And as The Huffington Post reported in “Black Wealth Barely Exists, In One Terrible Chart”:
There aren’t enough black dollars to serve as a means for uplift in the black community. It may be time for the those who hang their hopes on the promise of black capitalism to consider a Plan B.