Porter Novelli

The traffic signal that helps you safely commute to work.  The carbon filament that illuminates your home at night.  The peanut butter that brings back memories of your favorite childhood sandwich.

These inventions are just a few examples of the innumerable contributions made by African-Americans.  But, what is often overlooked and important to note is that the achievements and accomplishments of African-Americans are not just a part of Black History; they are contributions world history. In essence, we are all a part of Black History Month and can take part in observing and celebrating our shared narrative.

Without doubt, African-Americans continue to shape progress, and in particular, the progress of our nation.  In fact, 73 percent of Whites and 67 percent of Hispanics believe that Blacks are a driving force on our popular culture.  As communicators, there is value in engaging this audience of influencers and tastemakers.  Additionally, the African-American population is also an economic force to be reckoned with, with a projected buying power of $1.1 trillion by 2015.  African-American households earning $75,000 or more grew by more than 60 percent, faster than the rest of the population.

Quite simply, it makes dollars and “sense” for brands to consider African-Americans as a critical component of their audience mix.