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As this example shows, when Blacks collectively act as “Conscious Consumers” the impact can be swift. The African-American consumer wields tremendous cultural influence. African-Americans watch 40 percent more television than any other group, have a $1.1 trillion buying power, and 73 percent of Whites and 67 percent of Hispanics believe Blacks influence mainstream culture.

A glimpse of this “new” Black power found in the united response to this year’s dearth of diverse Oscar nominees could point to a re-energized climate in which African-American consumers know the power and influence they wield when it comes to how they spend their time and money. They know how those decisions – such as which television show to watch or not watch – can be compounded and multiplied for maximum impact. And with African-Americans over-indexing in social media use, the “we-notice-and-don’t-like-what-we-see” warning gets spread far and wide. Brands seeking to win favor with African-American consumers should pay close and studious heed.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the Black Power movement led to meaningful and historic changes. Using today’s social media platforms and other tools, including word of mouth and radio – along with their sizable collective buying power – African-Americans will again be able to achieve significant and conscious impact that can lead to real societal change. That’s the “new” Black Power.

Is Social Media the New Black Power?  was originally published on

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