It fronts as money, but its true power lies in its ability to shape mass-market swag.

Commerce, as popularly regarded, is the ability to do business transactions – the exchanging of money for goods and services. That’s the easy side of commerce. It’s the part that we do without thinking about.

The other side of commerce is social exchange. These are social transactions that build billionaires, birth social trends, and leaves others feeling used and pimped.

(Walk with me on this one …)

When you spend money, do you look for Black-owned businesses first? I know that as a business owner, when you’re looking for talent, for services, for goods that you need for your business and for your family, sometimes you can’t always buy Black.

But do you try? #Realtalk

We are quick to talk about how other cultures come into Black communities and make MILLIONS (I’m thinking of hair extensions, weaves, and braid supplies) but do we—you and I—intentionally “buy black”?

I will go further.

Do you check to see what brands you are buying that do or do not actively respect the “Black Dollar” by providing some sort of systematic way to put money BACK into Black communities?

I know I haven’t.

Not always.

I was so happy just be able to afford brand name shoes, clothes, cars, houses (#firstgenerationwealth) I didn’t care who I bought from. Now as I have become “financially woke”, I check to see what companies of all races value, and what they stand for. I check to see if the companies I spend my money with are donating a portion of the profits to scholarships, urban planning, supporting small businesses, women in business, etc.

If I find a company that’s exploiting anything I hold dear, I put them on blast.

And I let my social commerce sway the mass market.

Walk with me so I can show you what I mean …

If you think about what made the record-breaking Black Panther movie so remarkable was the level of pride Black people—worldwide—expressed for having a movie that represented us as an un-colonized society allowed to flourish. I remember watching a viral video of school kids dancing on desks, happy because they were going to see Black Panther. I watched dozens of YouTube videos from all over the world of Black/African people dressing up to go to the movies as if it were the Oscars.

I read article after …

… after article,

… after blog,

… after editorial …

trying to explain why this movie, in this social climate, was such a phenomenal success.

Besides the obvious fact that it was a brilliant Marvel movie, fully funded, with an amazing cast and an extraordinary director, in this historical moment showing an emotionally mature Black Man empowering Black Women—in the most technologically advanced country in the world—the success of Black Panther is social commerce at its finest.

WE—you and I—made Black Panther cool. Hip. Relevant. Dope. Fire.

And the world responded. The world came out to see what all the fuss was about. And they too saw something inspiring …

… just as inspiring as Coltrane riffing on the saxophone shining bright from sweat and blues …

… just as inspiring as Elvis’ hips, twists, and drawl anointed from hanging out in “colored” clubs …

… just as inspiring as mixing, scratching, and break-dancing giving voice to youth, worldwide, making them unafraid to spit their feelings onto a mix tape or a microphone.

Sis—this is what we didn’t learn: the world looks to US for the next trend, the next hair style, the next slang to know who THEY are.

That’s commerce.

Social commerce.

It’s what we have given the world for free and were never taught to value or monetize for ourselves.

Until now …

Social commerce is the one thing Black people have consistently provided the mass market, but never first monetized for ourselves. But with the amazing impact of social media, social marketing, and technology that levels the playing field, you and I can monetize that which has been our biggest asset for so long: Social Commerce.

JayZ is doing it with Tidal.

Shonda Rhimes is doing it with Twitter.

President Obama did with “Yes we can.”

Don’t sleep, sis. Commerce—social commerce—is more than the exchange of exchange of money for food and services. It’s more than money in the bank.

Social commerce is the bank.

Let me hear from you.

With all the love my heart can hold…

Dr. Venus

12 Responses to “Commerce is a Two-Faced Charlatan”

Comments List

  1. <a href='' rel='external nofollow' class='url'>Felicia</a>

    Great perspective. Love this article.
  2. <a href='' rel='external nofollow' class='url'>April B.</a>

    Venus, What a powerful, inspiring message! I am reading your words right now while displaying my business of handcrafted luxury leather wine carriers in a Sisterfriend's boutique wine retail shop in Detroit. Because of her support, we have the opportunity to meet African American wine consumers who want to support black business and have the dollars to spend on high end products. It's a beautiful thing to work with black folks who intentionally make purchase decisions to support our community. I appreciate you!
    • Dr. Venus

      I appreciate you too April. And I also appreciate you partnering with another Sister Entrepreneur, supporting each other's businesses. Outstanding! Dr. V
  3. <a href='' rel='external nofollow' class='url'>Bobbie o</a>

    All I can say is Wow! You have given me more to think about. I am almost speechless. Love what you posted & you right we have to continue to step up and be diligent in everything we do or say. Thank you for all you do. Have a great week. Bobbie
    • Dr. Venus

      Thank YOU Bobbie for reading my Word and taking the time to respond. I appreciate you. Sincerely, Dr. Venus
  4. <a href='' rel='external nofollow' class='url'>Renay. Brown</a>

    This article was very enlightening. I never thought about making a conscious choice to research the companies where I spend my money. I am a realtor and many black people would prefer white Realtors. I have actually been told, by a few people. But more importantly I was told that very statement by another black female business owner. Ridiculous I know but it recently happened to me in 2018.
    • Dr. Venus

      Hi Renay, I hear you. I have learned to let people communicate and know they are not talking to me. They are sharing what's real for them. I have learned that what they say has very little to do with me, so I do not take it to heart. A few years a back my feelings were deeply hurt by a group of Black Women. They gossiped and said bad things. I was so hurt, I started to take my love away from ALL Black Women. I had to heal my heart from being hurt by my birth mother (my 1st Black Woman) so that I could forgive and accept ALL Black Women. I had to learn to be "bigger than their bruises." My prayer for you is that you heal the hurt from this Woman and the other sisters who have let you down in any way, shape or form. By doing so, you set yourself free from their wounds. I hope this helps, Dr. Venus
  5. DeNai

    ABSOLUTELY so true lady and I'm just now recognizing it not only that but about to learn how to utilize that curves social commerci that being said, Yes I do and have been (only recently though) as well since.. 2016 check the labels, research budinesses and see where my money is going and whether or not there's a black owned business. Just yesterday I made the decision to buy my grandniece a birthday gift something that her mom wasn't able to get her and it took me quite some time because I was looking for black-owned teen clothing and I found something amazing and she's going to love it. It takes more time & often higher prices however spending dollars with our communicates affords me to be part of the solution
    • Dr. Venus

      YAY!!! Thanks for taking the time to look DeNai!! Now your granddaughter will learn from your example!! OUTSTANDING!! Dr. V #soproud

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *