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When Jay-Z first spit the now famous Hip-Hop words “All Black Everything,” he had no idea that the BET, The NorthStar Group, HuffPost Black Voices, Essence Communications and a host of other Black media organizations would take it to another level. Meet “#InTheBlack,” a campaign launched by a consortium of over two dozen Black media outlets to increase investments by the advertising community in the African-American consumer marketplace.

The efforts will be led by BET Networks, but includes Vibe Media, TV One, Interactive One, Inner City Broadcasting, and a list of some of the most influential organizations in the marketplace. “We are excited to partner with some of the nation’s most influential media and marketing groups to highlight the growing economic opportunity of the Black marketplace. As a collective, we are better positioned to demonstrate the value of targeting the Black consumer audience and partnering with leading brands to help them succeed,” Debra Lee, the chairman and CEO for BET Networks said in a statement.


According to the consortium, African-American buying power is expected to reach 1.2 trillion dollars by 2015. But even with the growing number in the African-American community, BET’s President of Media Sales Louis Carr says there hasn’t been an increase in media buying to support that growth. Currently, the Black community amounts to about 8 percent of the total American buying power. And although some would believe that the companies in the consortium are competing for the same limited advertising dollars that are actually being spent, Carr says it’s for the greater good. “At the end of the day, with the increased value perception of the overall African-American audience, we hope that advertisers will see the increased value of the media that interacts with this growing audience on a day to day basis.”

L. Londell McMillan, Chairman of The Northstar Group, which home to Jones and The Source magazine, commends BET for heading up this initiative. “BET’s leadership has been pivotal, and the full buy in by other media organizations has shown that #In the black is bigger than any one of us alone.” Describing the campaign as “extremely special,” McMillan continues, “In many respects, our fate and futures are tied together. A lot of people said it couldn’t be done. And I think that we are able to achieve it because it’s the right time and the right cause. It’s about people we view as family and it makes me extremely proud to be a part of this historic occasion.”

–Kim O.