Published on May 17th, 2009 | by Kailei Carr


Have You Experienced Shopping While Black?

A few years ago, I visited a high end jewelry store in the Houston Galleria mall with the intention of purchasing a necklace for my mother. When I went in, there were very few customers but yet the people working there saw me, but continued to speak to one another rather than help. When I asked for assistance, one of the clerks seemed annoyed and was so blatantly unfriendly that I left the store and bought the necklace elsewhere.

I thought about this incident and many others experienced by my friends and family when I watched this episode of ABC’s show, “What Would You Do?” During the experiment, a black shopper was harassed by a store clerk and security guard in a SoHo boutique. Out of 100 shoppers who witnessed this, less than 20 intervened.

Shopping While Black

One of the statistics mentioned in the clip was that 60% of blacks say they have experienced “shopping while black.” What about you? Have you witnessed or personally experienced racial discrimination in a store?

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About the Author

Kailei is the co-founder of The Vyne. She is an expert shopper, digital marketer and has conducted extensive research on African American women.

0 Responses to Have You Experienced Shopping While Black?

  1. Cheryl says:

    I have experienced “Shopping While Black” in a department store in the Oak Brook Shopping Center outside of Chicago. My daughter and I had gone to a designer watch counter to look at some watches. Three sales people were working the counter. As we approached, 2 of them were in conversation. All 3 of them looked at us and turned their heads. We decided we didn’t want to spend our money in a store that did not value us as a customer. We left.

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