Here is an update on them.
From The Chicago Tribune:
Oak Park couple travel far and wide to buy only from black-owned businesses
Ebony Experiment encourages other African-Americans to do the same
By Ted Gregory Tribune reporter
March 9, 2009
Maggie Anderson drives 14 miles to buy groceries, which might seem curious given that she lives in bustling Oak Park. She and her husband, John, patronize gas stations in Rockford and Phoenix, Ill. They travel 18 miles to a health food store in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood for vitamins, supplements and personal care products.
The reason? They want to solve what they call "the crisis in the black commu- nity." They want to, as they say, "buy black."
The Andersons, African-Americans who rose from humble means, are attempting to spend their money for one year exclusively with black-owned businesses and are encouraging other African-Americans to do the same. It is part experiment, part social activism campaign.
They call it the "Ebony Experiment."
"More than anything, this is a learning thing," said Maggie Anderson, who grew up in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami and holds a law degree and an MBA from the University of Chicago. "We know it's controversial, and we knew that coming in."
But the Andersons said they also have known that a thriving black economy is fundamental to restoring impoverished African-American and other "underserved" communities, and they have discussed for years trying to find a way to address the problem.
What they came up with is provocative. One anonymous letter mailed to their home accused the Andersons of "unabashed, virulent racism." "Because of you," the writer stated, "we will totally avoid black suppliers. Because of you, we will dodge every which way to avoid hiring black employees."
Apart from that letter, a solid majority of comments they have received have been encouraging, the Andersons said, adding that most people see the endeavor as beneficial to all.
"Supporting your own isn't necessarily exclusive," said John Anderson, a financial adviser who grew up in Detroit and has a Harvard University degree in economics and an MBA from Northwestern University, "and you're not going to convince everybody of that."
The undertaking "is an academic test about how to reinvest in an underserved community" and lessen society's burden, John Anderson said. Focusing the estimated $850 billion annual black buying power on black businesses strengthens those business and creates more businesses, more jobs and stronger families, schools and neighborhoods, the Andersons and other advocates said.
"When a thriving African-American or urban community is realized, certainly as a society as a whole, we all win," John Anderson said.
They are using a public relations firm, have created a slick Web site—ebonyexperiment.com—have been laying the groundwork for nearly two years and have enlisted researchers from Northwestern to detail and extrapolate the impact of their spending.
Read rest of article at link above.