Clearly the year 2020 will go down in history as one of the most traumatic years anyone of our time has ever experienced. We began the year with the sudden death of Kobe Bryant. Then came an unfathomable pandemic and now more murders at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve which has sparked widespread protests across the nation. America is being forced to look in the mirror and make the needed adjustments; it’s reckoning time. But how effective are peaceful protests? Have we thought about what would really send a message to large corporations and even some small businesses who refuse to denounce racial injustice and inequality? In the words of my Father, “You hit ‘em in their pockets!”
Ever wonder why for the past few years everything seems to be geared towards “afrocentric-ity”, black love and black pride? From T’Challa and Killmonger to Nike’s endorsements of controversial public figures. Yes, it causes controversy but above all it makes large corporations a lot of money. Businesses have finally embraced the fact that “black money matters”. With people of color having approximately 3.9 trillion in buying power, we can certainly create major waves in the way of an economic protest. But where do we start? Well, here’s some suggestions:
Organize: From December 5, 1955 until December 20, 1956 (approximately 381 days), African Americans and their allies in the city of Montgomery, Alabama, seamlessly organized and hosted a bus boycott protesting segregation on buses in the city. The protest crippled the city’s busing system and the result was a Supreme Court ruling making segregation on public buses unconstitutional. Keep in mind this was before the many forms of communication we have at our fingertips now. But in order to effectively organize, we need someone to lead.
Mobilize Black Dollars/Buy Black: Bottom line, Black Wall Street was burned to the ground in 1921 because of its threat to white supremacy. Of course they cloaked it under the guise of retaliation for a black man attacking a white woman in an elevator but the truth of the matter is the blacks in Tulsa, Oklahoma, were becoming too prominent and too wealthy. Imagine what could happen when we invest in black banks and patronize black owned businesses. (A few black banks for your reference: OneUnited Bank, Liberty Bank, Carver Federal Savings Bank, Citizens Trust Bank, Industrial Bank, The Harbor Bank of Maryland)
Buy Real Estate: The seed of Black Wall Street was planted in 1906 by a wealthy Black man by the name of O.W. Gurley. He purchased real estate in the form of 40 acres of land and made sure that land was only sold to people of color. From that, grew an economic Mecca for black families in the area who were also able to build generational wealth not only through their businesses but also through their purchase(s) of real estate as well.
Unplug: Honestly, much of what we see in the media is skewed and untrue. If we’re constantly absorbing what the media wants us to believe, how will we ever be able to know the truth for ourselves?
Share the love! Spread the wealth! Comment below with your favorite black owned business.