Amid Black boycotts after the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, banks have also felt the absence of Black dollars.
At least $800,000 have been transferred into one Black-owned bank in the last five days. At the request of Atlanta rapper Killer Mike, over 8,000 Black Americans transferred at least $100 into Citizen’s Trust Bank alone.
This is not counting the several other Black-owned banks that also received thousands of transfers as well, as reported by Huffington Post and The Root.
The initiative mentions a need to “bank Black.”
Essentially, all other ethnic communities within the United States have some form of financial backing — whether domestic or abroad.
Well, the Black community also is setting this in motion inside the United States once again. There was a time in America’s past when Black lives were thriving, especially in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
However, you might ask, “Why do Black dollars matter?”
According to Nielsen Company report “African-American Consumers: Still Vital, Still Growing,” it explained in full how Black dollars matter.
In 2012, during the first business quarter, Black consumers spent more than $160 million on products — just products, in just the first quarter. This doesn’t include holiday spending, especially not Black Friday.
The same report renders that national advertisers spend over $2 billion marketing to Black Americans alone.
Likewise, speaking on the buying power of the Black community within the United States, Black Enterprise notes that in 2015, it was projected as $1.1 trillion.
Also, it’s projected to reach $1.3 trillion by 2017.
Recently, with the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, most Black Americans have been unifying via protests, marches, and boycotts in order to bring awareness to Black lives within America.
The idea to “bank Black” dates back to Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I’ve Been To The Mountaintop” speech, from 1968.
As reported by The Root, in King’s speech, he requested the Black community remove their funds from non-Black banks and place them within Black-owned institutions.
Not only as a demonstration, this would strengthen Black America in representation and ability to make things happen — such as creating and developing institutions that help empower and advance the community.
“Always anchor our external direct action with the power of economic withdrawal,” King advised his listeners. “We’ve got to strengthen black institutions.”
And, as can be seen by the “bank Black” initiative, people are remembering Dr. King’s advice.
Income Inequality and Redistribution of Wealth
After several Black Americans transferred their dollars into Citizen’s Trust Bank, Jay Bailey — chairman of the bank’s Next Generation Advisory Board — mentioned that it was time the Black community “comes home.”
“I’ve been telling people that it’s time to come home. Rallies are great and they’re necessary. Protesting is great and it’s necessary but what will sustain and grow from here is our dollar and galvanizing our dollar.”
“Citizen’s Trust provides a financial foundation for our community and that really helps us to put in place the businesses that we wanna see that we don’t see in our communities,” says Bailey.
According to Citizen’s Bank and Bailey, the response to Killer Mike’s request to transfer Black dollars into Black-owned banks was a “propel forward.”
“It’s a tremendous propel forward for the bank and the future of the bank and bringing new relevance to a bank that’s been here for 95 years,” expresses Bailey. “And, it’s a statement about what the next 95 years will look like.”
No matter what people might say via “hearsay,” it’s statistical fact that Black dollars matter. And, they’ve mattered for a long time, regardless of acknowledgment.
While Black Lives Matter has marched and brought awareness, a key factor which is continually promoted is that of boycotting, in order to help demonstrate the value of black lives within America.
What are your thoughts regarding the topic? Do you think that Black dollars matter? Feel free to share your comments below.
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