We’ve marched and voted, elected a black president twice. Even with a black man, and now a black woman in charge of the Department of Justice our community still suffers from mass incarceration, police brutality and not much is done when our civil rights are violated. We have black mayors, blacks as chief of police in many cities, yet we continue to suffer injustice on many levels.

With every battle we have to fight, it all comes back to money! We need to continue our action on the front lines and on social media, but we MUST link it to economic empowerment to see sustainable change. The mere threat of a strike by Black football players at the University of Missouri got results in less than 48 hours because it would have caused the school to lose millions. Money talks!

Bottom Line: We have tremendous economic power. There are 45 million Black people in America who spend 1.3 trillion dollars annually. We have power within our community to turn things around. If Black America were a nation, we would rank 16th out of 196 countries! With the 16th largest economy in the world, our issue is NOT access to money. Collectively, we have a lot. Our issue is that we don’t keep our money in the community. We’ve been trained to give away our money and strengthen the economic base of others that work against us. FACT: African-Americans only keep 3% of our money within our own community. We spend 97% of our money with people who are not African-American. That’s insane. No other group of people does that.

Step One: Strengthen our financial institutions. Less than 30 years ago we had 54 black banks. We are now down to just nineteen (19). These banks are quality institutions, many of which have been the leading supplier of capital to our community for decades. While many white-owned institutions traditionally, and today still, turn African-Americans down for loans based on preconceived biases, our black banks have always been there.

On the issue of trust, it goes without saying that as African-Americans we suffer from the inability to trust each other. Take comfort in knowing that trust is not an issue here. Your money is safe. Deposits to black banks and credit unions are protected by the same entities that insure large financial institutions (FDIC and NCUA).

Move your money today. Click below to find a black bank or credit union. If you don’t have one in your city, you can open an account online with OneUnited Bank. They offer e-style checking and money market accounts, a modern, convenient website and mobile app.

Spread the word with the hashtags: #MoveYourMoney #RedistributeThePain #NoBusinessAsUsual #ReclaimMLK