For far too long, Black people in America have not had fair and equitable access to financial services. It’s no surprise that this lack of access has had a tremendous impact on the Black community’s ability to build wealth. While, there are many economic factors that have inhibited this wealth-building potential, among them, is the lack of Black-owned banks.
Enter the #BankBlack movement. While the hashtag took off several years ago, the idea of keeping the Black dollar in the Black community (and at Black financial institutions) has been around for generations.
“This is something that thought leaders, Black leaders, like Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and W.E.B. DuBois—all of them have talked about this concept. It’s what led to black Wall Street,” said Sabrina Terry, the director of strategy and development at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC). Terry also works with BankBlackUSA—an organization that strives to promote economic development among African Americans. She stresses that Black-led financial institutions have expertise in serving the Black community and ultimately funnel money into the Black community.
Watch Sabrina Terry breakdown how Black banks are essential to Black economic mobility in this episode of A Word.