New Year. New Ambition.

New Year. New Ambition. The time is NOW more than ever to support and uplift our communities. We must invest in ourselves and our businesses so that we can be prosperous and create generational wealth.

At the end of 2016, we launched our Buy This, Not That Holiday Edition series, where we listed out some of our top picks from black-owned businesses and brands — some of which you can view by clicking on our directory — to use as a guide both during your holiday shopping as well as everyday purchases beyond the season. You can also feel free to view our Instagram page to see the full series which spanned from December 1 through December 23.

Shortly before that, we launched our Bank Black Series where we encouraged you to either move your money or open a new account at black-owned financial institutions. 2016 was just the start. You can count on more from The Black Marketplace in 2017!

Take The Black Marketplace Pledge

Take The Black Marketplace Pledge

#BuyBlack #BankBlack #SupportBlackBusinesses #BlackOwned #CooperativeEconomics #BlackPower #BlackPride #BlackLivesMatter #TheBlackMarketplacePledge

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Posted in #BankBlack, #BuyBlack, Black Pride

#BuyThisNotThat

From December 1 through December 23, The Black Marketplace will launch its #BuyThisNotThat Holiday Edition Series to help guide you along while doing your Christmas shopping. Whether it’s for your significant other, family members, children, nieces, nephews, close friends, there is something for everyone. This series highlights black-owned brands and our goal is to expose or reintroduce you to black-owned products that you can continue to support outside of just the holidays. With that being said, be sure to follow us on Instagram to get a front row seat to the series!

#BuyThisNotThat

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Posted in #BuyBlack

Bank Black Challenge

Guest Contributor: Courtney Eiland

The #BankBlack Challenge gained momentum through social media in July as an economic response to police brutality in the black community—specifically the killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. The challenge received national attention when rapper and activist Killer Mike called in live to the MTV News and MTV News Town Hall to promote investing in black-owned banks.

OneUnited, the nation’s largest black-owned internet bank, launched it’s campaign in July, hosting events in Miami, Los Angeles, and Boston. People took the challenge and began to move their money or open new accounts. Celebrities also took to social media to show their solidarity with the movement.

The number of black-owned banks stands at 23 as of September 30, 2016 and there are real challenges ahead for this movement to be sustainable and impactful.

From The Atlantic: The Promise and Challenge of Moving Money Into Black-Owned Banks

As activists continue to mobilize against racial injustice, it’s unsurprising that economic protests, like #bankblack, would follow. They are a natural outgrowth of activist movements, as these ideas have been championed by Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Marcus Garvey—to name a few—all of whom advocated for supporting black businesses and making economic contributions to black communities and causes.

But Robinson says that a push for the revitalization of black banks will only be successful if it’s coupled with agitation in other realms. “Boycotts have been most effective in conjunction with other direct-action protest,” he said. “I would be skeptical of the idea that #bankblack would be effective on its own, or provide an alternative to more direct forms of political agitation, organizing, and movement-building.”

In just under three months there have been measurable results. The table below shows a comparison for total deposits at June 30, 2016 and September 30, 2016 for the banks with an increase in deposits of 1% or greater.

Bank Headquarters Deposits (6/30) Deposits (9/30) Increase % Increase $
Alamerica Bank Birmingham, AL $29,459,000 $30,386,000 3% $927,000
First Independence Bank Detroit, MI $179,813,000 $186,534,000 4% $6,721,000
Industrial Bank Washington, DC $318,562,000 $326,936,000 3% $8,374,000
Mechanics & Farmers Bank Durham, NC $254,531,000 $272,455,000 7% $17,924,000
OneUnited Bank Boston, MA $369,355,000 $381,841,000 3% $12,486,000
Seaway Bank & Trust Company Chicago, IL $302,679,000 $307,118,000 1% $4,439,000
United Bank of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA $51,307,000 $52,827,000 3% $1,520,000
Unity National Bank of Houston Houston, TX $70,903,000 $75,783,000 7% $4,880,000

 

Be sure to follow us on Instagram at @theblackmarketplaceusa. If you have already opened an account at a black-owned financial institution, tag us in your photo and we’ll share on our page.

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Posted in #BankBlack

#BankBlack Series

#BankBlack intro postToday marks Day One of our #BankBlack series. Over the course of this series, we will highlight black-owned financial institutions located around the country.

The movement took way after rapper Killer Mike’s most recent statement in early July:

“If you are truly angry, keep your big bank account with one of the national banks because you may have to travel in and out of state and out of country. But make sure that you take a portion of your money, you put it in a small black bank or credit union, and for the next 2,3, 4, and 5 years, you watch that money accumulate. What I would like to see happen is, 1 million people, instead of buying Jordan’s, or caps, or whatever thing is cool this month. Instead of us doing that, 1 million black people find one black banking institution. Start a $100 or more account, you can go as cheap as $20 but $100 is where I’d like you to start. 1 million people do that, black or white, we have $100 million moved into that bank. That bank can then start doing small home loans in areas that are being gentrified so black families can move in those areas also. It also can do small business loans — $15,000 to $18,000 can float a small business for a year. Larger banks will not float those types of loans to minorities especially. I know this because I own a small business and I have tried to apply for those. This bank will start to do that. That way the bank will make money and they will be able to give more loans, collect more money, and we will open more accounts.”

OneUnited Bank began their Move Your Money #BankBlack Challenge this summer which resulted in $10 million moved in less than one month and continues to grow today.

Since launching their challenge (as well as other black-owned financial institutions), we have seen celebrities, entrepreneurs, and other individuals begin to either move their money or open new accounts in order to support the movement. For many that do not have a black-owned financial institution in their area or may not know of the ones that do exist near them, we will make an effort to reduce your search and provide this information during our series. Bank listings that include “Apply Online” offer online banking no matter where you are located.

To view our #BankBlack Series, be sure to follow us on Instagram at @theblackmarketplaceusa. If you have already opened an account at a black-owned financial institution, tag us in your photo and we’ll share on our page.

 

 

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“Don’t Touch My Hair”

Guest Contributor: Courtney Eiland

 

“Don’t touch my hair; when it’s the feelings I wear

Don’t touch my soul; when it’s the rhythm I know

Don’t touch my crown; they say the vision I’ve found

Don’t touch what’s there; when it’s the feelings I wear.”

–          Solange

 

Don’t Touch My Hair. Those four words. They’ve been proclaimed by many natural hair wearers for years, but now after the digital release of Solange Knowles’ “A Seat at the Table”, her song conveniently titled, “Don’t Touch My Hair” has become the anthem. The natural hair industry has been around for years, however over the recent decade, it has made great strides as more African-American women are returning to their natural texture with confidence and pride. Also, it helps that more of the natural hair products on the shelves are made FOR us and BY us.

Too many times, natural hair wearers saw a lack of hair care products that catered to their texture. As a result, they turned their kitchens into their own personal laboratory and created lines of products that you can now find in major retail stores across the country. Yes, for those who don’t know, the natural hair care industry has turned into a billion dollar industry. Some of the “mainstream” brands are now attempting to tap into this market by creating their own versions of natural hair product lines. However, please be advised, just because a brand switches up a few ingredients and slaps the word “natural” or “curls” on it, does NOT make it cater to your texture. Instead, it’s best to purchase from a manufacturer who has your same or a similar texture where their entire product line caters to natural hair. Most times, those brands also have hair tutorials and utilize social media outlets in order to inform you as to how you should use their products.

Social media by far has helped many brands move into the forefront. With manufacturers reaching out to bloggers in order to do reviews on their products, it became one of the major methods that helped home-grown product lines turn into brands now found in Sally’s, CVS, Target, and other major stores. Social media also provides a community for natural hair wearers or black women in general to come together and celebrate their beauty as well as post their product finds which can, in many cases, go viral and continue to help those brands grow.

Photo via My Emerald Life

                                     Photo via My Emerald Life

In an Allure article titled, “More Than Just Hashtags: How Social Media is Changing the Beauty Industry” it states, “Black girls and women have always been strong and intelligent, and now many are loudly and proudly proclaiming it or tagging their pictures with #blackgirlmagic, a tag that has currently been used close to a million times on Instagram.” It also goes on to say, “Historically this community hasn’t had a space where they could vocalize their beauty frustrations, however this is no longer the case. Being able to connect with like-minded individuals, allies who too want to celebrate their beauty both inside and out, gives women of color a collective voice in a uniquely profound way.” Read more ›

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Posted in #BuyBlack, Black Pride, Natural Hair Care

Train Up a Child

Guest Contributor: Courtney Eiland

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day two years ago, my oldest niece (who was the tender age of 10 at that time), watched a documentary about Dr. King’s legacy and as my sister described, her face was filled with sadness and disgust at all the inequality and mistreatment and she became very emotional while watching.  My niece said the documentary she watched was, “sad and little bit scary because I saw marchers falling down.” This had me think about what is it exactly that the younger generation knows about our history, and do the school systems teach it a little more in depth nowadays?

Even now, after watching such both a moving and quite saddening clip of Zianna Oliphant at the Charlotte City Council Meeting last week, one thing is quite clear. The children are now noticing and understanding just how divisive our race relations have become. When our innocent children are now seeing the effects of racism and unfair treatment, it breaks my heart. However, I do feel as though once that light does comes on, that is when we should work to have them turn that sadness or fear into pride. Teach them about all the beauty that comes from being blessed with melanin magic. And that has to start (and continue) at home.

I remember my curriculum while I was in grade school didn’t include much more than Dr. King, Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carver and the other significant, yet “safe”, pioneers rooted in our history. My niece pointed out that she had learned about Dr. King, Coretta Scott King and Rosa Parks in her classes, which is typical. For me, my moment of enlightenment came my sophomore year of high school in my American Studies class when I watched Roots for the first time. I knew of slavery, but I didn’t know the severity of it until that time. This sparked my interest in digging more into black history, both the good and the bad.

I always wondered why slavery was glossed over and why I never learned about things such as the Freedom Fighters of the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Panther Party, the Sit-In Movement and so much more, but I figured that maybe it was a little too sensitive to teach those particular topics at a young age. I considered myself back in high school a “self-taught young black revolutionary.” I went to the library and got every black history book you could think of and quizzed myself daily on black history facts in order to completely absorb all the knowledge that I was never taught about my own history. It was also then that I made up in my mind that I wanted to attend an HBCU. *insert Howard University shout out* Read more ›

Posted in Black Pride

Can’t Nobody Take My Pride

Guest Contributor: Courtney Eiland

super-bowlBack in February, I blogged about how as I scrolled through my social media timeline, the general consensus was, “This is blackest Black History Month ever!” I remember feeling such a boost of confidence, consciousness, and pride over those few weeks than I had felt in a long time. Let’s rewind for a brief moment:

February 6, 2016 – Beyoncé drops her new video “Formation” out of the blue. The lyrics are one thing but the video takes on a message of its own, depicting images from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina with its significance ringing loud and clear — #BlackLivesMatter. There is a scene where a young African-American boy is dancing and as a response, the police then put their hands in the air simulating the “hands up, don’t shoot” protest outcry following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The graffiti that read, “Stop Shooting Us” further implied what we were to take from the video.

February 7, 2016 – Beyoncé then performs her newest single during the Super Bowl halftime show where she also acknowledged the 50th year anniversary of the Black Panther Party, fittingly so, within an hour distance from the city where the Party was birthed. Her background dancers were donned in afros and the staple berets worn by members of the Party. They even raised the black power fist during the line, “I just might be a Black Bill Gates in the makin’.” Other lyrics include, “I like my baby heir with baby hair and afros. I like my negro nose with Jackson 5 nostrils.” These are clearly two jabs at those who mock characteristic traits of African-Americans. Beyoncé, on the flip side, encourages us to embrace it ourselves regardless of what others think. Although Beyoncé aimed that line primarily at those who talk negatively about how her 4-year-old daughter Blue Ivy wears her hair, it was still a boost of confidence to the rest of us (especially with natural hair).

beyonce-and-kendrickFebruary 15, 2016 – Kendrick Lamar performs “The Blacker the Berry”, “Alright” and an unreleased track at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards. He and his background performers entered the stage in chains as Kendrick makes his way to the mic and proceeds to give one of the most powerful performances I have ever witnessed in my life. Some snippets of the lyrics to “The Blacker the Berry” state:

“…I’m African-American, I’m African
I’m black as the moon, heritage of a small village
Pardon my residence
Came from the bottom of mankind
My hair is nappy, my **** is big, my nose is round and wide
You hate me don’t you?
You hate my people, your plan is to terminate my culture
…”

Let’s just say, there wasn’t a lot of panning to the audience during his performance. Read more ›

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