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Economic Blackout: Why We Need It

What would you do with a million dollars? How about a trillion? (That’s twelve zeroes)

In 2018, the Black buying power was reportedly 1.3 trillion dollars. For context, if you were to spend $1,000 a day, it would take you approximately 2,739,726 years to spend all of that money. Insane right?

The racial wealth gap in America is yet another reminder of the power imbalance and discrimination Black people have faced since the country’s origin. In 2016, the Federal Reserve Board conducted a study documenting the median family net worth value reporting White non-Hispanic families at $171,000 while Black non-Hispanic families ranked last at $17,150. This staggering difference of wealth is the product of long-standing discriminatory practices that have severed Black Americans’ opportunities to accumulate generational wealth.

Opportunities for economic growth among Black people are torn away before they’re given the chance to flourish. The Tulsa Race Massacre is a testament to this. The city’s Black district of Greenwood was the most affluent African American community in the US for the early part of the 20th century. On May 31 and June 1, 1921, mobs of white residents, infuriated by the success of their Black neighbors, attacked residents and businesses of the Greenwood District.

In researching statistics and facts to write this article from a more informed place, I stumbled upon very shocking numbers. Here are a few that stuck with me:

This Saturday, July 4th through Tuesday, July 7th, consumers are being urged to freeze spending with the exception of Black-owned and small businesses.

In a capitalist society, voting with our dollar is one of the most effective ways to render lasting change. Although Black Americans make up only 13% of the population and rank lowest in median family net worth, they are among the top consumers. The objective of the blackout is to exercise our economic power, disrupt the system, and use the influence of the Black dollar to apply pressure to government leaders and lawmakers.

Wealth is the driving force of systemic racism in this country. Wealth is tied to education, job opportunity, and overall quality of life. Though we are far from closing the wealth gap in this country, it is in the interest of all citizens to take initiatives to start. Closing the racial wealth gap would stimulate the American economy, raising the U.S. GDP by 4% to 6% by 2028. (McKinsey & Company)

Absorbing this information has been an eye-opener for me. My hope in sharing my findings is that I have encouraged you to do extensive research on your own. If not, at the very least I hope you are sickened by these socioeconomic disparities. Use this economic blackout as an opportunity to research and to create initiatives to build wealth in BIPOC communities.

Below, I have included links with some dope Black-owned business:

Happy Blackout!🖤

Peace & blessings,

Kaiya Nyasha (@kaiyanyasha)

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