The #BankBlack national trend in which African Americans are responding to calls for depositing funds into Black-owned financial institutions has gained momentum, but is it more than just a hashtag?
It started with an emotional cry from rapper Killer Mike in the wake of the police shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile:
“We need one million people in Atlanta to take $100 out of their existing accounts, put $100 into a Citizens Trust [Bank] account…take that $100 million and promise $15,000 to $18,000 loans for Black businesses or small homes,” the MC said on Atlanta’s Hot 107.9.
People not only tuned in to hear his call, they listened, launching a nationwide trend in which African American-owned banks are seeing significant increases in new accounts. This might mark the beginning of a new type of Black economic power movement encapsulated by simple social media hashtags like #BankBlack and #MoveYourMoney.