Who would have thought that one of the most powerful tools of activism in the age of social media was a simple hashtag? Sure, topics of all kinds can trend online, but clever hashtags can spark viral conversations, ignite uproar, and act as a catalyst for significant change.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
In the wake of the tragic police-involved shootings of both #AltonSterling and #PhilandoCastile, the internet was buzzing with calls for justice and social reform. Many leaders voiced their concerns and contributed to the overall conversation during the 2016 Town Hall meeting that aired on BET and MTV networks. However, Rapper and Activist Killer Mike’s approach was a clear call to action. Understanding the need for financial wealth as a means to obtain power, Killer Mike’s request of the black community was to invest in black businesses and support black banks to help advance the community as a whole, and the people listened. In a recent study by the FDIC, performance has grown with minority-owned banking institutions since 2015; however, their overall presence is steadily decreasing. In contrast, JPMorgan Chase is the country’s largest bank, with over $2.7 trillion in assets. While the size of a bank doesn’t automatically determine success, consumers should always consider all of their options, including smaller black-owned businesses. In an effort to keep the #BankBlack movement going strong, here’s a list of the largest black-owned banks for you to consider moving your money to.
Citizens Trust Bank
Located in Atlanta, Georgia, this bank has 10 branches and $411 million in assets. Founded in 1921, the bank has seen significant growth since the social media movement #BankBlack began.
Liberty Bank and Trust Company
This New Orleans, Louisiana bank has 22 branches in several states with over $594 million in assets. Over the past decade, its assets have increased significantly, and they also have the Liberty Foundation, which seeks to aide with secondary education and affordable housing.
Founded in 1968, this is the nation’s largest black-owned bank headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, with $661 million in assets and 6 branches. They offer a variety of services and workshops geared towards helping their customers with financial literacy and rebuilding credit.
Founded in 1934, it has $423 million in assets, 8 branches and is located in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. The bank saw an increase in customers due to the areas #DivestToInvest movement, which encourages the support of black-owned banks and businesses.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The Harbor Bank of Maryland
The Baltimore, Maryland bank has $282 million in assets and received $70 million in government funding to assist with helping low-income neighborhoods. They also have plans to invest in local startups and revitalization projects.