Actor Hill Harper announced that he is launching a fintech app called The Black Wall Street, aiming to empower investors of color. The app is set to go live on June 1 and will feature a digital wallet for peer-to-peer payment, along with the ability to trade cryptocurrency, according to CNBC.
The app takes its name from the prosperous Black business district in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was known as the Greenwood District and nicknamed Black Wall Street. Whites burned down the community in 1921 during a racial attack.
“What the Black Wall Street was in Tulsa and the Greenwood district is just very empowering,” Harper said.
As part of the app’s launch, The Black Wall Street is planning a 30-city financial literacy tour that begins on April 30 in Los Angeles. The tour plans to stop in Tulsa on May 31, the anniversary of when the original Black Wall Street was destroyed.
“We have to encourage Black ownership, and that’s what we want to do on the platform. We’re starting with a digital wallet and the ability to start to learn financial literacy, create a community, and allow people to invest,” Harper told the outlet. “But the ultimate goal is to create a whole ecosystem, and eventually a marketplace where the recirculation, the circulation of dollars through this digital wallet, allows job creation, business creation, and job growth.”
He hopes the app helps keep dollars in the Black community. Harper said, “dollars changed hands 60 to 100 times within a year before it left that Black community.” Now, on average, the dollar leaves the Black community within seven hours.
Rapper Killer Mike also launched a platform for investors of color this year called the Greenwood app. Greenwood app and The Black Wall Street app join a growing field of fintech apps, such as Square’s Cash App and PayPal’s Venmo.