Weeks after the announcement by the U.S. Treasury Department that Harriet Tubman, a former slave and noted abolitionist is slated to own the face of the $20 bill, representatives of the Black Dollars Matter Initiative continue to push the need for Blacks to spend their money with Black owned businesses within the community. “It’s nice that Harriet Tubman has been selected for the $20 bill and that Sojourner Truth, Marian Anderson and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King will have an affiliation with other denominations,” said Nazura Haymon, “But the important issue is that our money is spent in the Black community.
Eight months ago Haymon and Khamil Scantling started the Initiative with the purpose to inform and educate members of the community of the benefits of patronizing and supporting Black owned businesses. The goal is to circulate Black dollars in the community as it pertains to Black buying power.
“The average income for African American households nationwide is $47,290, with 35 percent of those households earning $50,000 or more,” Haymon explained. Sharing her concern, she said, “Sadly, according to an analysis of 2009 Census data provided by the Pew Research Center and cited by the Associated Press, the median wealth of White U.S. households in 2009 was $113,149, compared to $5,677 for Blacks. The wealth gap between White Americans and Black Americans is the widest that it has been in a quarter-century, with White households having over 20 times the net worth of Black households.”