In 1968, one day prior to his assassination in Memphis, Tenn. suggesting a way to build a greater economic base, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called upon his audience to take their money out of downtown banks and deposit it into a Black Memphis bank and to utilize Black owned insurance companies within the community.
Forty-eight years later in response to the recent police shooting deaths of Black men, another movement is underway for Blacks to invest in Black financial institutions.
In response to an Atlanta rapper’s appeal for one million Black Atlanta residents to place $100 in a local minority owned bank to be utilized for mortgages and small business loans it has been reported that Blacks nationwide took heed to the plea and have been investing in Black financial institutions. As a result, a Black economic power social media hashtags campaign has started, #BankBlack and #MoveYourMoney.
“In July we had 54 new memberships,” said Richard Witherspoon, Chief Executive Officer of the Hill District Federal Credit Union located at 2021 Centre Ave., one of two full service Black Federal financial institutions in the state. The other is the United Bank of Philadelphia. According to the HBCU Money’s 2016 African American Owned Credit Union Directory there are 22 Credit Unions in Pennsylvania including Morning Star Baptist Church in Clairton who has assets of $561,217.