Monthly Archives: May 2016

Editorial Rerun – In Memoriam: 95th Anniversary Of The Black Wall Street Massacre


First published on June 1, 2012 for the 91st anniversary of the Black Wall Street Massacre and a foreword from an article done by the Atlanta Black Star.

“The dollar circulated 36 to 100 times in this tight-knit community, according to sfbayview.com. A single dollar might have stayed in Tulsa for almost a year before leaving the Black community. Comparatively in modern times, a dollar can circulate in Asian communities for a month, Jewish communities for 20 days and white communities for 17, but it leaves the modern-day Black community in six hours, according to reports from the NAACP.”

By William A. Foster, IV

Remember that life is neither pain nor pleasure; it is serious business, to be entered upon with courage and in a spirit of self-sacrifice. – Alexis de Tocqueville

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This is the first year I’ve had a chance to remember Black Wall Street on the very day that in a 12 hour battle a model community of American aspiration would be destroyed. It has always been at the heart of my economic and institutional development beliefs. I once railed on twitter that I wish Spike Lee would make the movie of Black Wall Street. Although, I dare say he’d run into even more problems than he did with Malcolm X. The threat of social and economic power coming to African America is much more frightful than one man.  I’ve even griped that my issues with Dr. Cornel West and his ilk  who want to speak “truth to power” is they ignore the model of the greatest moment in African America’s social and economic history as well as the very basis of how capitalism works. Our own fault for listening to a theology professor instead of our own economist. I always say there is “No Country for African American Economist” in the African American community. We’d rather speak to power than build our own. The story of Black Wall Street in Tulsa, OK is one of those moments where if we’d learn from history it would be worth repeating it. Instead, we’ll ignore our history to our own peril.

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Many of us have a hard time imagining a place where African Americans owned and controlled as Mike House documents in his research “twenty-one restaurants, thirty grocery stores and two movie theaters, plus a hospital, a bank, a post office, libraries, schools, law offices, a half dozen private airplanes and even a bus system”. Just this economic power alone in one centralized place makes one realize how far we have fallen. Many of us simply see nominal gains in income and assume we have progressed. Not realizing that capitalism’s power and reward ultimately rest in the institutions you own and control.

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I have tired of the marches. I have tired of the “leaders”. I have tired of the speeches. I have even tired of my own writings. I am tired of telling us we are poorer today than we were in 1921. I have tired of our dependency on liberal ideology that says wait for a government to do the right thing by us. The government does the right thing by those who have the economic means to grease it. We simply need to build communities that we control and own. We need to build institutions that we control and own in those communities. We need to build social, economic, and political partnerships with Africa just like every other group in this country has with its ancestral homeland which creates a global power. We then need to use that social and economic capital to influence the political system to protect our social and economic interest. This is what made Black Wall Street so powerful and why it ultimately had to be destroyed. They were on the verge of leveraging their influence into the political system which would have allowed them to control Oklahoma. Can you imagine that?

We have HBCU communities that already are built to become Black Wall Street reinvented. Over 100 of them. Less talking. More building.

For the entirety of the events of June 1, 1921 just click the date.

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The HBCU Money™ Weekly Market Watch


Our Money Matters /\ May 13, 2016

A weekly snapshot of African American owned public companies and HBCU Money™ tracked African stock exchanges.

NAME TICKER PRICE (GAIN/LOSS %)

African American Publicly Traded Companies

Citizens Bancshares Georgia (CZBS) $7.67 (3.52% DN)

M&F Bancorp (MFBP) $2.90 (0.00% UNCH)

Radio One (ROIA) $2.31 (0.00% UNCH)

African ETFs

Global X MSCI Nigeria (NGE) $6.41 (2.84% DN)

Market Vectors Africa (AFK) $20.18 (0.84% DN)

African Stock Exchanges

Bourse Regionale des Valeurs Mobilieres (BRVM)  308.94 (0.77% UP)

Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE)  10 726.79 (4.89% UP)

Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE)  1 788.97 (10.32% DN)*

Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE)  146.71 (N/A)

Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) 51 602.55 (0.28% UP)

International Stock Exchanges

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) 10 228.06 (1.03% DN)

London Stock Exchange (LSE)  3 370.33 (0.44% UP)

Tokyo Stock Exchange (TOPIX)  1 320.19 (1.28% DN)

Commodities

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Unemployment Rate By HBCU State – March 2016


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STATES WITH RISING UNEMPLOYMENT: 7

STATES WITH DECLINING UNEMPLOYMENT: 9

STATES WITH UNCHANGED UNEMPLOYMENT: 8

LOWEST: ARKANSAS & VIRGINIA – 4.0%

HIGHEST – DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA & ILLINOIS – 6.5%

STATE – UNEMPLOYMENT RATE (PREVIOUS)*

ALABAMA –  6.2% (6.2%)

ARKANSAS – 4.0% (4.2%)

CALIFORNIA – 5.4% (5.5%)

DELAWARE – 4.4% (4.6%)

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA – 6.5% (6.5%)

FLORIDA – 4.9% (4.9%)

GEORGIA – 5.5% (5.4%)

ILLINOIS – 6.5% (6.4%)

KENTUCKY – 5.6% (5.8%)

LOUISIANA – 6.1% (5.9%)

MARYLAND – 4.7% (4.7%)

MASSACHUSETTS – 4.4% (4.5%)

MICHIGAN – 4.8% (4.8%)

MISSISSIPPI – 6.3% (6.5%)

MISSOURI –  4.2% (4.2%)

NEW YORK – 4.8% (4.8%)

NORTH CAROLINA – 5.5% (5.5%)

OHIO – 5.1% (4.9%)

OKLAHOMA – 4.4% (4.2%)

PENNSYLVANIA – 4.9% (4.6%)

SOUTH CAROLINA – 5.7% (5.5%)

TENNESSEE – 4.5% (4.9%)

TEXAS – 4.3% (4.4%)

VIRGINIA – 4.0% (4.1%)

*Previous month in parentheses.

African America’s April Jobs Report – 8.8%


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Overall Unemployment: 5.0% (5.0%)

African America Unemployment: 8.8% (9.0%)

Latino America Unemployment: 6.1% (5.6%)

European America Unemployment: 4.3% (4.3%)

Asian America Unemployment: 3.8% (4.0%)

Previous month in parentheses.

Analysis: Overall unemployment rose slightly in the month of April from the previous month. African and Asian American both saw 20 basis point declines.  European America was the only group to go unchanged. Lastly, Latino America has an uptick of 50 basis points in their unemployment rate.

African American Male Unemployment: 9.5% (8.7%)

African American Female Unemployment: 6.9% (8.0%)

African American Teenage Unemployment: 26.0% (25.3%)

African American Male Participation: 68.1% (67.2%)

African American Female Participation: 60.2% (61.5%)

African American Teenage Participation: 29.2% (30.5%)

Previous month in parentheses.

Analysis:African American males had a 80 basis point increase in their unemployment rate and a 90 basis point increase in their participation rate. African American females had a 110 basis point decrease in their unemployment rate and a 130 basis point decrease in their participation rate. African American teenagers unemployment rate increased 70 basis points and participation rate experienced a decrease of 130 basis points.

CONCLUSION: The overall economy added 160 000 jobs in April. African America lost 59 000 jobs in April, the second consecutive decrease in the past five months. The African American labor force also pulled back with a decline of almost 100 000 for a second consecutive month. Nervously, the participation rate is at its lowest over the past five months remains with a very sharp decline of 40 basis points. A divergence from a rate that has been fairly steady as it goes the past five months. There are signs that fresh economic thunderstorms are settling in over the African American economy. The Federal Reserve continues to suppress interest rates, which while keeping the stock market humming along (barely) is also keeping lending tight. The latter being a situation that prevents many of America’s small businesses from hiring and even more potential businesses from even getting off of the ground. If banks can not make enough money off making a loan to a risky small business just opening its doors, then better to park the cash in Treasuries and wait out the interest rate conundrum. Meanwhile, the American economy continues to die a paper cut death. African America’s economy just lost another bank making lending for small businesses and therefore job creation within the community an even higher hurdle to climb, as if jumping over Mount Olympus with a broken leg was not hard enough. Maybe the winds will change, but until the Federal Reserve decides to take the economy off of the low interest rate medicine, then there is very little hope of the economy breaking out into a real sprint. Currently, the downside looks a lot more probable than the upside.

African American needs an increase of 742 000 jobs to match the country’s unemployment rate – a decrease of 37 000 jobs from the previous month.

African American Banks Reduced To 21 – North Milwaukee State Bank Closes


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The state of Wisconsin has lost one of its two African American owned banks. North Milwaukee State Bank, which was almost three times the size of Wisconsin’s other African American owned bank, Columbia Savings & Loan Association, officially had its doors shutdown on March 11, 2016. It is one of only two American bank failures in 2016 thus far.

Per the FDIC, “To protect the depositors, the FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company, Raleigh, North Carolina, to assume all of the deposits of North Milwaukee State Bank.” First-Citizens Bank & Trust is controlled by a bank holding company, First Citizens Bancshares, which is publicly traded on the NASDAQ. Its primary shareholders are the Holding family and Fidelity Investments.

For the entire FDIC official release click here.

The closure takes $67.1 million in assets and $61.5 million in deposits off the books of African American owned banks as a collective.