Similar to the Los Angeles protests with The Game and Snoop Dogg, Houston rappers are too in motion of leading this proactive civil movement of putting their money in Black-owned banks. Tuesday July 18, Houston’s notable local entertainment influences met with mayor Sylvester Turner in hopes to find ways to save the Black communities.
One way was to suppport Black financial institutions and businesses. The united rappers and entertainers individually opened accounts at Unity Bank, the only black-owned bank in the state of Texas located in Houston’s Third Ward area. Houston’s big names such as Paul Wall, Slim Thug, Lil Ke Ke, Willie D and many more all participated in this cautious action.
“We don’t want to wait until there are riots in the streets ’til we do this,” said White rapper and business owner Paul Wall. “Let’s do this now. Let’s be proactive about it.”
Mayor of Houston Sylvester Turner knows how impactful the actions of a united celebrity driven group could be on the people. As a result, he intensively listened to the artists’ concerns, including the urgent call for more economic opportunity and the controversial request for cops to racially reflect the communities of color they patrol.
“There a lot of people in our city that have lost hope,” Mayor Turner said. “And people are feeling helpless. People in many ways are feeling disrespected, and these individuals here- these artists- they have collectively more power than I do.”
The rappers plan on using their influence heavily. Putting money in Black-owed bank was a move inspired by Atlanta activist and hip-hop star Killer Mike after he was responsible for Citizens Trust, a black-owned bank in Atlanta, gaining more than 8,000 members, including ATL rapper T.I,Usher and Jermaine Dupri after he urged them to open up accounts. Houston native, singer and record company owner Solange Knowles also has her money in a Black-owned bank.
That’s just the first step in the making change. Not only is the goal of the unified Houston emcees goal to end racial injustices, police brutality, and violence but to also educate people on the what the movement is about.
At the meeting, Houston hip-hop legend Willie D said this group’s mission is to “create an atmosphere of respect instead of discontent with our law enforcement. You know, it’s very important that people understand that when we say Black Lives matter, we’re not saying that Blue Lives do not matter.”
Pictures from the meeting:
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