Decades ago, African-Americans were not allowed to own businesses, and this was because of the deranged racism that was in practice in the USA at the time. However, over the years, blacks in America were allowed to own businesses across the country. Unfortunately, even though blacks were allowed to own businesses, the government was not as invested in the businesses as other people. Studies have shown that out of about 1.1 trillion dollars buying power of the country, only 2% of the money goes to black businesses. Black Wall Street, however, is trying to change this narrative, and focusing on developing black businesses, brings black trades to life.
The original Black Wall street's History can be traced back to 1920s Black Wall Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma. At the time, racism in America was at its peak, and there was high segregation against African-Americans. However, gradually, the black community started building a business that would sustain the black race. Many black people in the community as Greenwood housed various blacked owned businesses. Black people started owning shops, restaurants in Greenwood became a home for many black lawyers and doctors. Within months, the Greenwood District, Tulsa, Oklahoma, began flourishing. With little or no governmental help, the blacks started making life easier for themselves. Because of its prominence, it became known as Black Wall Street, a community built by black people to create opportunities for each other.
All was ruined when a racial riot broke out on the 31st of May, 1921. This claimed the lives of about three hundred blacks. More than nine thousand of them were rendered homeless. However, the downfall of a man isn’t the end of his life. By 1942, the remaining blacks in the area developed the Greenwood district back to its former glory, and it led to the innovations of about three hundred black-owned businesses. The Official Black Wall Street was inspired by the original Black Wall Street: The Greenwood district, the first home for many black-owned companies in the USA.
The Official Black Wall Street was launched in 2015 by Mandy Bowman, the founder and the current CEO of the initiative. Mandy Bowman is trying to recreate Black Wall Street, just like what had happened in Greenwood District, Tulsa, Oklahoma, about a hundred years ago. However, this time, because of technology, it is digital and decentralized. The platform seeks to make black businesses more renowned all over the USA and the world.
Mandy Bowman explained that she had the idea about the official black wall street in 2013 when she read about what had happened in Greenwood district, Tulsa, in the 1920s. Also, another impetus that drove Mandy was her upbringing in Brooklyn. She narrated how small black-owned businesses go out of business, especially when a big corporation is involved. Mandy explained in an interview that the Official Black Wall street started when she created a spreadsheet that listed all the black-owned businesses in her neighborhood and created social pages to create more awareness for those businesses. After the social pages, a need to develop a website arose because the social pages were growing. And by launching a kick-starter that helped raise about thirty thousand dollars, Mandy Bowman created the Official black wall street platform, which has since aided black-owned businesses in the country.
For an initiative that started in 2015, the Official Black Wall Street has been fruitful. The platform is now the largest in the country that has helped black-owned businesses to gain the correct exposure and popularity to make sales, just like what had happened in Greenwood about a century ago. Mandy Bowman launched the official black wall street app, which helps notify when one is near a black-owned business. The app is a huge step taken by the official black wall street as of now. Mandy attested to that, and the app has many positive results from black business owners and customers. It allows for a seamless flow of connectivity between the black-owned businesses and the customers. The OBWS app is the first big step towards a better and wealthier black community, and the Official Black Wall Street is just getting started.
For a platform that started as social media page that aids the promotion of black-owned businesses, it has grown exponentially, and it has achieved some of the aims it sought to achieve. The Official Black Wall Street has about six thousand black-owned businesses listed under it, and it is in about ten countries in the world. The small community that started of social pages has more than a million members of the community currently, and the app is in use in more than four hundred cities in the world. And to top it all off, the official black wall street community has circulated more than 1.7 million dollars since its inception. Also, asides from all things mentioned, the platform is featured in many top-tier publications as well. For instance, Official Black Wall Street featured in Forbes, Yahoo Finance, Essence, Revolt, Fast Company, and many more. This means one thing; Mandy Bowman and her Official black wall street platform are ready to do what it takes to make more black-owned businesses known all over the world.