Celebrate Give Black Day: a partnership between local Black-owned businesses and The Pitch
We here at The Pitch have partnered with a coalition of Black businesses and organizers to help push for systemic change in our community. All day today, we’ll be pushing out #GiveBlackDay videos and other information produced by our partners. To explain more, here is a statement from Brandon Calloway:
Over the past few months there has been an ongoing conversation about systemic racism in America. Since the killing of George Floyd, Brionna Taylor, and the murder of Ahmad Aubrey all coming to light in May, more people are talking about the existence of systemic racism and anti-blackness in America. This has led us to another moment of trying to figure out what exactly to do about it.
There has been a lot of talk about how this moment is different. About how people are waking up to the deep-seeded systemic racism in our country for the first time. About how we can no longer ignore the clear and present evil in front of us that is racism. That talk has been for white people, because none of this is new for people of color, especially Black people. Black people do not get the luxury of ignoring racism. It is hard to ignore it when you constantly come across retailers that suggest you might not be able to afford something because you’re Black. When you are told by your high school friend, that they’re not allowed to come over to your house because you are Black. When you are constantly stopped by the police, just so they can check if you have a warrant for your arrest. This moment might be new, but the issue is not.
However, since we are having this conversation right now, it is important that we not get lost in the national discussion on abstract issues. Kansas City has a long and clear racist history that has created a system of self-perpetuating racism in which all of its residents participate. That does not mean that Kansas City residents are evil. It means that the practices of redlining and other racist policies in Kansas City were so effective at creating a racially segregated community, that we are still feeling the effects of that intentional segregation nearly 100 years later, whether we are actively participating in it or not.
It has created a Kansas City where are wealthiest neighborhoods are predominately white and our poorest neighborhoods are predominately Black. This was done intentionally, and when these practices were ended, nothing was done to make up for the decades of disadvantages that the Black community experienced. This is why we still feel the effects today.
Black median household income is only 54% of white median household income, and the percentage of black households in poverty (24.67%) is substantially higher than the percentage of white households in poverty (7.97%). Kansas City Public Schools remain highly segregated. Only 10% of the students are white, and the black/white achievement gap persists. The average ACT score for black students is 14.4 compared to 22.8 for white students. Banks are twice as likely to provide business loans to white applicants than Black ones, and three times as likely to have follow-up meetings with white applicants than more qualified Black applicants (A 2017 study by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition). Lenders deny mortgages for Black applicants at a rate 80% higher than that of white applicants, according to an analysis of the most recent data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.
I think it is clear that if we fail to take direct action, we can only watch these intentional racial disparities continue to persist. Give Black KC is that action. It is a plan that puts the power in the hands of Black-led nonprofits that are focused on making systemic change in the Black community.
Give Black KC is a single day where Generating Income For Tomorrow, The Urban League of Greater Kansas City, and The Greenline Initiative have come together for this collective fundraiser with the goal of raising $600,000. A donation to Give Black KC will go to increasing access to higher education, increasing expansion of Black-owned businesses, and increasing the development of quality affordable homeownership, all in the urban core of our city, where Black poverty is most concentrated.
By expanding Black-owned businesses in the urban core of Kansas City, we create jobs for the residents of the urban core, we build Black wealth, and we increase Black participation in the means of production in our economy. Homeownership is one of the primary builders of wealth in America, so increasing quality and affordable homeownership in the urban core further builds Black wealth. It has also been shown that access to quality higher education is one of many stepping stones out of poverty.
By combining all of these methods, we are creating a new system that serves to replace the old system, put in place 100 years ago. This system is intentionally anti-racist and will serve as the bedrock for further action in addressing racial equity.
So after many months of civil unrest, peaceful protest, corporate statements, and global conversations on the existence of systemic racism, it is now time for action. Give Black KC is the next step in this movement locally. It is beyond time to take the necessary action to create transformational change in the urban core of our city. Be a part of the change. Be a part of this system.
Donate today at giveblackkc.org or by texting GiveBlackKC to 44-321