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Money talks: The Black community and the value of the dollar

Last night’s episode “REVOLT BLACK NEWS” discussed wealth, financial progression and economic hurdles in the Black community during the pandemic.

Inspired by Sean “Diddy” Combs’ successful “State Of Emergency: The State of Black America & Coronavirus” town hall, “REVOLT BLACK NEWS” is a platform that is designed to report news from the perspective of Black people for Black people.

This episode of “REVOLT BLACK NEWS” titled “Money Talks” addressed all things money from financial setbacks and increased progress in the Black community, as well as the power of Black culture when added to any platform. Host and executive producer Eboni K. Williams was joined by Karen Civil, Morgan DeBaun, Ross Mac, Ryan Wilson, Ash Cash Exantus, Steelo Brim, Rashan Ali, Kaz Famuyide and Ashley Carrington.

What does currency say about Black folks’ worth? This was the question posed by Williams during the introduction as she explained the value and impact of the dollar sign in the Black community. She opened up last night’s discussion with the announcement of the new drop-in audio app Clubhouse amassing a worth of $1 billion. DeBaun, Wilson and Civil were welcomed onto the screen and without hesitancy, DeBaun shared her thoughts.

“At the end of the day, Clubhouse is a moonshot product and it’s a business that’s tried to beat Facebook and Twitter with huge valuations,” the Blavity founder shared. She further shared her frustrations about building products with these higher valuations and making sure that “our companies will continue to be successful and get the value that we deserve.”

On the topic of ownership, Williams brought up Master P’s comments about retaining Black intellectual property and acknowledging the impact of the culture’s influence. According to Wilson, some of Clubhouse’s success could possibly be attributed to the social unrest in the Black community and the pandemic, though it did organically fulfill a need in the social media space.

“It gives you an opportunity to connect with people you would have ordinarily not met,” the Gathering Spot founder shared. “I do think that some of what we saw last year may have accelerated the pace of the growth of the company.” He added that we should continue to use the app to understand Silicon Valley and amplify other companies that we’d like to spotlight.

As a serial entrepreneur, Civil, who recently launched her “Girl, I Guess” podcast on The Joe Budden Network with best friend Ming Lee, offered a few words of advice about building and monetizing a brand. “You really need to build and be very authentic with your audience first. Make sure they know who you are as an individual or whatever your business is and how it works for them,” the Live Civil founder shared.

After sharing sources such as BizJournals, RebuildBlackBusiness.com and Diverse Representation, Williams transitioned into last night’s “Headlines.” Topics included Trump’s impeachment articles being delivered to the Senate and Biden using the two-week time period before the impeachment trial to secure his cabinet members. “Here’s something that’s pretty interesting,” she pointed out about the notion that the Senate needs two-thirds majority votes for conviction. “The aspect of disqualification from future office, that actually has no real constitutional linkage so it doesn’t require the two-thirds majority vote. There only needs to be a simple majority, 51 senators, to disqualify Trump from holding future office again.”

With the Democrat majority and five Republican senators who voted to hold the impeachment trial, this simple majority is certainly possible.

More topics included the grand jurors from Breonna Taylor’s case filing a petition against Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron for impeachment, Uganda high court issuing a high security force to vacate Bobi Wine’s home, reports of COVID-19 numbers decreasing in California by 38%, and Biden issuing an executive order to further establish racial equity.

Following a tribute to the life of Major League Baseball legend Hank Aaron was a conversation facilitated by Mac featuring Harrington and Cash. Mac first turned his attention to Harrington to gauge her thoughts on Biden’s executive order signing that included pausing student loan payments, assistance for unemployment, the $15 minimum wage and how it will impact the Black community directly. “This pandemic has been going on [for] a really long time as we have seen. This is a first step but we need a lot more,” she said after explaining how the Black community has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 including Black women bearing the brunt of student loans and the Black community being more likely to be unemployed.

As the conversation continued in the direction of the Paycheck Protection Program and Biden’s student loan forgiveness proposal, Mac turned to Cash to ask about the psychology of fiscal responsibility. First, according to him, we must change our relationship with money. “We’re taught in our community that we gotta work hard for money where the truth of the matter is that money needs to work hard for us,” he said as he further explained the importance of focusing on our assets and transforming earned revenue into assets versus liabilities.

For this week’s “Black Excellence in Entertainment,” Williams was joined by Brim to discuss all things pop culture and entertainment news. They shared their thoughts on UCLA gymnast Nia Dennis’ floor routine during the season opener, “Cops and Robbers” Netflix animated co-directors donating proceeds to HBCUs, John Boyega starring alongside Robert De Niro in Netflix’s The Formula, and Nielsen reporting that Pixar’s Soul starring Jamie Foxx topping the streaming record with 1.7 billion minutes.

“It’s a way for obviously Hollywood to see that we can be strong not just on-camera or just as performers or entertainers, but through our actual voices,” Brim shared his thoughts on Foxx being the first Black lead ever in a Pixar film and Soul earning such high ratings. “I think that it’s dope that it’s actually Jamie, one of the greatest entertainers of our time if not ever, had the opportunity to play this character. He really brought it to life.”

Last, but not least, were the “Sports Headlines” facilitated by sports journalists Famuyide and Ali. Before hopping into current news, the two honored the lives of Kobe and Gianna Bryant who were tragically killed in a helicopter crash one year ago. “Not only was Kobe Bryant such a legend, he was our peer so it felt like we knew him in a different kind of way,” Ali said with a joyous smile as she reminisced about the late basketball player’s legacy. “The day that he passed away, he wasn’t the Kobe Bryant that was breaking records and winning championships, he was just being a girl dad.”

After remembering the star’s legacy, Ali and Famiyude discussed Jennifer King making history as the first full-time Black woman coach in NFL history, Patrick Mahomes defending his title against Tom Brady for the Super Bowl matchup, Tampa Bay Buccaneers revealing a lineup of Black male coaches, and the Super Bowl still gearing up to host fans amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If currency is the mouthpiece of so much of our livelihood, then how ‘bout we amplify that voice?” Williams challenged REVOLT viewers. She charged the digital audience with the task to head to Change.org to replace Andrew Jackson with Harriett Tubman on the $20 bill, which she says “should not even be a point of contention.”

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