Day 16: National Black Marketers Day

The Black Marketers Coalition (B.M.C.) was founded in 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia, to support Black marketers in America, in and outside the workplace.

I didn’t even know this was a day — but I did know Black people were underrepresented in the world of marketing, which is where I have my background.

I thought I’d find out a little about the history of Black marketing and commerce, and it led me to Black Wall Street — which was a popular name for Greenwood, a historic freedom colony in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was one of the busiest concentrations of Black businesses in the USA during the early 20th century.

And it was burned to the ground in the Tulsa race massacre of 1921, because white supremacists couldn’t it when Black people had nice things.

And just in case you think this was the work of an angry few racists, let’s get one thing straight: within ten years of the massacre, surviving residents who chose to remain in Tulsa rebuilt much of Greenwood. They accomplished this despite the opposition of many white Tulsa political and business leaders and punitive rezoning laws enacted to prevent reconstruction.

Discrimination is built into our laws, our systems, our ways of life.

It’s not enough to call out racial slurs (but please do that) or stand up for people who are being attacked (and please do that too) — until we change the systems and remove the systemic barriers and weapons, nothing much will change.

That goes for all marginalised groups. And even white dudes because the only people who benefit from all this structural discrimination are rich white dudes. Everyone else is harmed by it.

Set a timer for 5 minutes and write about what comes to mind when you read about all this.



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Notes in the Margin

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About the Author Vicky Fraser