Hollywood star and former U.S. presidential appointee Hill Harper is on a mission to deepen financial literacy in underserved communities in a bid to drive financial inclusion. Financial literacy in underserved communities remains low and this situation has been attributed to the lack of financial inclusion and banks’ unwillingness to serve in deprived areas.
To this end, Harper has launched The Black Wall Street (TBWS), becoming the first Black person to own a digital wallet and cryptocurrency exchange platform in the United States. The actor intends to use TBWS as a major step in closing the racial wealth gap in the U.S.
The sole purpose of The Black Wall Street, unlike the traditional financial institutions, is to provide persons of color the opportunity to be involved in the transfer of wealth with cryptocurrency and decentralized finance. Also, the Black Wall Street DigitalWallet will connect financial services with the financially underserved populations, everyone from the disadvantaged “unbanked and underbanked” to the savvy cost-efficient consumer.
“Our technology seeks to replicate the brick and mortar Black Wall Street, as a digital ecosystem that will galvanize the financially excluded and directly stimulate the economic growth and spending in marginalized communities everywhere,” Harper said in a statement.
He added: “With the Black Wall Street technology, we seek to make obsolete payday lenders and other financial predators plaguing our communities, while simultaneously creating cross-generational wealth transfer, for people who have historically been taught to work for our wages instead of making our wages work for us…because Black Cash Matters.”
The name of the app was inspired by the original Black Wall Street in Tulsa, which was destroyed by White extremists 100 years ago. Despite the unfortunate incident which many believe led to the destruction of Black economic power, it is still the most successful Black economic community in the U.S.
In May, The Black Walk Street will embark on a 30-day financial literacy tour, “The Digital Financial Revolution” National Bus Tour, which will start in Los Angeles and end on Greenwood Avenue in Tulsa, OK. It will visit 30 of the most densely populated and economically challenged communities across the U.S. to educate people about The Black Wall Street App & DigitalWallet.
Harper is an entrepreneur and an award-winning actor. The former Barack Obama appointee serves on the Board of Directors of the National Black Bank Fund and he has been named Honorary National Co-Chair of the Redevelopment of Black Wall Street by the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce.
He is passionate about technology, financial literacy, and social & economic justice. The entrepreneur is a graduate of Brown University. He also holds a Master’s in Public Administration, with honors, from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and holds seven honorary doctoral degrees.