Killer Mike’s Greenwood Venture Integrates Wealth Education, Black Wall Street History

Money and wealth are integral elements of every culture. We love the intentionality that Greenwood represents.

Three customers stand outside of Barry’s Service Station in Tulsa, Oklahama in the early 1900s.
Customers stand outside of Barry’s Service Station in Tulsa, Oklahama in the early 1900s.

American rapper, Michael “Killer Mike” Render, is aiming to revive Black Wall Street with Greenwood, a digital banking platform inspired by the early 1900’s Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

In 1921, the once thriving Black community in Tulsa was attacked and nearly completely destroyed by white rioters. The majority of the community was either killed, interned or imprisoned, and Black Wall Street was leveled. Similar attacks happened in Black communities throughout the country, including in Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Arkansas, Mississippi and Virginia, to name a few.

The self-contained neighborhoods — occupied by family members of former slaves — had been able to create economies that thrived without the help or partnership of white communities or establishments.

The mission of the new Greenwood is to help underserved communities build back wealth — and thrive — by not only offering an application to manage funds digitally, but by including resources that can help individuals build and maintain wealth.

Picture of band marching on Greenwood Avenue in Tulsa in the early 1900s. Courtesy Greenwood Cultural Center

Greenwood isn’t a bank. Rather, it’s a facilitator of financial and educational services with an emphasis on Black and Latino financial wellness. Under the Greenwood umbrella, the banking service is provided by Coastal Community Bank.

Also under the Greenwood umbrella, Greenwood Studios features educational programs that help members learn how to manage and grow their finances. In addition, Greenwood Studios offers historical content about Black and Latino history.

Mainstream banks are following suit. Wells Fargo and JPMorgan are among the investors are investing in Greenwood, totaling more than $40 million in investments. This is big news for the Black-owned venture because JPMorgan in particular has been accused of discriminating against Black customers in recent years.

Chidiebere Kalu, director of project management at Greenwood, told Fortune in an interview last November that he’s happy with JPMorgan’s decision to invest in Greenwood despite the accusations, “Whatever you did in the past, it happened,” he said. “But the fact that you took the step today is what matters most.”

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Greenwood is committed to elevating Black and Latino communities. Oppressive power dynamics exist within families too. We are inspired by this story to think more deeply about what it means to honor our legacies while creating better lives for everyone.



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