For Us, By Us: How ATL’s Legacy Center Came To Be And Why We Believe It’s Important
Power couple Jay And Ernestine Morrison opens The Legacy Center in Atlanta, providing opportunities for generational wealth in East Atlanta.
January 10, 2020 at 7:55 am
We’re moving on up — to the east side! The east side of Atlanta, because we finally got a piece of the pie. Finally! Yes, in 2020 the playing field will be leveled and the revolution will be televised with the help of those who have a passion and purpose to see change in the Black community.
Mr. and Mrs. Morrison, Ernestine and Jay to just about all of those they touch, celebrated the grand opening of The Legacy Center, Wednesday, January 8, 2020. It’s a project they have been manifesting for a few years that finally came into fruition with the help of the first African American-owned crowdfund — with over 9,600 investors — perfectly named, Tulsa Real Estate Fund. It correlates to the area that was destroyed in 1921, known as Black Wall Street, during the Tulsa Race Massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was the largest ownership of Black-owned businesses and homes in U.S. history. Now, the building that the Morrisons have opened is cutely nicknamed, “The Black House.” This is a venture created for Black people by Black people.
In attendance for the ribbon cutting was a mixture of political representatives, celebrities, mainstream media, social media influencers, friends, family and crowdfund investors. Deana Holiday Ingraham, the Mayor of East Point, presented the Morrisons with a proclamation to commemorate the day and to cement it into history, as the building is located in an Opportunity Zone two miles from Tyler Perry Studios. Overflowing love and support filled the front lawn as activist Tamika Mallory, hostess of ceremony, introduced various speakers and guests, and spoke about the journey the Morrisons traveled to bring this venture to the people. As the only African-American crowdfund, the Morrisons underwent micromanaging and strict oversight as well as several audits. The more scrutiny they received, the stronger and more determined they became to persevere.
As Jay and Ernestine took to the mic to thank everyone for coming, they both shared personal stories of valleys in their lives. Ernestine had just lost her grandfather the night before the opening which made it even more bittersweet. Jay spoke about his early years and the troubled life he led (which landed him in prison) and the path he took to build himself to a new life in prosperity. As they raised the Black flag for the Tulsa Real Estate Fund, “TREF life," reality of ownership pride came over the crowd. When they cut the ribbon to officially open the doors, a united chant of “we did that” surged with an energetic rush of triumph, knowing that anything is possible with support, love and organization. This crowdfunding venture has spoken truth to real life. We are not outnumbered, we are out-organized.
The Legacy Center was opened for tours and officially started offering co-working spaces, conference and education room rentals through memberships. The space is stylishly designed with a black, white and gold theme by Chris and Yvonne Johnson of Reclaimed Karma, a husband and wife team. The Morrisons were intentional about working with Black businesses on the project. The decor showcases our greatness as Black people with artistic photographs of Harriet Tubman to Treyvon Martin hanging on the walls throughout the space. From the ancestors that have fought, struggled and paved the way before us to those that have been killed unjustly, the center is encompassing of all that we have given as a people and all that we have yet to give to each other and our communities. This is the Phase I offering.
Phase II will be completed in Spring of 2020 and will offer more coworking spaces, an event space and a production studio complete with full green screen capabilities. As an actress, Ernestine champions Black creatives with their entertainment company Greenlit ATL. By hosting networking events for aspiring industry hopefuls, it connects writers, producers, actors, photographers and the like with the people and resources that they need in order to fund and produce projects.
As the Black community continues to foster educators, Black culture continues to lead as creatives. The Legacy Center is all inclusive with class offerings by seasoned professionals, such as tax preparation, real estate education, credit repair, business funding as well as parenting and anger management, appealing to all generations. From baby boomers to Generation Z, you can find what you need to get educated, change your life, build wealth and leave a legacy.
For more information on how to invest in the Tulsa Real Estate Fund, visit TulsaRealEstateFund.com
For more information about The Legacy Center, visit LegacyCenter.com
Rufus and Jenny Triplett are an award-winning husband and wife team that co-owns Dawah International LLC, a multimedia company. They are bestselling authors, media personalities, business mentors, diversity disruptors, international speakers, social media influencers and co-hosts of 'Surviving Marriage Podcast'.