With national unemployment figures on the decline, Black spending in the United States has reached record levels, amounting to an estimated $1.3 trillion in 2018. Despite the increase in spending power, Black households still earn a fraction of what white households earn.

OneUnited Bank, the largest Black-owned bank in the country, is hoping to address that disparity with a new initiative announced in early October. It's been dubbed "BankBlack X." 



In a blog post explaining the move, the bank said BankBlack X would "close the racial wealth gap" while giving Black customers a variety of fun new features to test out. The bank noted that the median family wealth for white Americans is $171,000 compared to just $17,600 for Black people.

Their ultimate goal for the project is to increase financial literacy in the Black community and promote sound monetary decisions. With BankBlack X, the bank offers customers free courses and information at the online Financial Education Center, a new BankBlack Card and BankBlack Early Pay, which lets people receive their paycheck two days early.





"We have many weapons to affect change, starting with the truth. The reality is that almost everything we have been taught about Black Americans and money has been wrong. We have been bamboozled and led astray…for 400 years. We need to share the truth to make financial literacy a core value of our community!" said Teri Williams, president and COO of OneUnited Bank.

Williams added in a press release that the initiative was designed to "instill a sense of pride and use technology to share America's true history that despite facing discrimination for over 400 years, Black Americans have been able to advance equality, for themselves and other communities that face rampant discrimination."

OneUnited Bank is also working on a project with The New York Times and Sirius Radio Urban View where they will hold a town hall centered on the groundbreaking 1619 Project on November 5. The mind behind the 1619 Project, Nikole Hannah-Jones, will be in attendance as well as a slate of other journalists.