Black History Month: Fostering Thriving Black Communities as Resistance to Inequity

It’s Black History Month! This month, we will celebrate by illuminating the social and economic experiences that shape the lives of African American communities. We also wanted to take a moment to share about the history of Black History Month as well as the theme for this year.

February is Black History Month, and this year, we have focused on African Americans’ ongoing resistance to oppression.

Did you know that Black History is a tradition that got its start in the Jim Crow era and was officially recognized in 1976 as part of the nation’s bicentennial celebrations? It aims to honor the contributions that African Americans have made and to recognize their sacrifices. Each year, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) chooses a different theme, with this year’s theme focusing on “Black Resistance.”

“African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression, in all forms, especially the racial terrorism of lynching, racial pogroms, and police killings since our arrival upon these shores.” (ASALH). This year’s theme was particularly chosen, in part, because of the current politically charged environment around race. It’s an effort to reframe the conversation about Black history around a theme of empowerment. Yet, resistance helps us understand the power that Black people have in terms of their historical realities, which counters the concept of victimhood that many say drives Black History education.”

The 1950s through 1970s in the United States were defined by actions such as sit-ins, boycotts, walk-outs, strikes by Black people and white allies in the fight for justice against discrimination in all sectors of society from employment to education to housing. Black people have had to consistently push the United States to live up to its ideals of freedom, liberty, and justice for all. Through our ancestors’ diligent resistance, Black led institutions and affiliations have lobbied, litigated, legislated, protested, and achieved success.

Three Ways Momentus Capital is Approaching Racial Equity

Momentus Capital is proud to empower people of color to embrace and live out their dreams by ensuring that their continued efforts of resistance against systemic oppression are not done alone.

Our mission is to help build inclusive and equitable communities by providing people access to the capital and opportunities they deserve. To that end, we are innovating ways in which capital flows into underestimated communities through our continuum of capital, including:

Credit-Blind Financing

Black entrepreneurs have experienced a legacy of multigenerational exclusion by traditional financial institutions. To begin addressing this issue, we have created our Activate Detroit loan product, which uses character-based evaluations that focus on the promise that small business owners of color can deliver to their communities.

Support for Small Business Owners of Color

Firms owned by people of color reported more significant negative effects on business revenue, employment, and operations. As a manager of the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund, we support entrepreneurs of color in the Washington metropolitan area start and grow businesses, create jobs, and build wealth.

Wealth Building and Community Revitalization with Developers of Color

The Equitable Development Initiative, Housing Equity Accelerator Fellowship, and Growing Diverse Housing Developers program – all of which provide training, mentorship, connections, and pathways to financing for developers of color – help real estate developers of color overcome systemic racial barriers that hold them back from building wealth and communities.

We recognize that fostering an economic system that respects and uplifts all peoples’ right to achieve the dreams they have for themselves, their communities, and generations to come takes dedication. This is not the work of a month. In this month and all year, we commit to taking steps to help communities achieve thriving and prosperous destinies.