By Robert Stitt
Atlanta rapper Killer Mike teamed up with some big names in the music business, Usher and Jermaine Dupri, to encourage black banks and businesses by opening an account with minority-owned Citizens Trust Bank.
Killer Mike made used his social media voice to put his word out on Instagram:
“Me, Usher, Polo the Don & The influencer Coalition will be at 75 Piedmont Ave. 30303 downtown ATL. Noon today. We are gonna be opening accounts there and we encourage all of u too do the same! U can keep ya big bank account and use this one as a Savings or you can bring the whole operation. What ever u decide make sure at least 1 account is with a black bank turning that dollar in our community! #ICATL #CuzImBlack #supportblackbusinesses #blackeconomics #blackdollarsmatter #SupportSmallLocalAndBlackBiz #IfYourNotBlackThatsCoolToo #AllMoneyAcceptedAndProtected #BankSmall #BankLocal #BankBlack “
Citizens Trust Bank, located at 75 Piedmont, is nearly 100 years old. According to Killer Mike the bank financed many of the businesses on the south side of Atlanta over the last century. Joining Killer Mike, Usher and Jermaine Dupri in the celebration of Black History Month were the bank’s president and Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall.
Killer Mike wanted people to know that it makes a difference when you bank black. In his words, “We’re banking small, banking local, banking BLACK! SMALL because they’re here and they’re personable, LOCAL, because you can get to your money quick and Black because that’s what we are…”
This draws a sharp distinction to the events of last month when rapper Blac Youngsta (Sam Benson) allegedly withdrew $200,000 of his $1.3 million from a Wells Fargo account in Atlanta. When he exited the bank the police threw him to the ground and cuffed him.
While he wasn’t officially charged with “Banking While Black”, Benson said of the incident, “They come bum rushing me at the car, put me on the ground; putting guns to my head, so I’m like ‘What did I do?’ A lady was like I’m not supposed to have…$200,000 on me. I’m like, ‘I’m a millionaire. How can I not have $200,000 on me? They couldn’t believe I was young, Black, handsome as hell and they couldn’t believe I was getting $200K out. I had my Rolex on with all the diamonds in it, all my rich stuff today.”
It only takes $5 to open an account with Citizens Trust Bank and they won’t call the police if you take your money back out.