Andre Spivey

Andre has over 10 years of experience in Tech and Start-ups ranging from the advanced tech in the US Air Force to building his own educational software company Live 2 Learn Differently. His is a proud graduate of Morris Brown College and Cornell University.

From 2002 to 2007, the number of black-owned businesses increased by 60.5 percent to 1.9 million, more than triple the national rate of 18.0 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Over the same period, receipts generated by black-owned businesses increased 55.1 percent to $137.5 billion. Compare that with a spending power of over $1Trillion, African-American communities are poised for positive economic growth.

In his American classic “The Mis-Education of The Negro”, Carter G. Woodson, not only touches on education, but he speaks directly about how it’s connected to economics and employment in the African-American community.  He explains that as we shifted out of slavery, into reconstruction and into integration, we transferred those skills and businesses outside of the neighborhoods that we lived in and as the current #BankBlack hashtag typifies, it’s time to bring it back home.

Woodson also points out, the everyday businesses that once existed, the ice cream carts, and small pop-up restaurants, disappeared as many of those small business owners left to become managers and executives in businesses in white communities. Often being enticed with higher pay, due to years of living within a system that bred the belief of inferiority, the jobs themselves seemed more prestigious. But the grass isn’t always greener.

Quite often this mentality persists even today, many see it as a “step up” to be an executive of a large company, as compared to being a local grocery store owner or say, a barber.  This mentality is a bit skewed, because those local business owners are CEO’s, bosses in charge of themselves and they provide vital services as well as jobs within said communities.  Whereas, larger companies, which appear to be ‘so fancy’, were once those small mom and pop shops. That being said, there is a plethora of skills within our community that continues to build and has been sparked by a new sense of need, interdependence and the desire to control our own destiny. Hence, #BankBlack

From tech, banking to beauty, African Americans are reclaiming their products and vital business relationships, in fact, this has even extended into the furniture industry.  Although the industry is often ignored, unless we think of companies like Ashley’s and IKEA, there are African Americans using their craftsman skills and business skills to develop viable businesses within this arena. Check out a few awesome black-owned furniture companies below to consider when making your next home buying purchase.

Lakay Designs in Miami, FL

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Uhuru Furniture in Oakland, CA


Clever Raven in Chatanooga, TN


A quick Google search will reveal there are more companies, doing amazing things. Let’s join the #BankBlack movement and begin to support the companies that are providing jobs for our youth, not just with “re-tweets” and post, but with dollars, in purchases and investments. This behavior is what builds communities and nations and helps us pass on a legacy of wealth.

Featured images is of Lakay Designs.

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