Juneteenth OpEd: The New Black EmPowerment Movement Includes Ownership of Property and Business

by Nikki Lucas

Today many people are celebrating Juneteenth, the liberation from slavery.

However, to truly be free, ownership must be involved. For many years we have been boycotting and marching, without a focus on ownership. I am talking about ownership of property, land, media, business and legislation. This is the time to move forward with a Black EmPowerment Movement that empowers black people with independence and financial freedom.

In 2020 people are looking for a substantial Black EmPowerment Agenda, where black power stands for ownership and generational wealth. Holding your fist in the air and saying the words Black Power is important for the purpose of self affirmation, however in 2020 and moving forward we must place our focus on serious economic development.

Governor Cuomo mentioned that Juneteenth will become a state holiday starting next year and I believe we have to make this a day that reinforces the New Black EmPower Movement’s focus on ownership.

In my neighborhood of East New York we’ve seen billionaire developers come through to build malls and residential properties on lots that were previously vacant. There’s still another 30 years of development in the pipeline but I want to make sure the youth and millennial population in the area are aware of the opportunities that exist for them in terms of ownership and entrepreneurship, outside of the non-profit realm.

KOTA the Friend in front of the commercial building that he purchased in an all cash deal.

We will use this weekend on my weekly VOICES of East New York Video Series to discuss real ownership and freedom with Brooklyn’s KOTA The Friend, who is a global Independent hip-hop artist, with over 3 million monthly listeners of his music and over 100 million streams in 2019. His album, EVERYTHING which was his first for 2020 is expected to reach over 400 million streams. The album debuted at number one on the itunes Top 40 Hip-Hop Albums chart.

KOTA owns the rights and masters to all of his music and production. He also owns real estate, including a commercial building that contains the FLTBYS Shop, which is his apparel brand. The building also houses the FLTBYS recording studio. His first experience with selling his FLTBYS apparel in a brick and mortar store was in East New York, through the B-Shop, which was a barber shop with a skate shop in the back. The store was owned by Joshua Barker, who has now become a property owner himself.

Tune in to the show this Sunday June 21, 2020 at 9am to hear how KOTA the Friend has become a global example of independence and financial freedom for young black entrepreneurs and artists. Find out how he did it and his plans to expand his FLTBYS brand to provide artist services for other hip-hop artists and musicians, globally.

Watch the show on Facebook Livehttps://www.facebook.com/EastNewYorkNews/videos/288532285886972/

This is the beginning of providing real solutions for change.