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For Black History Month, data, arts, and economic empowerment

February is Black History Month, when we celebrate the achievements of Black Americans, reflect on the hard-won progress made toward a more just and equitable society, and take stock of the challenges that remain!

This month, we want to highlight some of our partners and programs that are working to advance racial wealth equity, sharing important traditions and stories from the past, and showcasing Black arts and culture.

The Black Wealth Data Center

Did you know that Black people in the U.S. pay higher average home loan interest rates than any other racial and ethnic groups? Did you know that Florida is home to more Black-owned businesses than any other state? Or that in 2022, almost 36% of Black households carried education debt?

These numbers — and many others — come from the Black Wealth Data Center’s Racial Wealth Equity Database, which empowers decision-makers working to improve and chronicle economic opportunity by making it easier for them to find and analyze reliable data correlated to economic well-being and progress by race. The Database is a resource launched with support from the Bloomberg Philanthropies Greenwood Initiative, which is focused on accelerating the pace of wealth accumulation for Black individuals and families and addressing systemic underinvestment in Black communities.

Take a moment to explore the site’s resources, including data visualizations, a resource library with analysis from experts, and categorized wealth indicators tracking data on education, homeownership, assets and debts, and more:

For more insights, listen to this episode of our Follow the Data podcast, where Katherine Oliver speaks with Garnesha Ezediaro, who leads the Greenwood Initiative, Darrick Hamilton, the Founding Director of the Institute for the Study of Race, Stratification and Political Economy at the New School, and Lamar Gardere, the Executive Director at The Data Center of Southeast Louisiana and national recipient of the Black Wealth Data Center and National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership’s Local Data and Engagement Grant Program.

Celebrating Black Voices and Stories

This month, Bloomberg Connects is highlighting Black stories, voices, and artists touching on the themes of race, equity, society, and history. Follow along on InstagramFacebook, and Threads, to see the featured works and learn more about the artists.

A lady with mask on showing her muscle

Make sure you download the free Bloomberg Connects app too, so you can explore more about the featured art and artists — and more than 350 cultural institutions around the world.

Connecting with History through Hands to Heritage

Part of our Women’s Economic Development Initiative, Hands to Heritage has helped foster economic opportunities through the traditional art of sweetgrass basket weaving.

The initiative and a documentary about the women and communities involved have also raised awareness about the history of the Gullah people in Charleston, South Carolina and the culture and art of weaving baskets, which dates to the 1700s and represents one of the oldest West African art forms in America. Watch the documentary to see how Hands to Heritage has helped build ties to Black history, connected cultures and generations across continents, and played a role in important work on peace and reconciliation.