Black Panther has sparked a cultural renaissance among African Americans pushing for more positive images and supporting afro-futurism. From an increase in sales of traditional African dress to events and applications centered around the movie, Black Panther has energized the African American community, but what we haven’t seen is its focus around generational wealth… until now. Meet Wacoinda, the fastest-growing black group focused on economics in the black community.
Black Enterprise caught up with co-founder Lamar Wilson to get more insight into the group and to find out how black folks can get involved.
Black Enterprise: Wacoinda, obviously a play on words. What does it mean and what is the group about?
Lamar Wilson: We’re a Facebook group that is centered around cryptocurrency and financial education that encompasses black wealth, power, and influence. We are also one of the fastest-growing black technology and economic groups on Facebook because we provide an open forum that cultivates ideas that push opportunities. Our members are the core of the group’s existence. One of the members Talisha Shine of Virginia said it best: “Through a collaborative effort, technology, and innovation, we can build and sustain a viable and thriving nation.”
Speaking of your members, what has the feedback been so far?
Erlene Miller of Baltimore shared, “The Wacoinda movement is bringing like-minded family members from around the world, regardless of race, creed or national origin, to plan and strategize together on how to tear down economic barriers. It is beautiful to see all races working together for a common goal.”
“Wacoinda has exposed me to perspectives and opportunities that excite me about what we can do leveraging the blockchain and working together,” said Jeremi Murray of Chicago.
“It is great seeing so many of my black people networking and trying to help build each other up,” said Tyree Griffith of San Diego.
“It has inspired this 60-year-old grandmother who went into retirement dust off, update my computer science, marketing, client service experience…and reinvent myself… through investment and knowledge in the up-and-rising crypto-based industries,” said Sheryl Luster Phillips of New Jersey.
There seems to be a sense of community. How is your group different than others?
If I can share one of the quotes from our member Shawn Sorsby, all the way in Freeport, Bahamas—after reading it, this is why we are different and this is why people connect and thrive in our community: “The only way to fight against any injustice in this world is with unity. Wacoinda not only brings like-minded people from all over the world together but does it in love, the strongest force against the evils of injustice. We all know that Black Panther is a fictional character, but in Wacoinda there are real-life Black Panthers, of all colors, who believe in freedom and ownership, and that it’s more powerful to love than to be loved.” That’s how we’re different, we are a community that through love wants to change the world.”
You go live in your group; how do you decide whom to interview?
I interview people that want to present opportunities to the community or people that I know in the crypto space. I do not encourage any investment, however, I interview individuals who have companies or ideas that center around the foundation of our group-financial empowerment and cryptocurrency. We’ve had the founder of Zen coin Frank Banks, Black Momma Vodka, Mrs. Vanessa Braxton as well as Tavonia Evans of Guap Coin and Jimmy Song to name a few.
But I will also interview individuals who want our community to invest in their project and I’ll ask the hard questions. Wacoindans don’t play! What I mean by that is if I need to interview and vet an individual I will because we want to make sure that the information we filter through our group is one that is about building up and not tearing down. But we have a good time in this group, blending fun with serious issues.
How does this group allow individuals to be interactive in the financial arena?
We recently started the Wacoinda-Market. You have to be a member of Wacoinda first, but we want to promote black businesses. In the Wacoinda-Market we want people to connect and find products or services within our community that they wouldn’t have known existed. We have apparel, jewelry, legal services, a resume, and editing service as well as the first black-owned drone photography company that post in the Wacoinda-Market. It’s great seeing people connect with their dollars as well.
How can new members join?