On Saturday, during the first day of the Wealth & Power portion of this year’s 2020 Essence Festival of Culture, Don Lemon, Master P, Tamika Mallory and U.S. Census representative Kendall Johnson spoke about the role Black people play in strengthening our communities.
One of the subjects the panel spoke about was the 2020 Census, in which Johnson explained why it matters.
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“The census is about money and power. The results determine how over $600,000,000,000 are allocated across the country, across the communities over the next 10 years. Census data is used to help redraw state congressional and legislative lines. It ties directly to voting. If you do not self-identify, you’re leaving those to draw the lines how they want to, and not based on the population that’s there,” Johnson stated.
Johnson went on to explain that filling out the census doesn’t take more than 10 minutes, but the data lasts for 10 years.
Another thing that was touched upon in the conversation is how the importance of voting should extend beyond the presidential elections. Master P brought up an excellent point about local and state-level elections, especially when it comes to judges.
“We’re not putting in African-American judges into these places. We’re not putting in the right people we believe in that will fight for our rights and who can make a difference,” he said.
In addition to the census, Master P also brought up the fact that it’s integral for the Black community to support Black businesses and to help rebuild those that were destroyed when looters took advantage of the protests that were taking place over the last couple of weeks.
“We need to educate people on financial literacy. How come we don’t own any of these communities? If we don’t stop that, we’re gonna be in trouble” he continued.