Bun B, Hip Hop Icon & Entrepreneur (left) and ewel Burks Solomon, Head of Google Startups & Entrepreneur (right) at NewsOne Presents: ‘Real Talk Drives Real Change’ Tour in Houston

All roads led to Houston for NewsOne’s four-city speaking tour ‘Real Talk Drives Real Change,’ a discussion series exploring important issues that impact the Black community.

NewsOne partnered with Chevrolet to focus on financial freedom and how to achieve that under systemic structural barriers at the University of Houston’s Cullen Performance Arts Center. 

Mike Muse, host and co-creator of the tour, led the conversation featuring prominent leaders in entertainment and entrepreneurship, including Houston Hip Hop icon Bun B, former NBA Champion John Salley, Head of Google for Startup Jewels Burks Solomon, and Founder of Urban Hydration Psychelia Terry.

“Financial freedom for me really gives me the opportunity to manage my energy so that I don’t move throughout this world with so much stress because stress can severely damage your health, and it’s a particular problem for us in the Black community dealing with cholesterol, high blood pressure, Bun B said. “Having financial freedom allows you to not wake up every day and wonder where the money is going to come from… that alleviates a high amount of stress.”

Kennedy L. Morrow Sr, a retired U.S Army soldier and inventor of the “Smoked Turkey Leg Case,” was one of many in attendance who were looking for resources and ways to increase their revenue streams. “I wanted to learn more about what’s available out here in the Houston metro area in terms of helping minorities and entrepreneurs,” he said. “Financial independence means being able to do what you want when you want to do it, and how you want.”

For decades, the Black community has had limited access to building wealth for generations. Research shows that Black families have an estimated one-eighth of the wealth white families have. Perry said one way for the Black people to be financially successful is through group economics.

“The number one detriment to the Black community is everybody else that’s coming for us, meaning people who are not shopping for our products, [and] not pushing us forward,” she said. “If they are not for us, they are against us. We have to support each other.”

Laura Onyeneho

I cover Houston's education system as it relates to the Black community for the Defender as a Report for America corps member. I'm a multimedia journalist and have reported on social, cultural, lifestyle,...