Before sitting down to watch the show I barely knew who Killer Mike was. I vaguely remember hearing his name across the news for saying some things that could be perceived by some people as controversial but other than that, I knew nothing of the man. So, I didn’t click on the show because of name recognition. Instead I chose to give the show a shot because of the combination of images and words presented on the screen.
A black and white image of a large imposing black man under the words “trigger warning” with the American flag as a backdrop, piqued my interest. I immediately started to wonder if he was about to come out spouting a bunch of “woke” buzz words and phrases? Would he be race baiting? Giving the same recycled speeches about what it means to be black in America? I had to know. So I sat down to watch the first episode.
Season 1 episode 1: Living Black
The episode opens with a self introduction by the rapper/ activist. After listing a few of his accomplishments, which include being the owner of a chain of barber shops in Georgia, Mike goes on to preface the episode by recalling his early life education on segregation and racism by his grandfather. He postulates that during pre-desegregation black people could only patronize black businesses which forced the black dollar to remain in the black community. Coincidentally, during that time there existed a black working and middle class where families could afford to send their children to universities. From there arises his self imposed challenge. To live solely within the black economy for three days.
Everything that Mike uses, eats, and consumes must be 100% produced by black people and sold by black people.
At the onset of the challenge, Mikes takes inventory of his home and quickly realizes just how much of his life is invested in the white dollar and so, he is forced to immediately find black created/owned replacements for his white and non white owned /created products. Everything from his toothpaste to his cars had to be substituted. Now this seems like a difficult, yet doable, task as he is currently in one of the most black populated cities in America but, Mike has a show to perform in three days in a city that is not as heavily saturated in the African American culture. Not only will he need to find a way to get there, but he also needs to obtain the basics like food and water along the way.
I watched in awe at his determination to stick to the challenge even as he faced adversities which included a brief stint of homelessness, and was refreshed at his outlook on the black community and the importance of investing in your own.
By the end of the episode I was left feeling like I could be, and should doing more to contribute to keeping my black dollar within my community so I set out to find black businesses to spend my money with every Friday as Mike challenged me to do.
I did literally one google search an was presented with a wealth of information!
I was not expecting this type of entertainment from someone named Killer Mike, nor was I expecting anything said in this docu-series to resonate with me or move me to want to create change in my own house. After seeing Mike’s struggle to financially live within the black economy in non-black areas I realize there is an entire market to be tapped into out there and some of us have already started the revolution.
Have you watched the series yet? What did you think of the first episode? What were some of your favorite moments? Let’s talk about it down below!
Until next time…
Don’t judge me, you don’t know my life!!!