This year has brought about a resurgence in the discourse over civil rights and equity for Black Americans after centuries of inequality. Along with calls for police reform and better representation in leadership across all industries and levels of government, many are seeking ways to support Black-owned businesses and foster wealth within the Black community. One such way is to buy stock in Black-owned companies.
If you are a supporter of Black Lives Matter who wants to put your money where your mouth is, add these publicly traded companies with Black founders or owners to your investment portfolio.
Urban One, Inc. (UONEK)
Urban One is a media conglomerate based in Silver Spring, Md. It is the largest Black-owned broadcasting company in the U.S., operating several radio stations and TV One. Urban One also operates several popular syndicated radio shows, including The Rickey Smiley Show and Keepin' It Real with Reverend Al Sharpton.
The company was founded and is currently operated by Cathy Hughes (pictured above). When Urban One, (then called Radio One) went public in 1999, Hughes became the first Black woman to lead a publicly traded company.
Axsome Therapeutics (AXSM)
Axsome is a biopharmaceutical company developing therapies for disorders that affect the central nervous system, including fibromyalgia, depression, and migraines. The company intends to file two new drug applications (NDA) in 2020 with the FDA, one for a therapy for major depressive disorder (MDD) and one for the acute treatment of migraine. The founder, chairman, and CEO of Axsome is Herriot Tabuteau, MD.
American Shared Hospital Services (AMS)
San Francisco-based American Shared Hospital Services is a healthcare company that leases medical equipment such as radiosurgery technology to hospitals and medical centers. Machines such as those used in proton beam radiation therapy can cause tens of millions of dollars, so care centers often cannot pay cash upfront to upgrade their facilities with these state-of-the-art technologies. ASHS was founded by Dr. Ernest A. Bates, M.D in 1977. While he retired as president and CEO in April, he remains Chairman of the Board of Directors until the end of the year. His son is also on the executive leadership team.
Citizens Bancshares Corporation (CZBS)
In addition to "banking Black" with Black-owned banks and credit unions, investors may also seek to add publicly traded financial institutions like Citizens Bancshares Corporation to their portfolio. The holding company for Citizens Trust Bank, the oldest and largest Black-owned bank, Citizens has been operating for nearly a century and ended 2019 up 18 percent from its previous year's total assets.
Along with many Black-owned companies trading on NASDAQ, CZBS hit its height for the year so far on Juneteenth. However, given the upward trend of annual dividend payments to shareholders, it may be a wise investment.
Carver Bancorp (CARV)
The holding company for Carver Federal Savings, another Black-owned bank, the Harlem-based institution was chartered in 1948 and has Black inventor George Washington Carver as its namesake. Trading at around half the price of Citizens Bancorp is expected to rise in the next three months so it may be a good time to acquire.