The community group holds monthly meetings to teach real estate and financial literacy as a way to combat gentrification, and they abide by their slogan, “Don’t sell grandma’s house!”
By Jason Lewis
As gentrification continues to impact Black communities in South Los Angeles and Inglewood, a local group, influenced by the late rapper Nipsey Hussle, created Buy Back the Block L.A. to help their community members through financial education to be able to afford to purchase homes in their own neighborhoods.
Buy Back the Block L.A. holds monthly financial literacy workshops (on Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic) every first Wednesday of the month that discusses home ownership, entrepreneurship, credit, group economics, and other topics that lead to the type of generational wealth that Nipsey Hussle was building in South Los Angeles.
“We knew that Nipsey was about knowledge, education, reading, community, ownership, and he was on his way to being a real estate mogul,” said Danny Carter, co-founder of Buy Back the Block L.A. “We felt that we needed to do something to keep his legacy alive.”
Carter felt that he could contribute to his community through real estate education. He started investing in real estate in 2013 when he purchased a rental property in Palmdale. He currently does a lot of his investing out of state, in areas where the property is cheaper.
“I’ve been through some ups and downs through this business,” he said. “I’ve been knocked around a little bit. I’ve had some wins and I’ve had some losses. But I’ll take everything that I know and turn around and give it back to the community.”
The monthly meetings feature successful Black business people who “go through all things related to financial literacy and real estate,” Carter said. “It’s expanded from just me teaching people about real estate to now encompassing all things in terms of financial literacy. Our community needs financial literacy bad. We need to have as much information on how to make more money, and then what to do with that money. So we try to get as many experts from the community as possible in here to speak to our folks.”
This group encourages group economics, and they started an investment club because many people cannot purchase property on their own, but they can when they pool their money together with others.
“For people who are dealing with life as it comes, you should still have an outlet where if you are serious and you’re committed to your community and your family’s future, you should have an outlet where you can invest,” Carter said. “And that’s where the idea of us having an investment club came from.”
The first investment club to come out of Buy Black the Block L.A. started with group members investing $3,000 each, which led to the purchase of a rehab property in Indianapolis, Indiana. After reselling that property, they purchased a second property which they plan to use as a rental.
“This gives us an opportunity as a community to practice group economics so that we can build a better future,” Carter said.
Another way to combat gentrification in Black communities of Los Angeles and Inglewood is teaching people the importance of holding onto family homes instead of selling them for top dollar.
“There’s no reason why these houses (in South Los Angeles and Inglewood) should be over $1 million,” Carter said. “It shouldn’t even be over $800,000. To stop this, the slogan that we live by at Buy Black the Block L.A. is, ‘Don’t Sell Grandma’s House.’ If you have houses in your family, I would kill you (not literally) if I found out that you tried to sell a house in our neighborhood right now. Like, you would have to be out of your mind. I would find the money to buy it from you if you planned to sell it to somebody who is not from our community. It’s just that serious right now.”
Carter encourages anybody who is interested in building generational wealth to attend the monthly meetings.
“It doesn’t matter the level of education you have when it comes to real estate,” he said. “You might be advanced and have a degree in real estate; you might be somebody who just walked in off the street and you don’t know what an FHA loan or a down payment is. We’re here to help you. We have people on every end of the spectrum, and we have several knowledgeable people in our group.”
For more information about Buy Back the Block L.A. and for information about their meetings, visit their website at www.buybacktheblockla.com and follow them on Facebook and Instagram. Videos of their previous meetings are on their YouTube channel.