At Huntington Bank in Cleveland, OH, Paul McCowns was attempting to cash a paycheck from a new job. Worth over $1000, tellers doubted the legitimacy, called his employer, and then police.
Going to the bank can occasionally be an event, but no one expects the feds to appear. McCowns, a 30-year-old Black male, began his new career for an electric company three weeks prior. When he visited the Huntington branch in Brooklyn, OH, a suburb of Cleveland, he initially had no problems. As a non-Huntington customer, he had to submit his fingerprint, which was standard. But it was when tellers looked at the value of the check that things went awry.
Apparently, Black people can’t be paid more than $1000 for work. To verify the check’s legitimacy, tellers called McCown’s employer. Numerous times. Unable to contact the electric company to verify employment, the bank turned him away. Disappointed he was unable to receive his hard-earned dollars, McCowns left to get in his truck, only to have a squad car cut him off.
In an interview with Cleveland 19 News, McCowns said officers yelled at him, shouting “Get out of the car!” Having had the Brooklyn police called on him, he was detained until his employment was verified. McCowns’ employer said, “Yes, he works for me. He just started, and yes, my payroll company does pay him that much.”
McCowns said, “The person who made that phone call — that manager, that teller — whoever made that phone call, I feel as though they were judging.”
While this may seem out of the ordinary for many, this bank has a history of making these types of calls. According to Brooklyn Police Chief Scott Miekle, since July 2018, the Brooklyn Huntington branch has made 10 calls, all for fraudulent checks.
Embarrassed by their tellers’ poor customer service, Huntington Bank has released a statement:
“We sincerely apologize to Mr. McCowns for this extremely unfortunate event. We accept responsibility for contacting the police as well as our own interactions with Mr. McCowns. Anyone who walks into a Huntington branch should feel welcomed. Regrettably, that did not occur in this instance and we are very sorry. We hold ourselves accountable to the highest ethical standards in how we operate, hire and train colleagues, and interact with the communities we have the privilege of serving.”
I guess we can add banking while Black to the list of things we can’t do.
In The Middle: Of A ‘Black Parade’
12 Year-Old Keedron Bryant Signed to Warner Records
“OOHHH THANK YA” is all Keedron Bryant had to say on social media when news finally came out that he had signed a record deal with Warner Records.
Amidst all the difficult news we’ve been facing these past few weeks, we wanted to give you something to smile about. You might remember Keedron Bryant, the 12-year-old boy who went viral after posting a video of himself singing “I Just Wanna Live,” a song written by his mother that tells of being Black in America and just wanting to live.
Keedron’s performance was noticed by everyone from former president Barack Obama, who referred to him and posted the performance in a statement on the murder of George Floyd, to comedian Ellen Degeneres, who closed her show with his full video.
Just when we thought this story couldn’t give us any more feels, it was announced that Keedron was officially signed to Warner Records and his viral hit would be released on all platforms Friday, June 19, otherwise known as Juneteenth, a day marking the end of slavery in America.
Congratulations are definitely in order for Keedron Bryant.
Netflix CEO Donates $120 Million to HBCU’s
Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, along with his wife, Patty Quillin, are donating $120 million dollars in total to Morehouse College, Spelman College, and the United Negro College Fund. The $120 million will go towards scholarships for the students. Each college will get $40 million.
According to the United Negro College Fund, this is the largest single donation by individuals.
In a statement Hastings and Quillin said, “We’ve supported these three extraordinary institutions for the last few years because we believe that investing in the education of black youth is one of the best ways to invest in America’s future.”
This isn’t Hastings’ and Quillin’s first time donating to HBCU’s and minority education. In 1997, the two began supporting the KIPP charter school network which helps black and latino students. In 2016, Hastings created a $100 million dollar education fund for black and latino scholarships.
“HBCUs have a tremendous record, yet are disadvantaged when it comes to giving. Generally, white capital flows to predominantly white institutions, perpetuating capital isolation. We hope this additional $120 million donation will help more black students follow their dreams and also encourage more people to support these institutions — helping to reverse generations of inequity in our country,” says Hastings and Quillin.