Oneunited Bank’s Controversial Mural Foreshadows The #Bankblack Movement – 2 Year Anniversary

Unveiled in July 2015, Thunder & Enlightening Foretells the Tumultuous Summer 2016

MIAMI, FL – July 11, 2017 – In the summer of 2015, OneUnited Bank unveiled its revolutionary 550 square foot mural Thunder & Enlightening on the façade of the Bank’s historic Miami branch. The emotionally charged work of art by internationally acclaimed, Miami based muralist Addonis Parker, directly confronts issues and events facing the Black community: racism, bigotry, violence, protest, the massacre in South Carolina, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and first responders.

Thunder & Enlightening also foreshadowed future events, namely the backlash against the multiple racially charged shootings of Black people by law enforcement which spawned a national phenomenon – the #BankBlack Movement. In 2016, issues of racism, bigotry and violence came front and center of our nation’s consciousness. In turn, millions of Black people, galvanized via social media, text and word of mouth, began answering the call for a collective show of force by moving their money from traditional banks to Black owned banks. The social justice based #BankBlack movement intensified when Rapper Killer Mike implored the Black community not to incite more violence but to demonstrate the power of its $1.2 trillion in annual spending by supporting Black banks and other Black owned businesses.

“We’re excited that the “seed” planted by the mural grew into the #BankBlack and #BuyBlack movement,” says Teri Williams, President & COO of OneUnited Bank. “Our community is not only moving money, but also “moving their minds” by directly confronting the discredited adage that “their ice is colder” or that Black businesses are inherently “less than.” We now are focusing on collective economics and community wealth building.”

The 2015 OneUnited Mural Project (Thunder & Enlightening) was an apprenticeship-based program, in partnership with Miami Children’s Initiative. The partnership was comprised of public art works, youth development, financial literacy and a community beautification program providing arts enrichment through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) education.

In 2017, the issues of race and financial equality are more pressing than ever and the #BankBlack Movement is stronger than ever with over $50 million in deposits moved to Black owned banks in just 12 months.

Suzan McDowell
Circle of One Marketing
[email protected] or 305-576-3790.

OneUnited Bank Is the premiere bank for urban communities with offices in California, Florida, and Massachusetts. Its mission is to provide affordable financial services to support economic development in urban communities and maintain superior financial performance to maximize shareholder value.


Elevate your finances with insights, because we all need answers. Sign up today!

Discover the OneUnited Difference.

Already have an account? Log in

Related Press


MIAMI – April 5, 2024 – OneUnited Bank, the only Black bank in Florida and the nation’s largestBlack owned bank, is proud to present a Free Community Food Giveaway on Saturday April 13,2024, 10:00am until supplies last, at OneUnited Bank, 3275 N.W. 79th Street, Miami, FL 33147, in collaboration with the Joshua’s Heart Foundation (JHF), a not-for-profit, youth run organization dedicated to the fight against global hunger and poverty on a global level. OneUnited Bank will also promote its I Got Bank Youth Financial Literacy Contest for children at the event.

Download Press Release


Boston, MA – April 9, 2024 – In celebration of National Financial Literacy Month, OneUnited Bank, thenation’s largest Black-owned bank, is proud to announce its 14th Annual “I Got Bank!” National FinancialLiteracy Contest, where ten children will win a $1,000 savings account. To make financial literacy a corevalue for children, the Bank is offering a free “I Got Bank” E-Book.

Download Press Release

City National Bank Joins with OneUnited Bank, Committing a $10 Million Deposit to Empower Communities of Color in Southern California

LOS ANGELES – February 29, 2024 – To round out the celebration of Black History Month, City National Bank is proud to deposit $10 million of its capital into OneUnited Bank, the only Black-owned bank in California and the largest Black-owned bank in the nation. With the investment, City National and OneUnited will launch a comprehensive program aimed at bolstering economic development in historically underserved minority populations across Southern California.

Download Press Release

It takes 5-minutes to start elevating your finances

See exactly where you’re spending money, how you’re achieving and how you can improve.