Media & Entertainment

New Economic Empowerment Group 'Blacks in Petersburg' has Now Gone Live in Petersburg, VA

Announcing the launch of 'Blacks in Petersburg' is an economic empowerment and civic engagement community designed to facilitate the inclusion of the city's black population during the revitalization of Petersburg.
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( | Press Release | 2020-03-25 06:13:02 )
Blacks in Petersburg is a community tool built to encourage civic engagement and to promote economic empowerment within the city of Petersburg. For a city that is majority African American in the early stages of a resurgence, it is important for the black population to be aware of what is going on around them to break the cycle of predatory policy created to displace long standing residents as has been the case in urban communities across the country. From policy objectives of education innovation, smart city management to home ownership and investing, continuing discussions on preserving and expanding minority communities will be had for the sake of those who currently resident in the city to take part in the city’s improvement.

Like many other cities around the nation from Wilmington, NC to Greenwood OK, U Street in Washington, DC, known as Black Hollywood, Richmond, VA, etc., that all had their own black Wall Streets, Petersburg was no different. During the 100 years from Reconstruction through the ‘70s, Petersburg had its own thriving black business corridor named ‘The Triangle’ that has only one original business left. The black community was self-sustaining and an envied example of economic progress then and able to do the same now combined both with determination and the right policy set forth to allow it.

As it stands, Petersburg currently has the lowest performing school system in the state and topped the list for violent crime in Virginia as well as making a record for annual murders both in 2019. Neither statistic however have deterred interest in the city as home values have started to rise as well as the city’s spiraling finances have now begun to improve. This is usually around the time underhanded politics begin to shutter existing businesses and take property from people including near 1000% business tax increases to making longstanding business corridors inaccessible, heightened cronyism, etc. African American homeownership now stands practically unchanged at the same level it was in the 1960s. On the other hand, the number of black businesses from 1972 to 2012 rose from just under 200,000 to approximately 2.5 million in 2012. That is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of the black community. From being cultural leaders responsible for the success of some of the nation’s leading brands of Popeyes to the popularity of Patti Labelle’s sweet potato pies, Black Twitter has inspired many of our favorite marketing campaigns. This combined with around $1.5 trillion in buying power, there is enough ingenuity both within the black community as a whole to see its own communities, such as Petersburg thrive again.

Blacks in Petersburg is a philanthropic project of VM3 Media, a Virginia based media communications company founded by JaVonni Brustow, a politically engaged Communications professional in Petersburg. Now in his 3rd year in Central Virginia from Washington, DC., one thing noticed after coming to the area was a certain level of political apathy and a city that is approximately ¾ African American that didn’t show this same representation in those who are involved politically. After growing up and watching a lot of the changes that happened in the nation’s capitol and many of the unnecessary, vulturous policies put in place to harm many of the longstanding residents and business owners, all while being sold false promises, he vowed not to allow the same occur in his new hometown.

Blacks in Petersburg can be located at

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