In honor of Black History Month, OneUnited Bank, the country’s largest Black-owned bank, has launched the King Visa Debit Card.

The card features artist Addonis Parker’s representation of an African king. President and Chief Operating Officer Terri Williams says OneUnited Bank wanted to recognize “kings and queens” in the African-American community.

“We agree with James Baldwin,” said Williams. “‘Our crown has already been bought and paid for. All we have to do is wear it.’ We encourage the Black community to unleash the ‘king and queen’ in them and celebrate the past, present and future kings and queens in our community.”

“It hit us when Aretha Franklin passed,” said Williams. “We do have tremendous successes in our community, but they are not recognized by the mainstream media.”

She cited Robert S. Smith, who was listed as a billionaire by Forbes magazine in 2018, as an example of black success that goes unrecognized. She also said that it was important African Americans recognize their heritage didn’t begin with slavery. Africa consisted of empires before the intervention of Europeans who restructured the continent’s political landscape. Williams also cited King Mansa Musa of Mali as an example. He was reputed to be one of the wealthiest people of his time.

“It’s something that we’re not taught in school,” said Williams. “Royalty is in our DNA and we want to celebrate our legacy.” Another reason behind the Kings card was many of the bank’s previous cards featured African-American female icons. Male customers requested a card featuring someone who represented them, according to Williams. OneUnited Bank frequently creates cards and projects to align with their customers’ cultural and political views. Last year, the bank created the “Take a Knee,” campaign, a mural honoring NFL star Colin Kaepernick’s political protest. According to Williams, the bank is also part of the “Bank Black” movement which encourages black customers to transfer their money to black-owned financial institutions. She added the Bank Black movement is part of a wave of education about financial literacy in the African-American community. Much of this movement is being led by hip-hop stars and entertainers. For example, Atlanta-based rapper Killer Mike currently has a Netflix series called “Trigger Warning.” The show talks about controversial issues in the African-American community. “‘Trigger Warning’ is about examining cultural taboos and giving viewers the space to examine the ‘what ifs’ and ‘why nots’ that limit how some people move and operate in the world,” said Michael Render, aka Killer Mike, in a press release.

One of the episodes focuses on the importance of black people keeping their money in the community. In related financial news, other rappers, such as Nas, JayZ and Ludacris, have become successful venture capitalists.

According to Williams, the Bank Black movement has already transferred more than $50 million to black-owned banks.

“We think that number can be doubled,” she said.

Williams said the Kings card is already generating positive buzz.

“We’ve already seen the benefits of the campaign. People love the card,” she said. “People are already asking about a Queens card.” For more information about the King Visa Debit Card visit www.oneunited.com/King.