La Detra White’s ‘Putting Your Money Where Your Heart Is Project’ Is Ambushing Black Businesses With Support


As a successful marketing and branding expert, Ms. La Detra White understood and embraced the ‘Bank Black movement’ by opening an account with Citizen’s Trust Bank, a Black bank with locations in Georgia and Alabama. La Detra felt that opening and depositing money into Black banks alone would not fully change the financial outcome for other Black businesses. So she decided to do something else that would affect various Black businesses. And that was to ‘ambush’ Black businesses she felt that could use an infusion of cash.

The businesses La Detra has since ambushed vary widely. The first business that she ambushed while on Facebook Live was a cupcake shop in Decatur, GA. After that, La Detra surprised a Black-owned barbecue and soul food restaurant by giving them thousands of dollars for their business, a barbershop in Lawrenceville was given a sizable financial donation, she paid a month’s rent for a beauty supply store, and she kept a man’s shoe shine business from going out of business with her monetary donation. The money that is given to the businesses, comes from the sale of her collaborative book, ‘This Is My Story, But It Is Not My Life: Stories From Women Who Climbed Back.’ The book was written in conjunction with 31 other women who fought their way back to success after facing adversity.

La Detra is trying to get people to understand the financial power the Black community possesses. She says it’s staggering that 98% of the money spent by Black people in America is spent outside of the Black community. Besides financially, other ways in which the Black community can become self-sufficient is by paying it forward when someone becomes successful, loaning supplies or capital to other businesses that might need a helping hand to succeed, and by understanding that other cultures embrace the idea of giving back to each other. La Detra summed up the importance of helping each other this way, “In the places where there is a penetration of people of color, nearly all of our needs can be met if we’re willing to do a bit of research, talk to each other, refer a friend and share resources. This way, [we] can begin to really understand the magnitude of the issue in terms of what the cost was of not supporting each other.”

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La Detra White has had great success in the business world as a marketing and branding expert. She has lead the branding efforts for companies such as Crest, Planters, Bass Hotels & Resorts, and Holiday Inn hotels. La Detra is currently the CEO of her own branding and marketing firm, Noble Insight, Inc. Her company works with such large corporations as: UPS, Coke, Procter & Gamble, BellSouth, Georgia Power, Chick-fil-A, Black Entertainment Television, IBM, Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority, Allstate, General Mills, and Bank of America. La Detra got started in the business world by earning her BBA cum laude degree from Howard University. After that, she received her graduate degree from Harvard Business School.

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Janet Gartner


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