BNC Exclusive: BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors addresses criticism around personal finances

Patrisse Cullors, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter, spoke to BNC in an exclusive interview, addressing the criticism around her finances and spending. 

“Black Lives Matter,” is one of the loudest protest chants heard across the country in the past few years after the deaths of Black people at the hands of police. 

The Black Lives Matter movement has inspired people to speak up against racism and unfair treatment in the Black community. 

Cullors has been at the center of controversy surrounding her finances. 

According to a report by theGrio, the head of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York called for an investigation into Cullors over million-dollar real estate purchases she made in recent years. 

It alleges that Cullors spent $3.2 million for four homes in the United States and questions emerged about how she is paid by the Black Lives Matter organization. 

The Black Lives Matter Global Network sent a statement to theGrio saying: 

“Patrisse Cullors is the Executive Director of Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF). She serves in this role in a volunteer capacity and does not receive a salary or benefits. Patrisse has received a total of $120,000 since the organization’s inception in 2013, for duties such as serving as a spokesperson and engaging in political education work. Patrisse did not receive any compensation after 2019.”

Cullors joined Black News Tonight for an exclusive three-part interview with Marc Lamont Hill. 

“I have never taken a salary from the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation,” she told Hill. 

She said right-wing media organizations are putting out this information that is “categorically untrue and incredibly dangerous.” 

Cullors, who is a college professor, said she is also a television producer with multiple books and has a deal with YouTube. 

“The fact that the right-wing media is trying to create hysteria around my spending is frankly racist and sexist,” she said. 

Although she denies the allegations, she thinks organizers should get paid a living wage for their activism. 

When it was announced that Black Lives Matter received $90 million in funding after the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, many called on the organization for money, including the father of Mike Brown Jr. 

RELATED: Mike Brown’s dad, Ferguson activist ask for $20M from Black Lives Matter

“We are not a charity. We are a power-building body, and so, it’s important that people understand the difference,” she said. 

Cullors told Hill she met with Brown in California and they had a conversation about how the organization could support them. 

“I do understand the need for resources. I understand why people expect that from us, but I think it’s important that people recognize that there are other places that they can also get grants, there are other places that they can get resources,” Cullors said. 

She also said the organization should be focusing on the government passing legislation for reparations, addressing police violence and other issues important to the Black community. 

“We aren’t the government. We are an organization that has always fought for Black lives and we will always fight for Black lives.” 

Outside of the organization, Cullors is working on other projects. 

The author of An Abolitionist’s Handbook: 12 Steps to Changing Yourself and the World said she inked a deal with Warner Bros where she will create “uplifting” content and bring on Black creatives and writers. 

“I’m hoping that in this deal, I’m going to be able to further the work I’ve been doing in these really powerful spaces,” Cullors said. 

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