Black McDonald’s Franchisees Launch Memphis Clergy Awareness Campaign


Black McDonald’s Franchisees Launch Memphis Clergy Awareness Campaign (Memphis, Tennessee) – Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church welcomed James and Darrell Byrd during its Black History Month Celebration on Sunday, February 28, 2021.

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The brothers, who are McDonald’s franchise owners, are part of a class action lawsuit that, along with more than 70 other Black franchisees, accuses the McDonald’s Corporation of intentionally steering Black owners to economically disadvantaged areas and then ultimately classifying the stores as having no value, impacting revenues for the franchisees and contributing to wealth disparities among minority owners.

After a musical presentation from the Oak Grove Youth Ministry of the song Stand Up by O’Landa Draper & the Associates, the brothers, along with their representative, Kahari Nash, spoke about being inspired to “stand up for right” and fight for wealth equity among their franchise owners, asking the question, “If not now, when?”

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The fight to eliminate anti-racist practices within the organization and across the nation is a risk worth taking, according to the brothers. They plan to strategically educate the nation, starting with targeting markets that are most heavily impacted by the inequitable treatment.

About Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church: We are located at 7289 Stage Road in Memphis, Tennessee, near the corner of Stage Road and Appling Road. A historic African-American church in Memphis, Oak Grove has been a pillar of the community since 1863.

Black McDonald’s Franchisees Launch Memphis Clergy Awareness Campaign

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Let me tell you how we got to this point and draw the Really Black conclusion. In the fall of 2014, I met the Byrd Brothers, Darrell and James F. Byrd Jr., Black McDonald’s franchisees at a Memphis Grizzlies basketball game. They told me that they had eight (8) McDonald’s stores, four (4) each, and McDonald’s was forcing them to sell four (4) stores, two (2) each, to Fred Tillman, who’s White and at that time was the largest McDonald’s USA franchisee.


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