Friday, September 30, 2011

Phillip Agnew wants to help minority-owned businesses

Posted By on Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 4:45 PM

Months after a local man was arrested at the EpiCentre, he's doing something to help minority businesses.

Phillip Agnew has created the Black Card, a discount card that would give the card holder a discount at minority-owned businesses.

In an interview with WSOC, Agnew said the card would give businesses free advertising and expand their customer base. The card launches on Nov. 1.

Agnew gained notoriety when he was arrested at the EpiCentre on June 2. He says he was racially profiled and arrested because of a violation of a dress code.

He was arrested at the EpiCentre entertainment complex in uptown Charlotte after he refused a security guard’s demand that he straighten his sideways-turned hat. Agnew had gone there on a Friday evening with friends to enjoy live music and unwind after work.

The guard, who was African-American, told police that Agnew’s hat was in violation of the EpiCentre’s dress code.

Charged with second-degree trespassing, the 25-year-old Florida A&M University graduate was questioned, taken to county jail and processed.

It was his first time, he said, in handcuffs.

Agnew describes his actions that night as “civil disobedience.”

He says young African Americans frequently are singled out for scrutiny at EpiCentre venues.

“At some point you have to say, ‘This is enough, and it doesn’t make sense to me,’” he said.

His arrest furthered a belief of racism in Uptown clubs, an issue Creative Loafing has written about in depth.

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