Vol. 1, No. 18, May 14th, 2021
Not too long ago my brothers (my actual blood and the ones close as blood) met up at a cigar bar to catch up and enjoy the finest rolls of tobacco. These occasional meetups bring forth the greatest conversations that would make good online content. We often find ourselves discussing life, family, and business. Many of our conversations are not only centered on what we’re currently working on, but our short-term and long-term goals. If you’re asking what some of those goals are, you would be correct in the assumption they were about getting and keeping capital.
Money motivates us. I have no shame in admitting that. Money is not the only driving force in our ambition. As Black men in this country, we’ve learned early on that money is a vehicle. And in the United States, it’s the largest voice that people listen to. A threat directly to how someone obtains or retains capital is one that is quickly acknowledged. That aside, we’ve learned that having a considerable amount of money brings options and options eventually bring freedom.
We’re privileged that we can have these discussions with each other. Conversations that can meander from discussing investing in cryptocurrencies, building businesses, and leaving a substantial inheritance for our families. For too often men that look like us are not included in the wealth building we’re engaged in on a routine basis. I’ve looked at the numbers pertaining to wealth by demographics in the United States and it’s fucking bleak. According to The Federal Reserve, the wealth by race/ethnicity per household was $279K for Black people, $234K for Hispanics, and $1.2 million for white people. This is data from 2020, which saw a sharp increase for white people over the last twenty years and abysmal increases for the Black population.
There are a few factors as to why wealth has not increased in our communities - employment, home ownership, and generational wealth. Having a livable wage, ownership in a property that builds equity, and access to pass along the capital to your family have been barriers Black folks in America have been fighting for a long time. Even when we are employed, we face bias at our employers and upward mobility is often impeded no matter how qualified we are for the roles. When we do own homes, our property is often appraised far lower than our counterparts (read this). Those two factors combined impact what we can leave as inheritance to build a legacy. Looking deeper into The Federal Reserves reporting and surveys, 30% of white people received an inheritance compared to 10% of Black people and 7% of Hispanics, respectively. Generational wealth isn’t a catchy buzzword on social media, but actions we need to execute each day.
The reason why my friends and I are always discussing money and how to acquire more, because we know it fucking matters. Even with the odds against us and the powers that be systemically finding ways to rob us of our futures, we’re still fighting. Now more than ever is the time for us to “plot, plan, strategize, organize, and mobilize”. The brother Killer Mike was definitely talking about activism in his viral quote, but I’d be damned if it didn’t apply to getting this paper.
What I’m Listening To
Recently, I’ve been slowing things down somewhat in life and musical tastes. I’ve been listening to the EP For My Friends by my fellow Nigerian countryman, Jacob Banks. Once you listen to the first song on the album, you’ll instantly recognize Jacob’s voice. Banks has been featured in many television and movie soundtracks. Songs that stood out to me on the project are “Devil That I Know”, “Stranger”, “Too Much”, and “Found”.
Per a USA Today analysis, only 3 of the 279 top executives listed at the 50 biggest companies in the S&P 100 were Black. Those numbers are very bleak after a year of corporations attempting to make inroads with people of African descent in America.
"Endeavor to work as hard as possible to attain a new aim with each day that comes by. Don't go to bed until you have achieved something productive." - Aliko Dangote