When we say black wealth “barely exist,” we are being generous. Blacks as a group have owned less than one half of one percent of the total wealth of this country from the end of slavery until 2016. With the inherent disadvantages and economic opposition, blacks have been able to prosper as a group in pockets of the country. Harlem was an economic hub, Jackson Ward in Virginia, of course Tulsa Oklahoma and a few others. These Black communities were self sustained and maintained by black commerce. Black Americans were industrious opening factories and small businesses perfecting crafts right out of slavery. Forced to work amongst each other and do business with each other, this environment created an atmosphere where a self-sustaining community could be created and prosper.
Fast forward past integration and the Civil Rights Movement, the crack era mass incarceration and a black family in the White House, the studies are very sobering economically for Black people. According to a study by Joanna Venator of Social Genome Model data, half of black Americans born poor stay poor. 51% of Black Americans born into the lowest fifth of the earnings distribution remain there at the age of 40. For White Americans about 23% born into poverty stay there. This may be alarming or not so much. In another study by Joanna it was observed that downward intergenerational social mobility from the middle to the bottom is much more common among Black Americans. Seven out of 10 Black Americans born into the so-called middle class by 40 years old are less off economically in one way or another. 32% have fallen on hard times compared to 14% of whites. This is a depressing observation. Blacks need to practice practical wealth techniques to pass on to the next generation.
We already know the overall wealth gap existed, but after the Great Depression of 2008 the median wealth of white households is now 13 times greater than for black households. In 2013 the White median household had $141,900 compared to $11,000 for Black households according to the Pew Research Center. There is much work ahead. My optimism comes from the 1.1 trillion (almost equivalent to Mexico’s’ GDP) that blacks as a group spend annually.
There has to be a collective business renaissance in the spirit of the blacks that have done it before with the tools of today. Whomever the next president is, the destiny of black economics must be the responsibility of the black people. There are basic and advanced needs that need to be served in the black community and abroad. Business opportunities outside of entertainment. Encourage entrepreneurship from your children from a young age and help to provide practical and cutting edge mogul training. The internet has opened up the world for business but blacks have to follow the principles of wealth to fully leverage and compete in this century. Live well below your means, save invest….We can do it. Dr. Boyce Watkins is the only black PhD with a pro black economic agenda for black people in the country. He has some analytical economic observations as well as some very good economic programs based on wealth building and deveopment. Check out our brother if you will… http://theblackbusinessschool.com/courses/the-black-millionaires-of-tomorrow-bootcamp-for-children-starts-on-saturday-august-13-2016?a_aid=VeronicaBrown&a_bid=39a9ac3e