The Best Way to Get Wealthy
Strategies for How Black Americans can Begin Building Wealth
“If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.”
— MAYA ANGELOU
Many Americans are hitting the streets across the country to protest the mistreatment of Black men, women, and children.
While some march for a change in the systematic oppression of Black lives, others are stuck at home feeling hopeless, overwhelmed, lost, and broke.
Some of us Black Americans, are changing how we think about creating wealth and seeking out the best way to get wealthy to pass on generationally within our families.
Black people have the power to change their situation. In my humble opinion. I believe it can be done with a change in thinking, education, action, consistency, and unity within our families and communities.
Black Americans can begin building wealth by implementing these 7 ways black Americans can begin building wealth and freedom.
Conversations with my Grandmother.
My paternal grandmother turned 93 in August of 2022. We went to visit her recently. My siblings and I wanted to spend time with her and let her pour her wisdom and love into us while she was still here to do so.
We love to hear our grandmother’s stories, especially about growing up in the South. She often tells us about her family working in fields and serving white families growing up.
She wholeheartedly believes it is unfair that the same people in congress from her generation (The silent generation). Their Families have generational wealth. In contrast, her family, generationally, unafforded the same as theirs.
She often talks about her “40 acres and a mule“; she says the government of the United States of America owes her.
My grandmother believes therefore God still has her here. And that her descendants are supposed to be just as wealthy as her peers and their descendants are today.
Talking with her has prompted me to take building wealth and learning everything I can about it more seriously than ever.
The Truth Behind '40 Acres and a Mule.'
We’ve all heard the story of the “40 acres and a mule” promise to former slaves.
The promise was the first systematic attempt to provide a form of reparations to newly freed slaves.
The institution of slavery in the United States deprived multiple generations of the opportunity to own land.
Legally slaves could not own anything, but in practice, they did acquire capital.
However, they were considered the lowest-ranking members of the capitalist system and still are today.
As legal slavery ended. Many freed people fully expected to gain ownership of the land they had worked, as some abolitionists had led them to expect.
Imagine how profoundly different the history of race relations in the United States would have been had this policy been implemented and enforced.
Had the former slaves had access to the ownership of the land and property.
Had they had a chance to be self-sufficient economically, to build, accrue and pass on wealth to their descendants, we would see an America that includes black people with economic power and freedom, representing the American principles of equality for all.
What is Wealth?
Wealth- the measure of an individual’s or family’s financial net worth—provides all sorts of opportunities for American families.
Wealth makes it easier for people to seamlessly transition between jobs, move to new neighborhoods, and respond to emergencies.
It allows parents to pay for or help pay for their children’s education and enables workers to build economic sustainability in retirement.
Importantly, it is the most complete measure of a family’s future economic well-being.
Families rely on their wealth to pay their bills if their regular income disappears during an unemployment spell or after retiring, for instance.
Unfortunately, wealth in this country is unequally distributed by race—particularly between white and black households.
Black American families have a fraction of the wealth of white families, leaving them more economically insecure and with far fewer opportunities for economic mobility.
Even after considering positive factors such as increased education levels, Black Americans have less wealth than whites.
Less wealth translates into fewer opportunities for upward mobility. It is compounded by lower income levels and fewer chances to build wealth or pass accumulated wealth down to future generations.
Several vital factors deepen this vicious cycle of wealth inequality.
Black households, for example,
- Blacks have far less access to tax-advantaged savings due in part to a long history of employment discrimination and other discriminatory practices.
- A well-documented history of mortgage market discrimination means that blacks are significantly less likely to be homeowners than whites. This means they have less access to the savings and tax benefits of owning a home.
- Persistent labor market discrimination and segregation also force blacks into fewer and less profitable employment opportunities than their white counterparts.
Thus, Black Americans have less access to stable jobs, good wages, and retirement benefits at work— all critical drivers by which American families gain access to savings.
Moreover, under the current tax code, higher-income families receive increased tax incentives associated with housing and retirement savings.
Because Black Americans tend to have lower incomes, they inevitably receive fewer tax benefits—even if they are homeowners or have retirement savings accounts.
The bottom line is that persistent housing and labor market discrimination and segregation worsen the negative cycle of wealth inequality.
Black America's History with Black Economic Wealth & Power
Because of America’s Systematic Inequality through America’s Structural Racism, which Helped Create the Black-White Wealth Gap.
The already large racial wealth gap between white and black American households grew even wider after the Great Recession.
Black Power began as a revolutionary movement in the 1960s and 1970s.
It emphasized racial pride, economic empowerment, and the creation of political and cultural institutions.
During this era, there was a rise in the demand to eliminate the destructive effects of persistently low economic status among black Americans by promoting the creation of prevention and intervention mechanisms to address systemic wealth extraction and economic disparities.
Promoting the development of products and services to allow for the generation of wealth; and promoting and providing economic alternatives to traditional practices, policies, and behaviors that sustain economic inequality.
As well as a host of other issues that specifically affected those considered Black in America.
Closing racial gaps across the economy are not only about righting historical wrongs. It is also about choosing a more dynamic future and realizing the full potential of a massively underutilized source of talent to the benefit of all Americans.
Many Black Americans face an uphill battle in building wealth in America.
The disparities displayed during the COVID-19 pandemic amplified America’s conscience.
Job losses were more significant for people of color, who lacked savings to cushion the financial blow.
The long-standing issues of underperforming public schools and gaps in digital infrastructure worsened learning losses among children of color.
Black workers focused on low-wage frontline jobs that could not be done remotely. Exposure to the virus and insufficient access to healthcare costs widen an already sharp racial gap in life expectancy.
The sobering picture that emerges is meant not to discourage but to motivate.
Addressing the wage disparities described in McKinsey’s & Company, research alone could force an estimated two million Black Americans into the middle class for the first time.
This could reverse current trends, with overflowing effects lifting the next generation’s opportunities to the middle class further.
But it isn’t the best thing for the black community.
In the 42 years since Reagan won the 1980 election, the American middle class has collapsed from almost two-thirds to fewer than half of us.
Republicans have been warning about this since the 1950s, although not in the way you may think.
While President Franklin D. Roosevelt started America on the path to becoming the first nation in the history of the world to see over half its citizens in the middle class.
Conservative thought leaders have warned their politicians about the danger of an “over-large and over-prosperous” middle class.
This explains why Republican actions always work against middle-class people. Worsen poverty and redirect all their efforts and opportunities toward the top 10 percent (notably, the top 1 percent) of Americans.
The net effect of all these policies that Republicans advocate, from tax cuts to gutting unions. To allow political bribery by corporations is to further impoverish working-class people and cause more to fall out of the middle class.
Just since 1980, Republican tax cuts have produced a transfer of over $50 trillion in wealth from the middle class to the top 1%.
The Democrats are no better at honestly working on closing the racial wealth gap through wealth. They only want to move black Americans into the middle class that the Republicans are trying to eliminate.
The Biden Plan to Build Back Better by Advancing Racial Equity Across the American Economy.
Includes many verbiages that don’t bring real change or close the racial wealth gap for black Americans.
While the Congressional Republicans’ Five-Part Plan is to Increase Inflation and Costs for American Families.
Neither party is focused on closing the racial inequality within our economy. They are working together to shut black Americans out of economic power due to them within the American economy.
The median annual wage for Black workers is about 30% lower than that of white workers, according to a McKinsey & Company report.
The report also found that 3.5 million of the country’s Black households have a negative net worth due to debt.
“Often, the issue with savings and wealth building is that folks don’t make enough money.” Said report co-author Shelley Stewart III leads McKinsey’s research on Black economic mobility in the U.S.
“We need to address that as a broader society, typically with communities of color.”
Black wealth is falling further behind.
In addition, Black households start with less family wealth. McKinsey estimated a $330 billion disparity between Black and white families in the annual flow of new wealth, with 60% of that coming from inheritances.
Because of that lack of generational wealth, black families tend not to be exposed to investing. Said certified financial planner Kamila Elliott, president of Grid 202 Partners, a financial advisory firm based in Washington, D.C.
The price of that gap can be huge. In 2064, the average white family will possess $2,782,727 in wealth while the Black family will be $789,164, a report by Elliott and Abacus Wealth Partners CEO Brent Kessel found. That’s a 70% disparity.
Targeted policies are necessary to reverse this deepening divide.
While societal changes are needed to address the racial wealth gap. Experts say there are also steps Black Americans can take right now to start building wealth.
What are some Solutions to help Black Americans Start Building Wealth?
Some Solutions: Change our thinking as a community of people, Reparations, education, housing, investing, businesses, savings, and baby bonds.
Without cultural change, it is hard to see how public policies alone will be able to close the entire Black-white wealth gap.
Nevertheless, reforms could reduce the net worth differential significantly.
Policy reform should aim to avenge past injustices and provide equal opportunity for all today.
These suggestions only scratch the surface of reforms. But they illustrate both the difficulty of eliminating the Black-white wealth gap and the many ways policy could help reduce it.
What can Black Americans Do to Get Started Today?
The first thing Black Americans should do is talk about it.
Having financial conversations can lead to better decision-making and help you avoid mistakes.
“How do I increase this money that I have made? How do I deploy it?” Kessel added. “These discussions need to be had.”
How Do We Build Black Wealth?
According to The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). Recognized as the world’s leading medical journal and website.
States that Black Americans should begin by decreasing debt and increasing savings.
Managing household finances, including budgeting, planning, and monitoring short- and long-term savings, and investing, are skills needed to build wealth.
Black Americans require specific knowledge not typically covered in primary or secondary education.
Removing social stigmas and providing a solid financial foundation for Black people.
To move from existing to thriving by creating a cooperative-focused ecosystem of families of communities and partners working toward the common goal of building and sustaining wealth for the Black diaspora that stays circulating in our community can produce the closing of the racial wealth gap in America.
With all, here are the 7 ways Black Americans can organize for wealth, economic power, and freedom.
7 Ways Black People Can Organize for Wealth & Freedom
- Organize for Black Family LLC – with 10 family members, you can trust and buy a property and invest in the stock market. Invest in family-owned businesses and/or invest in a black-owned business.
- Organize for Property Ownership – buy residential property with a friend you can trust and who is responsible. Split the mortgage, build equity over time, move out, buy your own home with the $ you saved, and rent out the old spot. Now you’re both an owner and landlord.
- Organize for Good Credit – find one family member with an excellent credit report, a high score, good payment history, and older accounts. And add a family member who is responsible and committed to building credit as an authorized user.
- Organize for Knowledge – form a book club and read non-fiction textbooks about business, self-care, economics, and skills.
- Organize to Build – form a collective to build or help build an entity that outlasts you and in which others can be involved.
- Organize for Legacy– ensure 10 people in your circle has a will, a trust, insurance, and inheritance to leave.
- Organize and Buy Black – hire Black for birthdays, weddings, dates, brunches, realtors, attorneys, churches, and entertainment.
Buy black, invest black, and recycle the black dollar back to the black community.
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