The New Elite: Exploring the Landscape of Black Wealth 🏰

Courtesy of Youtube

Hey ,

While it's widely recognized that the wealth gap in the United States is substantial, a lesser-known fact is the significant rise in wealth among African Americans. Currently, African Americans represent the second-largest group of wealthy individuals in the nation. This emerging class, often called the new Black bourgeoisie, comprises 3% of the African American population. While 3% might initially appear modest, it represents a significant and impactful demographic shift.

Over the past 25 years, the number of Black millionaires in America has doubled, showcasing a shift in economic status and influence within the Black community. This change is not just about numbers; it reflects the increasing impact of African Americans in various sectors. In this week’s newsletter, we highlight five things we thought you would find eye-opening from DW’s documentary on this growing subgroup of Black Americans

The ascent of the new Black bourgeoisie is a topic that warrants closer examination, as it not only illustrates the evolving landscape of American wealth but also highlights the unique challenges and opportunities faced by this segment of the population."

Started from the bottom…now we're here

Courtesy of Urban Hydration

Psyche Terry and her husband Vontaba own Urban Hydration, a skin and body care brand that uses natural and plant-based ingredients. The couple has worked together to build a successful brand which catapulted them into millionaire status. Their story is one for the books. Psyche recalls how she and her husband literally started with nothing but worked hard to obtain success. Their success had led them to be invited to Dallas’ high society, a space that nearly 50 years ago wouldn’t have welcomed them. This space consists of Dallas’ finest but is also very caucasian. “We are in the 1% of the 1%”, Psyche says. Their million-dollar status has opened doors for them that they didn’t imagine. Yet, being a minority within a minority can be isolating. 

Keeping up the #BuyBlackMovement

Courtesy of Andscape

Maggie Anderson, an author, and supporter of the “Buyblack” movement is showing her daughters what it means to support Black businesses. The #BuyBlack” movement is all about investing in Black-owned businesses and encouraging wealth circulation within the African American community. By supporting Black-owned businesses, money spent is more likely to stay within the community, contributing to its economic prosperity and helping to close the racial wealth gap. For example, she makes it a point to send her family to Black doctors. To further highlight her commitment to supporting Black-owned businesses, she and her daughters go to a Black-owned spa that is 30 miles away from her home, going out of the way to support the business. While it may seem inconvenient to make the trek, Maggie’s dedication to the movement is strong. She makes the case that it’s not only about patronizing Black businesses, it's also about a comfort level that exists when operating within your community. She also co-authored the book Our Black Year: One Family's Quest to Buy Black in America's Racially Divided Economy.

Banking black 💰

Courtesy of Citizens Trust Bank

Sharif Abdullah Malik, entrepreneur, and businessman is the founder of WeBuyBlack.com. He’s on a mission to help establish an all-Black economy he has decided to put his money in #blackbanks. “It’s important that our dollars in our community rest in a Black-owned bank…they have the interest of our community in mind”, says Malik. He transferred $350,000 worth of investments into a Black-owned bank, which makes a huge statement. 

Rapper and entrepreneur Killer Mike has been committed to encouraging Black people to put their money into Black-owned banks. So much so that he co-founded Greenwood, a mobile banking app. Its name pays homage to the Tulsa Greenwood District, also known as Black Wall Street, a thriving area in Tulsa before it was brutally destroyed by racist whites in 1924, during the Tulsa Race Massacre. The goal of Greenwood and other Black-owned banks is to help generate wealth for Black people. It’s a way for Black people to secure the bag within their communities. If you’re interested in banking at Black-owned banks in the U.S. here is a list generated by Forbes magazine.

Black Real Estate

Courtesy of Blackrealestategent.com

As wealth among Black Americans rises, so does their participation in real estate. Black Americans are not only homeowners, they are leaning into real estate investing and developing. This is helping to not only increase the Black wealth in America but also reshape property ownership in America. This is why it was no surprise that the first person featured in the documentary is none other than the real estate mogul Don Peebles. You might remember him from a previous newsletter “The Real Don”, where we get an insight into the everyday life of the masterful real estate guru and how he manages work and family. He attributes his success and determination to growing up during the Civil Rights movement. The transitional period of that time showed him that anything was possible. Real estate, like for Don, has become a non-trivial part of the increasing black wealth in America.

Rich Black People are always Entertainers in America?

Courtesy of UGC

People like Don Peebles and Psyche Terry are part of a small elite group of Black people who have managed to enter into an elite group of wealthy individuals that were not always accepting. When it comes to finding wealthy African-Americans, there is still a perception that they aren’t in business, but are an entertainer or athlete.

Our man Don Peebles speaks about this in the documentary. “Americans don’t associate African Americans with wealth…it’s more unusual to see wealth in the business world be diverse.” This notion, that Black Americans who are wealthy, can only be wealthy, if they’re in entertainment or sports is disturbing. It speaks to a larger racial issue and this idea that Black Americans generating wealth through business is not comfortable to their white counterparts. The explanation is that it’s more acceptable if their wealth is earned from a talent or skill in sports or entertainment, not business savvy. 

Black Wealth is … Complicated

Odd that we had to go to a German network to hear about what it’s like to be Black and wealthy, but great to have the insight. While achieving life-changing wealth is always the pragmatic goal, sometimes we need to think about what life will look like when we finally get there.