2nd Cousin 2x Removed ™️


“Own Some Sh*t.” ~ Ayesha Selden

The wealth disparity in America between black and white households is staggering. There are many historical factors as to why this is the case. We can point to redlining in real estate that systematically kept black people from owning the main source of wealth for Americans. We could point to the denial of benefits like VA loans for black military members after they risked their lives for a country that hated them. We could even point to how black people couldn’t get life insurance or attend certain schools or even how when our businesses started to be competitive and take clientele from our white counterparts, we could get run out of town or killed. The list can go on and on, from the burning down of our thriving cities by white mobs to the bulldozing of our towns by the government for highways. So, how do we address the racial wealth gap and the circumstances that created it? How do we move forward to ensure these situations don’t happen again?

The Challenge of Black Social Problems

Addressing the racial wealth gap and the circumstances that created it is a highly debated topic. Some people believe reparations will solve the problem, some believe we need federal regulation, while others believe we need financial literacy. We even have a whole camp that believes black people are at fault for our problems. We could dive deeper and prove that camp wrong, but I was taught not to argue with fools. Instead, I want to focus on something I don’t think is discussed anywhere. Did you know a social problem is defined as a condition or issue within a society that affects a significant number of individuals and poses challenges to the well-being, functioning, and harmony of that society? That’s especially interesting considering black people make up about 12-14% of the US population. How can the problems and issues we suffer from in our community ever be properly addressed if our problems barely affect the country? We literally need a pandemic and cops killing us en masse and on video for there to be a public outcry of support from the majority. But the thing about support from people with no dog in the fight is that they pull back when they have their own problems.

The Role of Wealth

I believe one of the best ways to address the racial wealth gap and everything that helped create it is to increase our wealth as a group and use it as a tool for progress. Money doesn’t solve everything, but we often find ourselves at the mercy of people with money because they are in positions of power and/or have the ability to sway opinions and decisions that affect us. In a capitalist country, you need money to get things done. Our causes need financial support, our businesses need funding. At the end of the day, only we have the passion and skin in the game to follow through until the job is done.

Building Generational Wealth

One of the biggest problems in the black community and one of the major culprits of the racial wealth gap is our lack of income-producing assets. We need to start owning assets that increase in value of time that we pass down to our kids and, God willing, their kids. As Ayesha Selden says, ‘own some sh*t.” This is how we create the generational wealth that can help rebuild our communities and change our trajectory as a people. Cause, at the end of the day, who got us but us?

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