Establishing A Legacy of Wealth: Part 2

It's time to take care of business

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Ryan Mack 

Ryan Mack

Black unemployment rates are twice those of whites. We own less then three percent of the wealth, even though we are 13 percent of the population. Forty one percent of our households hold less than $1,000 in net worth. For every $100 whites possess, blacks have anywhere between $8 and $19. The median black family’s net worth is $8,300 compared with the median white family’s net worth of $56,000. (Stats come from Black Wealth/White Wealth by Melvin Oliver and Thomas Shapiro.)

One might say that is to be expected because of oppression, and that blacks haven’t been born with silver spoons in their mouths.  However, of all the millionaires in America, “[o]nly 19% receive any income or wealth of any kind from a trust fund or an estate”, and “[m]ore than half never received as much as $1 in inheritance,” according to The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko.  If we as a people want a piece of the pie, then it is our responsibility to work for it.  “The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.” (Proverbs 13:4)

Yes, we have been oppressed, but we can do much more to help ourselves. Why is it that 93% of our income is spent outside the community?  “Neither shall the inheritance remove from one tribe to another tribe; but every one of the tribes of the children of Israel shall keep himself to his own inheritance.” (Numbers 36:9)  Money made within your community should be primarily spent for the benefit of the community.  Lee Jenkins, author of Taking Care of Business said, “The Black dollar turns over less then once on an average before it leaves the Black community. Asians turn over their money nine times in their communities, and Whites turn their money over eight times before it leaves.” Keeping money in our circle means that the circle becomes stronger. However, too many African Americans see otherwise: “You just can’t work with Black people!” “Truth is, they are just too slow!”

You would think that a racist made these statements. However, these are statements we have all heard from other black people! Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Whenever Pharaoh wanted to keep the slaves in slavery, he kept them fighting amongst themselves.” There is power in the numbers of the institution, more so than in the individual.

Part 1: Taking The Poverty Out of the People

Part 2: Taking Care of Business

Part 3: Taking Stock of How We Spend

Part 4: Taking Control of Our Destinies

Ryan Mack is the president of Optimum Capital Management LLC

  • This is a great feature, and it is greatly needed. There’s no denying our power, as we will reach a trillion dollars in spending power in about 4-5 years. There’s also no denying our capabilities as it’s been proven time and time again that we are competent in our tasks. We are just as capable and just as powerful. The only problem is that we as the black community take that power and give it back to those in power via consumer spending.

    What’s missing is the education. What’s missing is the comparison. We need to sit and analyze the differences between the benefits of a Jewish person’s upbringing and that of an African American. We should study the business acumen of the Chinese and Indians. It’s that gap that needs to be bridged: the education. Once that is done, we will be powerful beyond measure.

    The solution isn’t easy, but it has to be attempted. That’s why Minority Fortune arose to further the wealth and financial education along with other powerful authorities, such as Black Enterprise. Our goal is one of the same: to realize our power, attain it, and grow it. Keep it coming.

  • Excellent article.

    We can question and theorize on the reasons behind the first set of stats regarding wealth and net worth. But the fact that 93% of our dollars exit the community faster than the speed of light stopped me in my tracks.

    From this day forward I committ to supporting black owned businesses and will continue in my efforts to dispel the myth of inferior products and service from black business owners.

    Kimberly Coulter

  • Great information! I did my thesis in graduate school about the black dollar and how it’s the only race where the money is not recycled within the community. I always patronize black companies, but what happens when these black companies do not provide the same level of service as the other companies? I’m asking this question because it happens a lot. I live in Atlanta so I can find any and every type of business owned by blacks, however being an educator and trainer of customer service have often sent me to the competition. What can we do to stop this? In my book A2Z Inspirational Marketing it talks a lot about how and why businesses do or do not survive!

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