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Sep 09, 2021
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“White society sought to outlaw black prosperity as much as possible, and where the law couldn’t work, then violence came into play.” During the book club Michael Dyson quoted one of my favorite Beyonce/ Jay-z lyric: “what’s better than one billionaire? Two. Especially when he has the same hue as you.” Although I myself did not grow up in the projects or a rough neighborhood, like Jay-Z did, I grew up knowing what the projects were. And I grew up listening to RAP music. Music that spoke of selling drugs so that you could eat. Stealing and robbing so that you can have heat and shelter. And I wondered why the projects seemed like a reservation for black people. Why is the concept of white people living in the suburbs and gated communities and black people living in the projects and “hoods” the norm? I knew Black people weren’t lazy. So my only other thought was that they were under-educated. Because they lacked the education, knowledge, and skills needed for the jobs that paid more, they had to live in these spaces. It took me until undergrad to then think why? I reflected on the brutality when Brown v. Board of Ed was decided. Then I learned about redlining. Then I learned about the inequities in our school systems based on location and government funding. Then I learned about wealthy alums donating to private schools so that their children could continue their legacy. I learned about Black Wall Street. I learned about nepotism. I learned the concept of Black prosperity being outlawed. So now, after the wake of Black Lives Matter, the goal has been set to create Black wealth. Black entrepreneurship. Black people learning about the stock market. Black people climbing corporate ladders. Black people occupying spaces to create a change in our public schools. Black billionaires.


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