By: Leticia Latrice
The new African American Museum which recently hosted its grand opening at the Smithsonian may never have come to reality without the helping hand of many donors. While many gave what they could, some could and did give millions. The top donation of $21 million came from Oprah Winfrey followed by another $20 million gift from another Black billionaire, Robert Smith.
Smith is a name that most people never heard of and even fewer know of. He’s one of the richest men in the country, worth an estimated $2.5 billion dollars according to Forbes Magazine. Smith is the head of Vista Equity Partners, a company that buys, grows and sells software companies. The Washington Post recently talked with the billionaire who has quietly been funding philanthropic endeavors for years. In the article with the Post, Smith talked about why he gives so much back to the Black community and he talked about how even with all his money, he is reminded of the color of his skin when stopped often by police. Smith says, “You shouldn’t have to be fearful of your life…You should be able to drive to the airport and not be stopped three to seven times a year.”
Smith is a member of a very exclusive group of Black Billionaires in the U.S. Out of the 1,810 Billionaires in the world only 12 of them are of African Diaspora descent. Of the top five, three are Nigerian and two are women. One of them as we previously mentioned is media mogul Oprah Winfrey . Other names on the list of of Black Billionaires are Aliko Dangote, Mike Adenuga, Folorunsho Alakija along with Smith .
Aliko Dangote has the highest net worth at $14.4 billion he is the CEO of a cement company. Next Mike Adenuga has a net worth of $10 billion dollars and made his riches in the mobile telecom, real estate investments and oil industries. Oprah has been building her empire and wealth for the past twenty years through her media and entertainment ventures and currently has a net worth of $2.9 Billion. Folorunsho Alakija is a Nigerian woman who is in the oil industry with a net worth of $1.82 billion.
Even though there are not that many, it is amazing to see black people own a share of the world’s wealth. Despite the obstacles and racism that people of the African Diaspora may face, it is good to see we can still win and rise to the top in the business world. Seeing black people achieve high levels of success, like becoming the President and billionaires is inspiring. It shows that black people can become as successful as anyone else and the sky is the limit.
The African American and African Diaspora community should teach the youth the value of money and building wealth. Instead of young black children wanting to become athletes, rappers or instagram models they should want to become billionaires.
Dr. Boyce Watkins has an education course titled the Black Billionaires of Tomorrow and other courses for children. This program was designed to education children on how to become entrepreneurs and learn the art of investing money properly so that it will help them accumulate wealth. As well as give them hopes and aspirations of becoming a billionaire. Just imagine if there were schools filled with black children who are learning how to become a billionaire. The black economy could become self sufficient and not have to worry about being shut out from other financial resources. Please invest in the youth. Help teach and give them the tools to succeed that were not given to you.
Check out Dr. Boyce’s Program Black Billionaires of Tomorrow
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