“New Black Wall Street”: Closing the Wealth Gap a Century After Tulsa | Business and Economy News


This week marks a century since the ignition of the “Black Wall Street” area of ​​Tulsa, Oklahoma, then the richest African-American community in the United States.

White mobs massacred black residents in one of the worst racial riots in U.S. history, with dozens killed, black-owned businesses destroyed and 35 square feet of Greenwood District flattened.

A century later, many black Americans still face significant disparities in education, income, and wealth compared to their white peers.

Now, a technology-based financial literacy startup, New Black Wall Street LLC, wants to provide 21st century platforms for the economic empowerment of blacks.

The organization is unique for its strong emphasis on cryptocurrency, helping people ride the wild wave of wealth creation through sales of bitcoins and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

And in honor of those who died in Tulsa in 1921, the firm promoted a “100 percent” initiative in May, encouraging black investors to put $ 100 into Bitcoin as “the perfect platform for our people to build wealth where never again. it will never be destroyed ”.

Technology-based financial literacy start-up New Black Wall Street LLC wants to provide 21st century platforms for the economic empowerment of blacks [Courtesy of New Black Wall Street]

New Black Wall Street also plans to donate revenue from its NFT sales to parents of low-income colored children so they can set up their own $ 100 cryptocurrencies.

The company’s weekly virtual seminars range from credit, tax and real estate to money management.

But New Black Wall Street CEO Joshua Richardson is most optimistic about teaching people how to benefit from cryptocurrencies, with his company planning to launch its own currency and a new NFT market called Wakanomy, a reference to Wakanda, the fictional African. was born in the movie Black Panther.

“This must be our own Wakanda,” Richardson told Al Jazeera, who described it as “a different way to build our economy.” He also believes that financial literacy is “the key to our future,” arguing that it is “an even more powerful weapon than protest.”

Invest in Wakanomy

New Black Wall Street’s goal is to increase by 50 percent the number of minorities with Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) credit scores of 700 or more – which is considered “good” by lenders – and in the next two decades, increase the average wealth of black households to $ 165,000. In 2019, the average wealth of black households was $ 24,100, compared to $ 188,200 for white households, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The company also wants to equalize the playing field and improve generational wealth by educating two million children in financial literacy by 2030 and leading 100 million minorities to invest in cryptocurrencies the following year.

In New Black Wall Street educational sessions held online, many students wonder if they should extract resources from equity in cryptography. Professors, who are experienced investors, expose them to various currencies and to the process of buying tokens from some of the major exchanges.

Richardson warns against pumping and dumping schemes, and urges people to be “smart” and do their own research.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” he added about the cryptographic sector. “It’s about you, what you see value and what you experience and what you’re willing to pay for it.”

“You’re your own bank,” Richardson said. “It simply came to our notice then. If you lose yours [crypto] keys, wealth is lost. “

In honor of those who died in Tulsa in 1921, New Black Wall Street promoted a “100 percent” initiative in May, encouraging black investors to put $ 100 in Bitcoin as “the perfect platform for our people to build wealth there. where it will never be destroyed again ‘ [Courtesy of New Black Wall Street]

“Set Students Up for Success”

Tiffany Grant is a financial wellness facilitator who teaches classes under the trade name Money Talk With Tiff. Their approach is more conventional, prioritizing accessibility and relationship.

“The best way to teach financial literacy to the next generation of young blacks and minorities is for the teacher to be someone they can relate to,” Grant told Al Jazeera.

He explained that children should be included in daily financial conversations to “remove the stigma of talking about money.”

Grant, who instructs people “ages four to 104,” also said financial literacy should be standard in the classroom, such as math, language arts and social studies.

“When kids see someone who seems to be taking the time to make financial education fun and interesting, they’re more likely to tune in,” Grant added. “It’s time to prepare students for success outside the classroom.”

African Americans still face huge obstacles to gaining financial power, which was one of the key issues addressed by U.S. lawmakers at a hearing on the House Financial Services Committee on Thursday with top six executives. major Wall Street banks.

Under pressure from investors to conduct racial equity audits, CEOs explained how they are studying how to reduce the wealth gap, opening more locations in low- and moderate-income areas and collaborating with development financial institutions. community.

Representative David Scott, a Democrat from Georgia, drew attention to the high rate of non-bank or non-bank black households, adding that 70% of African Americans live in neighborhoods without a bank branch.

“Risk of significant losses”

Nonprofits have intervened where for-profit companies cannot (or do not want to) move the needle.

Tim Ranzetta, co-founder of Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF), says many of the larger school districts that serve black and brown students are “financial educational deserts.”

His organization’s recent report on financial education showed that only one in five U.S. high school students is guaranteed a one-semester personal finance course.

“In communities that serve mostly black and brown students, that number is one in 14 students,” he told Al Jazeera. “This is, in a simple way, a matter of social justice. This education is being withheld from this student population. ”

Ranzetta remains optimistic about the specialists he hires to instill a culture of personal finance.

NGPF created the Equity Financial and Empowerment grant program, which has awarded a first set of grants to recipients in public schools in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Miami-Dade County, Florida.

Its curriculum, used by 46,000 teachers reaching more than two million students, runs on the Google Classroom platform.

The program focuses on topics such as taxes, insurance, and college pay. And Ranzetta is adamant that teachers respond critically to students ’questions about cryptography and blockchain technology.

“As recent volatility has reminded us, [crypto] it is a speculative investment and investors should know that there is a risk of significant losses, ”Ranzetta said.

To this end, their teachers incorporate behavioral financing elements, including lessons about grazing instincts and fear of getting lost, that can drive asset prices to levels well above their intrinsic value. Another lesson explains how social media is an accelerator with investments in meme actions.

Each of these organizations has adopted its own approach to fostering financial literacy. But for Richardson of New Black Wall Street, the debate over cryptocurrencies is mostly a resolved issue, even as major currencies like Bitcoin have recently fallen more than 40 percent from the April high.

The CEO compares the soon-to-be-published New Black Wall Street black-themed cryptocurrency to how “hip-hop tells the story of who we are as a culture, but how the world absorbs us.”

His company has an upcoming NFT live painting event featuring black artists and an African-American artifact that will be released on NFT on June 19 (June 19), the holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the US.

“We don’t want our people to be left behind,” Richardson added. “I know my people are usually late for the party and we don’t want that to happen. The bullfight doesn’t last forever. “

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