This week marks a hundred years since the lighting of the “Black Wall Street” area in Tulsa, Oklahoma-once the wealthiest African-American community in the entire United States.
White mobs killed Black residents in one of the most horrific racial riots in the United States, with many people killed, Black-owned businesses destroyed and 35 square feet in the Greenwood district. fell.
One hundred years later, many Black Americans still face many disparities in education, income and wealth compared to their white peers.
Today, a technology-based financial literacy startup, New Black Wall Street LLC, wants to provide 21st century platforms for Black economic power.
The organization is rare for heavy-handed cryptocurrency, helping people ride the wild wave of wealth creation through Bitcoin and non-trading tokens (NFTs).
And in honor of those who died in Tulsa in 1921, the firm launched a “100 For 100” initiative in May that encouraged Black investors to put $ 100 in Bitcoin as “the perfect platform for our man to build up a treasure which will never be destroyed. ”.
New Black Wall Street also plans to provide revenues from NFT sales to parents of low-income children so they can set up their own $ 100 crypto wallets.
The company’s weekly seminar runs the root from credit, taxes and house and house to money management.
But the CEO of New Black Wall Street, Joshua Richardson, is more committed to teaching people how to get us out of crypto tokens-with his firm plan to launch his own coin and a new NFT market named Wakanomy, a reference to Wakanda, the fictional Africa country in the film Black Panther.
“It’s got to be our own Wakanda,” Richardson told Al Jazeera, describing 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 “a more powerful weapon than protest”.
Investing in Wakanomy
New Black Wall Street aims to increase by 50 percent the number of minorities with a Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) credit score of 700 or more – considered “good” by lenders – and, the next two decades, increasing the median Black household wealth to $ 165,000. In 2019, the median household wealth reached $ 24,100, compared to $ 188,200 for white families, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve.
The company also wants to level the playing field and enrich the wealth of the generation by educating two million children on financial writing by 2030, and bring 100 million minorities to cryptocurrency investment next year. year.
At New Black Wall Street education sessions held online, many students asked if they needed to pull resources from equities to crypto. The teachers – who are experienced investors – exposed them to different coins and the process for buying tokens from several major exchanges.
Richardson is wary of pump-and-dump schemes, urging people to “be smart” and do their own research.
“The beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” he added about the crypto sector. “It’s about you and what you see as the cause – and what you experience – and what you want to pay for that.”
“You’re your own bank,” Richardson said. “That’s a big responsibility at the end of the day. If you lose yours [crypto] keys, lost your treasure. ”
‘Preparing students for success’
Tiffany Grant is a financial benefit manager who teaches under the business name Money Talk With Tiff. His approach is more conventional, prioritizing accessibility and relatability.
“The best way to teach financial literacy to the next generation of Black and minority youth is with a teacher they can get to know,” Grant told Al Jazeera.
He explained that children need to be included in everyday financial conversation to “remove the stigma from talking about money”.
Grant, who teaches people “anywhere from four to 104 years of age”, also says financial literacy should be fundamental to the school’s interior, as should math, language arts and social studies.
“When kids see someone as if they’re taking the time to make financial education fun and interesting, they’re more likely to adapt,” Grant added. “It’s time we positioned students for success outside the classroom.”
African-Americans still face many barriers to securing financial power, which was one of the key themes addressed by U.S. lawmakers at a House Committee on Financial Services heard Thursday with chief executive from the top six Wall Street banks.
Under pressure from investors to implement racial equity audits, CEOs explained how they look at how to narrow the wealth gap-opening multiple locations in low- and moderate -income areas and partnerships with community development financial institutions.
Rep. David Scott, a Democrat from Georgia, drew attention to the high number of Black households who are not banked or underbanked, adding that 70 percent of African-Americans live in areas that are not ‘ y bank branch.
‘Risk of significant loss’
Those of us who aren’t satisfied where for -profit corporations can’t – or don’t want to – move the needle.
Tim Ranzetta, co-founder of Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF), says many of the largest school districts serving Black and brown students are “financial education deserts”.
A later report by his organization on financial education found that only one in five U.S. high school students is guaranteed to take a semester personal finance course.
“In communities that serve mostly Black and coffee students, that number is one in 14 students,” he told Al Jazeera. “It’s, simple and straightforward, an issue of social justice. This education is hidden from this student population.”
Ranzetta continues to be optimistic about the specialists she provides to instill a culture of personal finance.
NGPF created the Financial Equity and Empowerment Grant program, which provides the first set of guidelines to recipients in public schools from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Miami-Dade County, Florida.
Their curriculum, used by 46,000 teachers who reach more than two million students, runs on the Google Classroom platform.
The program focuses on topics such as taxes, insurance and paying for college. And Ranzetta is adamant that teachers are critical of answering students ’questions about crypto and blockchain technology.
“As we were reminded in the recent move, [crypto] is a speculative investment and investors should be aware that there is a risk of significant loss, ”Ranzetta said.
To this end, his teachers incorporated elements of ethical ethics, including teachings on animal husbandry and fear of unauthorized consent, which could drive property prices down. levels beyond their natural value. Another lesson explains how social media is a passion with meme stock investment.
Each of the organizations has developed its own approach to improving financial literacy. But for Richardson of New Black Wall Street, the crypto debate is often a settled question, even if major currencies like Bitcoin this year are now up more than 40 percent from mid-April highs.
The CEO likened the recently released Black-themed cryptocurrency to New Black Wall Street to how “hip-hop speaks to who we are as a culture, but is absorbed into the world”.
His company has an upcoming NFT live event to paint Black artists and an African-American artifact NFT fall on Juneteenth (June 19), the holiday that celebrates the end of U.S. slavery.
“We don’t want our people to be left behind,” Richardson added. “I know my people tend to be late to celebrate, and we don’t want that to happen. The bull run won’t last forever.”