The whole world is fighting against racism, but the recent events that occurred in the United States, the protest over the past few weeks for the injustice of the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many others show that we still need to fight for Black lives and other communities.
Racism encompasses every stage of life and it is everywhere, from the streets to the rarest place you could ever imagine. It also happens in the economy. White families are wealthier than Black families by a pretty big difference. According to McKinsey, in 1992, the median net worth of white families was $100,000 above that of Black families, and by 2016, that difference increased. White families’ wealth grew over $50,000 whilst those of Black families did not, as Business Insider explains.
There are 614 billionaires in the United States. However, only seven are African American, according to Forbes’ Billionaires List. Only 13 of the 2,153 people on Forbes’ 2019 Billionaires List were black, and just 11 in 2018. These numbers reveal the huge difference between the economic opportunities of Black and white Americans.
Among those seven black billionaires included in the list, we can find the following names.
Is Kanye West a billionaire? As of 4/27/21, Kanye West’s net worth is $1.8 billion according to Forbes. However, it is not the first time the rapper claims to be wealthier than that. Various sources support West’s version of his fortune, as an article that was recently released by Bloomberg, in which they say that Kanye West is now the richest black person in America. Some of their data include West’s apparel and sneaker business Yeezy with Adidas AG and Gap Inc. which is valued at $3.2 billion to $4.7 billion by UBS Group AG, according to a private document reviewed by Bloomberg. Paired with the rest of his fortune, these numbers would increase West’s net worth to around $6.6 billion.
However, Forbes hasn’t still acknowledged all this information as many of the numbers are an estimation of West’s future earnings, because the new Gap partnership hasn’t been released yet, it will hit stores this summer. The bank estimated that this tie-up with Gap could be worth as much as $970 million of that total, but yet again it’s just an estimation.
What we are sure of is that Kanye West will probably become the richest black person in America in the next couple of years as he has different long-term deals with big corporations that will provide him with great numbers, as well as his great predisposition to success.
The other rapper on the list is Shawn Carter, also known as Jay-Z. His wealth comes from different actions, one being his music and the other one thanks to investments in various fields. According to Forbes, he pocketed approximately $500 million before taxes of his music, $204 million from a clothing line he sold to Iconix in 2007, and the co-owning of the cognac brand D’Ussé. Carter also owns the music streaming service Tidal, bought for $56 million in 2015, and after that Sprint bought a 33% stake in the company for $200 million. As Forbes reported in 2019, Jay-Z’s stake in the company is worth $100 million. If that wasn’t enough, he owns a private art collection worth $70 million, a stake in Uber worth $70 million, and he owns $50 million in real estate. Carter’s current net worth is $1.4 billion.
Michael Jordan, the highest-paid athlete of all time, is also among the seven black billionaires, although not for his salary from the Chicago Bulls. Regarding his professional basketball career, he earned $1.4 billion before taxes from corporate sponsorships, and, according to IMDB, his film debut, “Space Jam,” also earned $250 million. Jordan then purchased an NBA team, the Charlotte Hornets, in 2010, valued at $1.05 billion.
Everyone adores Jordan sneakers, and that’s where he made a lot of money. According to CNN Business, the launch of Nike’s Air Jordan line made him a billionaire in 2015, and there’s no doubt why his current net worth is $1.6 billion.
Oprah Winfrey’s wealth mainly comes from the media. Before spending 25 years hosting her marvelous show “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” she spent a couple of years working as a news anchor. As Forbes estimates, the investments Winfrey made with her show’s profits are now worth about $2 billion, in addition to the building of a media empire that amassed a fortune of $2.6 billion. In addition to that, Oprah also owns 25.5% of her television network OWN, an 8% stake in WW International, and has a content creation deal with Apple TV+. Her current net worth is $2.6 billion.
According to Forbes, Robert F. Smith is still the richest black person in the United States with an estimated net worth of $6 billion, and the world’s richest black person is Nigerian Aliko Dangote, with an estimated net worth of $11.8 billion.