Growing Your Income

Black Finance Experts Say Juneteenth Calls for a Lesson In Economic Understanding

Social influencers focused on improving the financial education of Black Americans are emphasizing a message of financial freedom for Juneteenth.

CNBC reports that as the nation commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S., many prominent personal finance figures on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube are teaching financial education to Black Americans so they can take control of their financial futures.

“I definitely feel the Juneteenth remembrance should have a level of economic understanding as a part of it,” Rashad Bilal of the Earn Your Leisure podcast told CNBC. “But I think the problem with holidays is that no matter what it is Christmas, Easter, New Year’s, everything is just made as a celebration, and you lose the meaning of it.”

Bilal’s podcast has more than 1 million followers on Instagram and is part of a growing movement of Black content creators providing insight and advice on financial markets, real estate, cryptocurrency, entrepreneurship, and more.

They’ve also recognized the link between the goals of financial freedom today and the economic impact slavery had on Black Americans. It’s no secret that Black Americans have been at a disadvantage for generations when it comes to wealth building in the United States.

According to a 2020 Federal Reserve Study, the average net worth of Black Americans is $24,000 while for white Americans it’s $188,000.

Other influencers sharing financial information online and spreading messages of financial freedom this Juneteenth include Ian Dunlap, The Master Investor; Kezia Williams; Philip Michael of the Bigger Pockets Blog; and Ross Mac. Each has millions of followers and their own areas of financial expertise, but they share the same goal of helping the Black community achieve financial freedom.

Dunlap is urging Black Americans to pay attention to a 2017 report predicting the median wealth of Black households will fall to $0 by 2053 and to look for opportunities to invest money and grow wealth. Dunlap told CNBC he believes economic freedom and social justice go hand-in-hand, saying:

“If we don’t have economic freedom and financial literacy we truly do not have justice.”

Meanwhile, Williams, who refers to herself as an “emancipation activist,” urges Black consumers to view Juneteenth as an opportunity to support Black businesses and post their receipts on social media with the hashtag #myBlackReceipt.

Additionally, Michael, who has a $250 million real estate portfolio, is trying to achieve a goal of helping 100,000 Black people become millionaires by 2030 through real estate.

“The asset class that has created more millionaires than any other is real estate. That’s one of the ‘easiest’ ways to get that point,” Michael told CNBC. “Really, what I want to do is normalize those conversations in a casual format where we can talk about our investment portfolio just as easy as we talk about a trip we went on or shoes we bought.”