There are songs written about the desire to gain Black wealth and become billionaires. And why not when you have representation like Rihanna, Michael Jordan, and Oprah? But is being a billionaire a goal?
Even with all the philanthropic donations Black billionaires give, their admirable generosity is rarely felt where it's most needed. Thomas Picketty, author of Capital in the 21st Century, said, "[sic] fortunes can grow beyond any rational justification in terms of social utility."
And there’s another reason billionaires may harm our community.
Black billionaires, especially if they engage in hoarding resources, tax evasion, nepotism, and other behaviors normalized among the rich, can contribute to wealth inequality. This makes upward mobility nearly impossible for other members of our community.
We must center Black liberation within our financial investments and economic endeavors. However, doing so to the point of billionaire status continues to use the exploitative capitalist system to grow singular wealth instead of community betterment. Having wealth and sharing that wealth are goals but at what point is it too much?