We are living at the intersection of many crossroads. One such crossroad is race and wealth.
One of the manifestations of which is Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index. Which is exactly what it sounds like: an interactive exploration of the world’s richest folk.
The site is an interesting blend of design, functionality and content. It is also interesting by what it omits – exploration by race or ethnic origin. I tried to solve this in the long term by sending the Bloomberg team an email requesting this feature (no response yet). But in the short term, I did some plain old research using Google, and then looked for the results (also published in Forbes) in the tool.
I’m not going to spoil the results. I am going to let you enjoy using the site to satisfy your own curiosities.
But I can tell you that of the top 10 richest blacks in the world, I found one of them in the Index. Lower down in the list than I had hoped. Not someone I would have expected. A man. The second richest black is a woman. She is not on the list since her wealth at almost 4 billion apparently does not make the cut. Both their fortunes originate in and emanate from Africa.
It’s interesting to note how little we hear about Africa’s slow, steady and inexorable advancement as a world economic power. It’s no wonder that many nations and businesses – Big oil, telecom, finance and the Chinese, have set their sights on Africa, and are investing heavily there.
A few weeks ago we reported on Harlem Pride events taking place this weekend during New York’s Gay Pride celebration.
Little did we know that there would be an additional reason to celebrate.
Tonight in a historic vote the NY State Senate has approved marriage for same sex couples, which represents a tremendous opportunity. New York Becomes the Seventh U.S. Jurisdiction to Allow Gay and Lesbian Couples to Marry.
The energy around this has been building in the last few months, culminating in this evening’s historic achievement in civil and human rights history.
- In recent months dozens of New Yorkers – everyday people and celebrities alike – recorded video testimonials in support of marriage equality in New York.
- On June 24th President Obama said “I believe that gay couples deserve the same legal rights as every other couple in this country.”
- And later, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the vote a “historic triumph for equality and freedom.”
“In recent weeks, I have had many conversations with our state Senators. I emphasized that not only is marriage equality consistent with bedrock American principles, but it is also consistent with bedrock Republican Party principles of liberty and freedom — and the Republicans who stood up today for those principles will long be remembered for their courage, foresight, and wisdom. In fact, 10 or 20 or 30 years from now, I believe they will look back at this vote as one of their finest, proudest moments.”
The part I liked the most about Cuomo’s speech was his focus on the word “equality”. No doubt this will resonate deeply with all Americans.
And as I wrap up this post I find myself humming Kool & The Gang’s CELEBRATE.
Happy Harlem Pride.