Tag Archives: Oprah Winfrey

The richest blacks in the world

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.

QUOTE: Oprah Winfrey “Be Thankful”

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“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.  If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

- Oprah Winfrey

* Interesting Fact – Oprah Winfrey was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother and later raised in an inner-city Milwaukee neighborhood.  After she experienced considerable hardship during her childhood, she was sent to live with the man she calls her father, a barber in Tennessee.  Winfrey landed a job in radio while still in high school and began co-anchoring the local evening news at the young age of 19.  Her emotional ad-lib delivery eventually got her transferred to the daytime-talk-show arena, and after boosting a third-rated local Chicago talk show to first place, she launched her own production company and became internationally syndicated.  The rest is history.

Harlem hosts filming of New Oprah series Empire City

Empire City HarlemCondoLife

Empire City is a new drama sponsored by the Oprah Network.  The crew has been filming scenes in Harlem.  More filming all over Harlem is planned.  The crew was recently spotted filming in the outdoor seating area at Harlem Food Bar.  Harlem Food Bar continues to be a magnet for filming of all kinds in the neighborhood.

Omar “O2″ White, the executive producer and CEO / Co-Founder of SoBro-based True Sound Lounge (TSL) was on site.  He explained that the show is about 4 individuals  from different walks of life who move to Harlem.  Below is a video featuring two of the actors discussing their roles on the show.

Omar also mentioned that he is working on a project to develop facilities in the Bronx to support large scale music and film production to support filmmakers focussed on Harlem, upper manhattan the Bronx, etc.

We look forward to seeing more filming in Harlem, and to watching the show when it airs.

QUOTE: Of the Week – Russell Simmons

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“You know, I love all kinds of activism.  I certainly think blacks deserve to have something whether it is affirmative action or an opportunity that should be opened up to them.  But at the same time I believe that people of color are not the only poor people in America and all over the world.”

“Respect your parents.  What they tell you is true.  Hard work, dedication and faith will get you anything.  Imagination will drive itself.  You can get anything you want, but you have to have faith behind all your ideas.  Stick to your goals and have an undying faith.”

- Russell Simmons

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EDITORIAL:

We wanted to quote Russell Simmons this week again (one of many times that we have quoted Simmons here on our blog in our inspirational quotes archive) as a follow up to our quote from Don Lemon last week.  I believe both of these public figures are inspirational to our children and the community.

It’s ok to come from different view points and have a discussion or a debate. Especially when ultimately everyone wants the same thing, people growing into the best person that they can be.  Self-empowerment (as Don said) and recognizing your self worth.  The  important bottom line here is to have the discussion.  This discussion which has been brought up several times over the years by many public figures such as Bill Cosby and Oprah Winfrey, Jay Z and Common.  I remember on the Oprah show when Jay Z was on, and they politely disagreed with each other about his lyrics.  But you believed that they walked away with respect for each other even though they viewed the topic differently.  I love interviews like this because it brings up a discussion.  It is an important discussion to keep having.  Whether agreeing or disagreeing have a discussion with your kids and each other and keep it moving.

I really like the second quote above by Russell Simmons “Respect your parents…” The message really helps to mold your/our way of thinking.  And if not your parents, your grandmother, or your aunt or older brother, sister etc.  To discuss helping people, improving yourself, helping each other, treating one another with kindness and respect, I can’t think of a better or more important discussion to have.  Even if it starts with a disagreement it might end with an agreement or at least an understanding.

And just one last thing, living in New York is one thing, but living in Harlem is a bigger feeling of community, and focus and passion towards helping those that need it.  At least this is the Harlem that I have come to love.  People here in our community black, white, spanish, artist, corporate, community organizers, politicians, rich, poor, moms, students whatever, all seem to step it up a notch or two and this is a great thing.  I was speaking with someone the other night at a Harlem event (at the HarlemGarage) and we were discussing Detroit (the woman I was speaking with was from there) and the turmoil that Detroit is going through right now.  She said she wants to go help in some way.  We both shared an enthusiasm on how we might help – help is really where it all begins.  That’s what I’m talking about.  People that give a sh#! (pardon my French) and walk the walk don’t talk the talk.  I think Russell, Don, everyone that I’ve mentioned above  are perfect examples of people who care and act.  And if you disagree, just wikipedia any one of them.

Keep it moving, have faith, keep having the discussions.  We all want the same things, though we may get there in our own way, style and time.