Introduction - Building Black Wealth
Richard "Rich" Miller, MBA
Author & Former Car Dealer
During the American Civil War, African Americans were promised 40 acres and a mule as a part of “Special Field Order, No. 15”, issued on January 16, 1865, by General William T. Sherman.
This field order set aside a large swath of land along the coast of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida (400,000 acres of Prime Real-Estate) for the exclusive settlement of approximately 18,000 formerly enslaved Black families, and other Blacks living in the area. The orders were intended to address the problem of dealing with the tens of thousands of Black refugees and Black soldiers who had joined and assisted the Union Army.
After President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, his vice president Andrew Johnson, who was never in favor of field order No. 15, assumed the presidency and quickly rescinded the order. Had field order No. 15 been implemented, Blacks in America would have had a solid foundation, on which we could build
During reconstruction, many Blacks and Black farmers worked tirelessly, saved their income and purchased land in the south. Due to a host of problems with deeds and titles, many of which were manufactured by jealous people with decision-making positions in the County Administration offices, and the USDA (US Dept of Agriculture), many Blacks lost their land and their farms, wiping out a significant amount of generational wealth.
For decades after Field Order No.15 and reconstruction, Blacks in America have struggled to build wealth, and pass that wealth on to our children.
This book Building Black Wealth clearly defines wealth while discussing the impediments to building wealth and economic leakage - the fact that Blacks spend $1.4 trillion dollars of our hard-earned income every freaking year with people who don’t look like us. It also provides a host of solutions that any Black
person (or anyone for that matter) can implement in order to build wealth and pass it on to his or her children.
Building wealth is a mindset. The sooner you embrace that mindset in life and explain it to your children and your grandchildren, the sooner that mindset will become a part of you and your family’s DNA, which can be passed on for generations. Jewish families have embraced this mindset for centuries.
This book provides a road map that the average Black person can use to build wealth. There’s something in it for people of all ages and cultural backgrounds. It’s written very simply, not to be condescending to those of you who may have MBAs and PhDs, but so that both young adults and seniors can read, understand what they’re reading, and most importantly implement some of the step by step suggestions in order to build wealth.
Despite the setback of not receiving our 40 acres and a mule 156 years ago, which would have given us a significant leg up on building wealth in America, there are still several opportunities for the average African American to use today to build wealth. One of the most common wealth building strategies is investing in real-estate. Receiving passive income every month from renters is a beautiful thing!
Since God is making no more land on earth, land is a very valuable commodity. Its value is reflected all the way back to biblical times. God led Moses and the Jews to the promised land, which was often referred to as the land of milk and honey. So, if you don’t own any land, please make it a point to acquire some as soon as possible.
Since the demand far outpaces the supply, the value of land and real-estate will always increase with time.
Some of us have squandered opportunities to keep land that was passed down to us by our parents and grandparents. We didn’t take the time, or we didn’t know how to properly title the land, secure the deeds, pay the taxes, or remove any liens in order to maintain that land. As a result, the land was auctioned off, or in some cases, taxes have piled up and the land remains unclaimed.
If you have land that was willed to you or your parents, but that land was never legally claimed, it may be worth it to do some research to determine how you can claim your land. If there are future plans to develop that land, or land surrounding yours, depending on the time-frame of those plans you may be able to sell your land to developers and make a nice profit. If it’s a long term plan, your children or grandchildren could reap the benefits of your decision to secure your family land.
Investing in real estate, and securing passive income is one of the easiest ways that almost anyone can utilize, in order to build wealth. If real-estate is not for you, then find a career or investments that pays residual income, or start a small business.
This book will illustrate various actions you can take in order to build wealth. If you’re already wealthy, this book wasn’t written for you. Although it may help you grow and retain your wealth. This book was written for your Aunt Mary and your Cousin Pookie, who always seem to be “skruggling!” (We all have one of them
in our families).
The book presents simple and practical steps anyone can use to build wealth. Ultimately, you will have an opportunity to create generational wealth by passing it on to your children and your grandchildren. If you’re a spiritual person, check out: Proverbs Chapter 13 verse 22, “A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children”.