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Why Kazakhstan – The New Silk Road

This is the first in a 9 part series of educational business programs that are hosted by Freedom Nation in order to gain a greater understanding asked the strategic significance of operating in Central Asia. As with all of our discussions, the focus is on the competitiveness of black-owned businesses.

In this first session, we will cover the Mega Project which is the new Silk Road also known as the BRI or Belt and Road Initiative. The new silk road project is the largest infrastructure project on Earth. Termed as the project of the century. It is a $20 trillion set of infrastructure and logistical projects that cover land routes and maritime routes that are both historical as well as highly significant in the modern global economy.

During this session, we will:

  1. Review a brief history of the Silk Road and a history of the current project.
  2. Review the progress of the project as well as the key components that are relevant to American business and to giving control and power back to black-owned business owners.

This series is designed to convey a multitude of information to assist black-owned businesses make decisions that increase their competitiveness by:

  1. reducing their costs
  2. giving them strategic and logistic advantages and
  3. increasing the quality of products and goods that they are able to produce for their customers.
  4. Increase access to international opportunities for sales and investment

Federal Judge Orders Minority Business Development Agency to Serve All Business Owners Regardless of Race

PilieroMazza PLLC On March 5, 2024, a federal judge ordered the Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) to immediately stop considering a business owner’s race or ethnicity in determining whether an applicant may receive business-related benefits and services from MBDA Business Centers nationwide, including assistance with accessing capital and pursuing government contracting opportunities. [1] Judge Mark T. Pittman, U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Texas, ruled that MBDA’s use of the presumption that certain individuals—including African Americans, Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Asians, and Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders—are “socially or economically disadvantaged individuals” is unconstitutional. Government contractors should be aware of these developments as the decision could impact current and future programs focused on increasing the participation of historically underrepresented groups in the federal marketplace. Below, PilieroMazza breaks down the case, Jeffrey Nuiziard, et al. v. Minority Business Development Agency, et al. , and its potential impact on minority-owned businesses.

Minority Business Development Agency

The MBDA was first established as the Office of Minority Business Enterprise by President Nixon in 1969. The Minority Business Development Act of 2021—included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure and Investment and Jobs Act—made the MBDA permanent and authorized the creation of regional MBDA offices and rural business centers. It also increased the capacity of the agency’s existing programs with a budget of $550 Million over five years. [2]

The MBDA has a nationwide network of dozens of Business Centers, Advanced Manufacturing Centers, Export Centers, and one Federal Procurement Center. According to Don Cravins Jr., the first-ever MBDA Under Secretary, in 2023, the MBDA National Network helped businesses secure over $1.2 Billion in capital, over $1.6 Billion in contracts, and nearly $300 Million in export deals. [3]


The three named plaintiffs in the case, all of whom are white men, claimed they were unable to obtain assistance from the MBDA for their respective small businesses—including a sexual and lifestyle health clinic, a project management corporation, and an architecture firm—due to their race. Relying on the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College , 600 U.S. 181 (2023), in which the Court held that affirmative action programs based on race are unconstitutional, the plaintiffs argued that MBDA’s use of a racial presumption for program participation violates the Equal Protection Guarantees of the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. Petitioners also claimed that the program was unlawful under the Administrative Procedure Act, but the District Court declined to grant summary judgement on that ground.

The Decision

In his lengthy 93-page opinion, Judge Pittman opined about the dangers of programs operated on facially race-based presumptions. While he found that remedying past discrimination in government contracting is a compelling governmental interest, the court ultimately determined that the race-based presumption was not narrowly tailored to satisfy its remedial purpose. Instead, the ultimate design of the program punishes those business owners who are not presumptively entitled to MBDA assistance.

Judge Pittman was not persuaded by the fact that business owners may still apply for a designation as socially or economically disadvantaged and be found eligible to participate in MBDA business center programming. [4] Instead, he found the application process only proves that those who are “not on the list” must “overcome additional hurdles” to receive business assistance from the agency. [5]

Despite recognizing that the agency’s work “may alleviate opportunity gaps faced by (minority business entrepreneurs)” the Court concluded that “two wrongs do not make a right.” [6] As such, Judge Pittman sided with the plaintiffs and found that the racial presumption failed the strict scrutiny test, the highest standard of review courts use to evaluate the constitutionality of race-based affirmative action programs and thus MBDA’s practices violate the Fifth Amendment’s equal protection guarantees.

In closing, Judge Pittman declared “[t]oday the clocks run out” on MBDA’s 55-year legacy of using an unconstitutional race-based presumption to determine program eligibility. [7] Now, the agency established to address challenges faced by minority-owned businesses must open its doors to business owners and entrepreneurs of all races.


In the wake of the Supreme Court striking down affirmative action programs in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. , this decision marks the latest shift in the law relating to programs designed specifically to assist individuals and groups that have been historically socially and economically disadvantaged in the United States. Last year, PilieroMazza reported on the Ultima case (linked here and here ) where a federal judge in Tennessee issued an injunction on the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program’s use of a rebuttable presumption based on race to determine program eligibility.

For businesses already utilizing MBDA Business Centers, the decision may affect the types of services and programs that the centers can offer. It is likely that certain programs will be overhauled. Without any eligibility requirements for participation, the number of entrepreneurs seeking assistance from the business centers may dramatically increase, impacting the services and benefits that existing participants can access.

Individuals who had previously not met the presumption for eligibility to utilize MBDA Business Centers, may now access MBDA’s offering of programs without first having to prove that they are “socially or economically disadvantaged”. It is unclear how the agency will change their customized business development and industry-focused services tailored for U.S. minority business enterprises after the decision. The Department of Commerce and the MBDA have yet to update their websites or provide any guidance about how they will address the required program changes.

It is likely this decision will be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

[1] Jeffrey Nuizard, et al., v. Minority Business Development Agency, et al. , No. 4:23-CV-0041-00278-P (N.D. Tex. March 5, 2024).

[2] Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Pub. L. No. 117-58 (2021).

[3] Minority Business Development Agency 2023 Year in Review, A Message from Under Secretary Donald R. Cravins, Jr., https://www.mbda.gov/2023yearinreview (last visited March 8, 2024).

[4] 13 C.F.R. § 1400.3 Request for determination. (“A group wishing to apply for designation as socially or economically disadvantaged under Executive Order 11625 shall submit a written application to the Director of the Minority Business Development Agency, United States Department of Commerce, Washington, DC, 20230”.)

[5] Jeffrey Nuizard, et al., v. Minority Business Development Agency, et al. at 38.

[6] Id. at 92.

[7] Id. at 93. Related Posts

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© PilieroMazza PLLC 2024 | Attorney Advertising

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NVIDIA announced Project GR00T Foundation Model for Humanoid Robots and Major Isaac Robotics platform update







NVIDIA announced Project GR00T… NVIDIA Project GR00T Foundation Model Isaac Robotics Platform Now Provides Developers New Robot Training Simulator, Jetson Thor Robot Computer, Generative AI Foundation Models

NVIDIA has introduced Project GR00T, a versatile foundation model tailored for humanoid robots, as part of its efforts to advance breakthroughs in robotics and embodied AI. In conjunction with this initiative, the company has unveiled a new computing system called Jetson Thor, specifically designed for humanoid robots and based on the NVIDIA Thor system-on-a-chip (SoC). Jetson Thor is engineered to serve as a cutting-edge computing platform capable of executing complex tasks while ensuring safe and natural interactions with humans and machinery. Featuring a modular architecture optimized for performance, power efficiency, and size, Jetson Thor incorporates a next-generation GPU based on the NVIDIA Blackwell architecture, delivering 800 teraflops of 8-bit floating point AI performance to support multimodal generative AI models like GR00T.

NVIDIA’s comprehensive AI platform for leading humanoid robot companies includes collaborations with prominent entities such as 1X Technologies, Agility Robotics, Apptronik, Boston Dynamics, Figure AI, Fourier Intelligence, Sanctuary AI, Unitree Robotics, and XPENG Robotics, among others. Embodied AI models necessitate substantial amounts of both real and synthetic data. To address this need, the new Isaac Lab offers GPU-accelerated, lightweight, and performance-optimized simulations tailored for robot learning. Meanwhile, OSMO facilitates the coordination of data generation, model training, and software/hardware-in-the-loop workflows across distributed environments to scale robot development workloads effectively.

This post is curated. All content belongs to original poster at thesiliconreview.com

52% of Black Americans say homeownership is a mark of success, report finds. But it can conflict with other goals


While homeownership is out of reach for many Black Americans, most still see it as a hallmark of success.

About 66% of Black Americans consider themselves successful in some way, according to a recent study by the Pew Research Center. Slightly more than half of all those surveyed, 52%, believe homeownership is important for their definition of success.

Meanwhile, 82% said they feel the most successful when they can provide for their families, according to Pew, which surveyed 4,736 Black adults in the U.S. from Sept. 12-24.

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Those two markers of success can be at odds. While homeownership is known to be a path to build wealth, a mortgage payment and other housing-related expenses can cause financial strain, leaving you with little to spend on other expenses or save toward your goals.

“Being ‘house poor’ doesn’t do much for you,” said Preston D. Cherry, a certified financial planner and the founder and president of Concurrent Financial Planning in Green Bay, Wisconsin. ‘Homeownership has a lot more expenses than renting’

“Homeownership has a lot more expenses than renting: taxes, insurance, maintenance, down payment. All these factors need to be considered,” said Cherry, a member of CNBC’s Financial Advisor Council .

Outside of the mortgage, property taxes and insurance costs, utility and maintenance costs also tend to be higher in a house than an apartment, Kamila Elliott, CFP, co-founder and CEO of Collective Wealth Partners in Atlanta, previously told CNBC. Before you close the deal on a house, it’s important to have good estimates of those costs to anticipate what your realistic budget would look like.

“Understand what it is to be a homeowner and how things work,” said Elliott, also a member of CNBC’s Financial Advisor Council .

Owning a home might also leave you without enough money to fund other financial goals, like paying down debt, providing for additional family members, or saving for retirement, Cherry said.

In some markets, renting can be the smarter financial choice, says Susan M. Wachter, a professor of real estate and finance at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

“The cost of homeownership versus renting has been made [it] daunting to become a homeowner. It’s less expensive to be a renter in most markets in the U.S.,” Wachter said.

If you’re looking to provide for your family and can do that by renting as opposed to owning, “then that’s the way forward,” she said. Give yourself grace. Homeownership will be there for you when you’re ready. Preston D. Cherry certified financial planner How to build wealth without owning a home

When you compare upfront costs, renting is likely to be less expensive than buying a house; a rental unit’s security deposit and a potential broker’s fee are likely to be a lot less money compared to a down payment, said Jacob Channel, a senior economist at LendingTree.

Therefore, remember “there’s nothing wrong with being a renter,” and there are millionaires in the U.S. who could afford a house but still choose to rent, he said.

“At the end of the day, what good is being a homeowner when you can’t provide basic necessities for yourself and your loved ones?” he said.

While homeownership can create wealth over the long term, it’s not always the case: “Can you build wealth without homeownership? Yes. Rent and invest the difference,” Cherry said.

By being financially flexible, you may be able to accomplish and address more goals than being able to fund one goal, he said.

“Give yourself grace. Homeownership will be there for you when you’re ready,” Cherry said.

This post is curated. All content belongs to original poster at todayinthemarkets.com

Blaxit: Tired of Racism, Black Americans Try Life in Africa

Since moving to Zanzibar in 2022, Mark and Marlene Bradley have been embracing island life by taking it slow.Credit…Khadija Farah for The New York Times Jes’ka Washington lives in a six-bedroom house on a hill with avocado trees and a spectacular view, not far from the rabbit farm she runs. For less than $50,000, Shoshana Kirya-Ziraba and her husband built a four-bedroom, two-bathroom house on family farmland with goats, turkeys and about a thousand chickens. Mark and Marlene Bradley now call themselves islanders and the owners of three homes cooled by ocean breezes.

All of them are Black Americans who found their new homes in Africa. They are enjoying the substantially lower cost of living and, more important, they said, the absence of the racism and discrimination they experienced in the United States.

The Covid pandemic and the racial reckoning in the wake of the murder of George Floyd led some Black Americans to seek a different way of life abroad, in a movement that some are calling Blaxit.

Those moving to Africa are also looking for an ancestral connection. Their migration is less about money and more about acceptance, a path that many intellectuals and artists have taken before.

Today, a new life in Africa is open to people of varied professions who can work remotely. Immigration has been fueled by vocal proponents on social media and by government programs like Sierra Leone’s path to citizenship and Ghana’s Beyond the Return campaign; according to the Diaspora Affairs Office of Ghana, at least 1,500 African Americans moved to the country between 2019 and 2023. Despite the potential concerns for newcomers — including a wave of extreme anti-L.G.B.T.Q. policies across the continent — Black Americans are still making the trip.

Ms. Washington, 46, of Houston, relocated to Rwanda in 2020. Mrs. Kirya-Ziraba, 40, moved to Uganda from Texas in 2021. The Bradleys, who are in their 60s, settled in Zanzibar in 2022.

Ashley Cleveland, 39, a mother of two who runs a company that helps foreigners invest in and grow their businesses in Africa, relocated from Atlanta to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in 2020 and is now based in South Africa. She said she appreciates that in much of Africa, race is “an abstract concept.”

“Seeing Black African people on the money, on the billboards, you immediately eliminate your Blackness,” she said. She welcomed this change for her children, who were 9 and 2 when they left the United States. Her older daughter, whose skin tone is deep brown, was no longer “bullied because of her complexion,” she said. ‘We’re at Home’

The Exodus Club has been helping people in the African diaspora move to the continent since 2017. R.J. Mahdi, 38, a consultant for the group, moved from Ohio to Senegal 10 years ago.

Mr. Mahdi said he had seen an increase in the number of Black Americans relocating to Africa in the past several years. “There are 10 times as many coming now as there were five or six years ago,” he said. By his estimate, demand for the Exodus Club’s services has grown at least 20 percent every year since its founding, when it had about 30 clients.

Becoming a “repat” felt empowering to Mr. Mahdi as a Black Muslim, he said. In the United States, about 14 percent of the population is Black , and just 2 percent of Black Americans are Muslim . In Senegal, however, nearly everyone is Black and Muslim. “For more reasons than one, we’re at home,” he said.

Mrs. Kirya-Ziraba, who is Jewish, said that when she moved to Uganda to join her husband, Israel Kirya, she went from being “a minority within a minority” to being surrounded by those who share her race and faith. Mrs. Kirya-Ziraba, who worked for a commercial real estate company in Texas, now runs Tikvah Chadasha Foundation, a nonprofit supporting Ugandan women and disabled children. She and her husband live in Mbale, a small city that is home to the Abayudaya Jewish community, which has about 2,000 members .

In the United States, Mrs. Kirya-Ziraba said, her identity came with qualifications: “Other Black people try to qualify my Blackness because I’m Jewish, and other Jews try to qualify my Judaism because I’m Black.”

In Uganda, she no longer faces “a thousand cuts” of racism, she said. For years she had made accommodations, big and small, to try to control other people’s perceptions: smiling to appear nonthreatening, buying nicer clothes to avoid being mistaken for a domestic worker, and straightening her hair to be seen as more professional. She knew she had been acquiescing, but, she said, “I didn’t know the extent until I didn’t have to do any of that.”

Mrs. Kirya-Ziraba also went from a one-bedroom apartment in the States to a two-acre family compound in Uganda. Her home is a stone’s throw from the homes of her parents-in-law and her sister-in-law and the large chicken coop. Her in-laws helped her husband build their house. “It’s just so nice having all of this additional family support,” she said.

Africa isn’t a refuge for all, though. Anti-L.G.B.T.Q. sentiment is sweeping across the continent. In Uganda, the Anti-Homosexuality Act enacted last year punishes gay sex with life imprisonment and in some cases death. Similar bills have been introduced in other African countries, such as Ghana and Kenya.

Some L.G.B.T.Q. people interviewed countered that the United States is no safe haven either. They pointed to violence against transgender people , a growing number of anti-L.G.B.T.Q. bills and the Human Rights Campaign’s declaration of a “state of emergency for L.G.B.T.Q.+ Americans.” These interviewees said that depending on what a person was looking for, and with discernment, Africa could still be a good option for L.G.B.T.Q. people.

Davis Mac-Iyalla, 52, an L.G.B.T.Q.-rights activist and the executive director of the Interfaith Diversity Network of West Africa, suggested that instead of deterring immigration, the grim trends could drive it, “if our African brothers and sisters are coming knowing the challenge and want to join us in the struggle.” Just as international volunteers headed to Ukraine to offer support, he imagined, Black Americans might feel called to help in the fight for L.G.B.T.Q. equality.

But many people make the trans-Atlantic exodus to stop fighting. Mr. Bradley, 63, who moved with his wife, Marlene, 69, from Los Angeles to Rwanda in 2021 before settling in Zanzibar, said that arriving in Kigali felt like “a load off my shoulders.”

Mr. Bradley, who noted that he and two of his four sons had experienced fraught encounters with the police in the United States, said he would never forget the “lighthearted feeling” he had when approaching an armed officer in Kigali to ask for directions. The officer greeted him with a smile.

Mrs. Bradley also felt relieved and safer in Africa. “You don’t feel like you’re looking over your shoulder,” she said.

The Bradleys, who have retirement visas and live on retirement income, now reside in a newly developed planned community on the island of Zanzibar, about two hours by ferry from Dar es Salaam. Most residents of their development were not born in the country.

The community’s homes range in price from $70,000 for a 430-square-foot one-bedroom to $750,000 for a 3,000-square-foot oceanfront villa. With the money the Bradleys would have spent on one home in Los Angeles, they were able to buy their three-bedroom, two-bath townhouse; an investment property; and a home for two of their sons to eventually live in.

Ms. Washington is still in awe of her new life in Rwanda. She works as an online teacher with students in South Carolina and has an agricultural visa that allows her to run a rabbit farm near her home outside Kigali.

She shares her six-bedroom house with her 76-year-old mother. “I just never thought that a single woman with a teaching salary would be able to live in a space like this,” she said.

Her home on an acre of land with avocado trees costs $500 a month and required an initial six-month payment. Stipulations for upfront rental payments of several months, a year or even longer are common.

The move has given Ms. Washington more room, physically and emotionally. “One of the things I wanted to get away from for just a little while was being a Black woman,” she said. The expectation that she be strong — “because in America, Black women are supposed to be strong” — exhausted her. “I just wanted a space to be me.”

While in the United States a $500 monthly rent may seem cheap, in Rwanda it is a significant amount. In some cases, the large wealth gap between American immigrants and most Africans leads to friction, but in other cases, locals embrace the infusion of cash. Many governments court the diaspora for this exact purpose.

Justin Ngoga, 39, the founder of Impact Route , a company in Kigali that offers relocation services, said that there is little tension between expatriates like Ms. Washington and locals. Unlike Portugal and Ghana , where an influx of foreigners drove up costs, Rwanda does not have enough newcomers to produce such a negative economic impact, Mr. Ngoga said.

“We are still, I think, at the stage where we need more people to come,” he said. “We need people to come and do active retirement here. We need investors. We need talents.”

Rashad McCrorey, 44, acknowledged that he left his humble beginnings in the Polo Grounds Towers, an Upper Manhattan public housing complex, far behind when he relocated from Harlem to Ghana in 2020. “Here, we’re rich,” said Mr. McCrorey, who published a guidebook for people moving to Africa. He said he tries to give back: He started a scholarship fund and built a soccer field for neighborhood children.

Standing on his balcony in Elmina, Ghana, Mr. McCrorey recalled the injustices he said he experienced in New York that spurred him to leave. Top of mind were the frequent stop-and-frisks, he said, which felt like the police groping and violating him and sometimes left him in tears. “I’d rather have the moral dilemma of being in a higher class in the system of classism, rather than being marginalized in the system of oppression and racism,” he said. ‘Not for Everybody’

Some Black Americans who move to Africa never get the resolution they sought. Adwoa Yeboah Asantewaa Davis, 52, a therapist who moved from Washington, D.C., to Accra, Ghana, in 2020, said that Black Americans considering the move to escape racism should try therapy first — because the trauma of years of discrimination will not disappear with a change of setting, and may even resurface when they are foreigners in Africa.

“You’re coming here and you’re expecting that everybody’s Black, so I’m going to be OK,” Ms. Davis said. “But then you get here and then you’re being ‘othered’” — viewed as different and separate.

The “othering” goes both ways. Some Ghanaians feel discrimination from Black Americans, said Ekua Otoo, 36, a Ghanaian in Accra. Black American communities there can be insular, she said, and their businesses often prefer to hire Black Americans, or Indians and Lebanese, for senior positions, while qualified Ghanaians are excluded or underpaid. “If you’re leaving the U.S. to come to Ghana thinking about ‘I’m coming to the motherland,’ at least treat us right,” Ms. Otoo said.

And then there’s the exodus back to the United States. Despite big plans for new homes and businesses, many Black Americans who move to Africa do not stay.

Omosede Eholor, 31, moved to Accra in 2015 after becoming enamored of the city while studying abroad there. But she decided to leave in 2020 because she felt she was missing out on life back home in New York and the big events of family and friends. And she began to feel that the daily stresses around frequent power outages and cultural differences were changing her for the worse, making her quick to anger.

“How much of yourself are you losing in the process of trying to adapt to a culture?” Ms. Eholor said. Ghana was not going to adapt to her.

Erieka Bennett, 73, the founder of the nonprofit Diaspora African Forum , said that Black Americans came to Ghana “in droves” in 2020 — and they are still coming. But Ms. Bennett, who has lived in Africa for 40 years, said that many Americans are not cut out for life in Africa, and she urged those considering the move to visit first. “Africa is not for everybody,” she said.

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‘I’m leaving, and I’m just not coming back’: Fed up with racism, Black Americans head overseas

Anthony Baggette knew the precise moment he had to get out: He was driving by a convenience store in Cincinnati when a police officer pulled him over. There had been a robbery. He fit the description given by the store’s clerk: a Black man.

Okunini Ọbádélé Kambon knew: He was arrested in Chicago and accused by police of concealing a loaded gun under a seat in his car. He did have a gun, but it was not loaded. He used it in his role teaching at an outdoor skills camp for inner-city kids. Kambon had a license. The gun was kept safely in the car’s trunk.

Tiffanie Drayton knew: Her family kept getting priced out of gentrifying neighborhoods in New Jersey. She said they were destined to be forever displaced in the USA. Then Trayvon Martin was shot and killed after buying a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea.

Baggette lives in Germany, Drayton in Trinidad and Tobago, Kambon in Ghana.

All three are part of a small cultural cohort: Black emigres who said they felt cornered and powerless in the face of persistent racism, police brutality and economic struggles in the USA and chose to settle and pursue their American-born dreams abroad.

No official statistics cover these international transplants.

In Ghana, where Kambon is involved in a program that encourages descendants of the African diaspora to return to a nation where centuries earlier their ancestors were forced onto slave ships, he said he is one of “several thousand.” Kambon rejects descriptors such as “Black American” or “African American” that identify him with the USA.

In Trinidad and Tobago, where Drayton works in her home office, which has a view of the ocean and hummingbirds frolicking above the pool, there are at least four: Drayton, her mother, sister and her sister’s boyfriend. There are probably more.

About 120,000 Americans live in Germany, home to about 1 million people of African descent. For historical reasons, Germany’s census does not use race as a category, so it is not possible to calculate how many hail from the USA.

“There’s a lot of institutional racism in Germany,” said Baggette, 68, who has lived in Berlin for more than 30 years and said he still feels conflicted about his move.

He described the fall of the Berlin Wall, in 1989, as a time when neo-Nazis and skinheads would “throw Black people off of the S-Bahn,” the city’s subway system.

“But I still felt, and feel, better off here – safer,” he said. ‘I don’t have to think of myself as a Black woman’

In interviews with more than a dozen expatriate Black Americans spread out across the globe from the Caribbean to West Africa, it became clear that for some, the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis provided fresh evidence that living outside the USA can be an exercise in self-preservation.

A study in 2019 by the National Academy of Sciences found Black men were about 2.5 times more likely than white men to be killed by police. An analysis this year by Nature Human Behavior of 100 million traffic stops conducted across the country determined that Black people were far more likely to be pulled over by police than whites, but that difference narrowed significantly at night, when it is harder to see dark skin. Black Americans face a far higher risk of being arrested for petty crimes. They account for a third of the prison population but just 13% of the overall population, according to Pew Research , a nonpartisan “fact tank.”

Drayton, 28, is writing a book about fleeing from racism in America. She said one of the starkest illustrations of how her life has changed since moving to Trinidad and Tobago in 2013 is how she feels comfortable driving her kids around the block to get them to sleep each night without being worried about what happens if she is pulled over by police.

“In America, your hands are shaking. You’re worried about what to say. You’re worried about whether you have the right ID. You’re just so worried all the time,” she said of the interactions her friends experience regularly with American police officers.

For other Black Americans who chose what amounts to a form of foreign exile, Floyd’s death and the ensuing protests confirmed that leaving may not mean a life free from racism and police brutality, but it at least feels somewhat more within reach.

“It wasn’t until I had left the USA to experience Spain that I really got a sense of what freedom looks like. I was able to be 100% myself without having to worry about safety and without needing to have too much of a complex identity,” said Brooklyn, New York, native Sienna Brown, 28, who lives near Valencia on the Mediterranean Sea. Brown founded a company that helps Black American women emigrate to Spain.

She said Spain isn’t racism-free and isn’t that diverse, but she has experienced it as a welcoming place where people are willing to be educated about their prejudices.

Lakeshia Ford moved to Ghana full-time after visiting in 2008 as part of a study-abroad year in college.

“Here I don’t have to think of myself as a Black woman and everything that comes with that,” said Ford, 32, who grew up in New Jersey and runs her own communication firm in Accra, Ghana’s capital. “Here I am just a woman.”

She said that although racism in the USA contributed to the decision, her move to Ghana was not a direct reaction to prejudice. She was equally intrigued by Ghanaian culture and what she saw as a growing economic success story rarely portrayed in the West, where Africa for many is synonymous with disease, poverty and conflict.

“When I got here, I remember thinking: There’s wealthy Black people here. No one tells you that. I was really pissed off about it. I was also really intrigued,” she said.

Ford said that since Floyd’s death in May, she has received several emails a day from Black Americans asking how they, too, can make a new life outside the USA.

“Come home, build a life in Ghana. You do not have to stay where you are not wanted forever. You have a choice, and Africa is waiting for you,” Barbara Oteng Gyasi, Ghana’s tourism minister, said during a ceremony last month marking Floyd’s death. ‘In Russia, I felt for the first time like a full human being’

Black Americans, like expatriates of all races and ethnicities, leave the USA temporarily or permanently for different reasons: in search of a better quality of life, for work opportunities, to marry or retire abroad, for tax reasons, for adventure.

This year, Essence, a Black fashion, entertainment and lifestyle magazine, published a list of Black travel influencers who “trek to faraway and sexy places,” from “the pyramids of Giza” to “the souks of Dubai” while “we sit at our desks watching.”

Kimberly Springer, a New York-based writer and researcher who spent almost a decade in the United Kingdom, where she taught American studies at King’s College London, said that although “Black people have always traveled,” and “we’ve gone places willingly or unwillingly,” often this travel is connected in some way to a search for an experience that is not tainted by the myriad ways Black Americans encounter discrimination in the USA.

“In America, I feel hyper-visible in ways I didn’t when I lived in the U.K.,” said Springer, 50, noting that although racial inequalities in the U.K., like in the USA, are deep and pervasive, they are connected to a history and tradition – in the U.K.’s case, its former empire – that she doesn’t share. As a foreigner, despite being a Black American foreigner, Springer said, she was afforded a certain amount of insulation from British racism, even though studies show the British justice system disproportionately penalizes Black people.

“Our racism isn’t as lethal as yours,” said Gary Younge, a professor of sociology at Manchester University in England. Younge, 51, who is Black, spent more than a decade as The Guardian newspaper’s U.S. correspondent.

“In Britain, I don’t generally walk around thinking I might get killed, whereas in America, in some places, that’s not always the case,” he said.

Younge attributed this disparity to the availability in the USA of guns.

Asked whether Black people should confront racism at home, rather than leave, he said, “Why shouldn’t they just live? If a white person leaves America and goes somewhere for work or better opportunities, no one would say to them they need to stay and fight for racial equality. Black people have a double burden of being discriminated against and having to stick around.”

Black Americans have been trying to escape American racism – from segregation to heinous organized violence, such as lynchings – for generations.

There are examples among America’s Black intellectuals, artists and prominent civil rights activists.

Writers James Baldwin and Richard Wright and entertainer Josephine Baker relocated to Paris. Wright and Baker died in France’s capital. Poet Langston Hughes was part of an expatriate community in London. Jazz and blues singer Nina Simone decided to see out her days in France, and after she stopped performing, she never returned to what she called the “United Snakes of America.” Simone also lived in Liberia, Barbados, Belgium, the U.K., the Netherlands and Switzerland. When she died in 2003, her ashes, at her request, were scattered across several African countries.

“I left this country for one reason only. One reason. I didn’t care where I’d go. I might’ve gone to Hong Kong, I might’ve gone to Timbuktu, I ended up in Paris with $40 in my pocket with the theory that nothing worse would happen to me there than had already happened to me here,” Baldwin said in 1968 on “The Dick Cavett Show.”

A decade prior, actor and singer Paul Robeson, famed for his deep baritone voice, said before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, “In Russia, I felt for the first time like a full human being. No color prejudice like in Mississippi, no color prejudice like in Washington. It was the first time I felt like a human being.”

More recently, Yasiin Bey, an American rapper-actor better known by his stage name Mos Def, moved to South Africa because he was fed up with inequality and racism.

“For a guy like me, with five or six generations from the same town in America, to leave America, things gotta be not so good with America,” Bey said in 2013 as he prepared to leave the USA for Cape Town. He was thrown out of South Africa in 2016 for violating its immigration laws. He was detained after trying to leave the country on a “World Passport,” which has no legal status. According to his lawyer, Bey did not want to use his American passport for political reasons.

That same year, as the U.K. voted to leave the European Union and President Donald Trump was elected, there was an uptick in people searching the internet for the term “Blaxit,” according to Springer. If the U.K. could withdraw from the EU – “Brexit” – could Black people, disheartened by racial violence, leave the USA?

“I try not to use the phrase ‘I can’t breathe’ too lightly,” Springer said, referring to the words that became a rallying cry for police brutality protesters and were the last words of Floyd and Eric Garner, a Black man killed in police custody in 2014.

“But I think there is a way in which this country is, in its history and its failure to recognize it and reckon with it honestly, is suffocating,” she said. “I really don’t blame anyone thinks I can’t take this country anymore , I’m leaving, and I’m just not coming back.” ‘It’s like having a few more stepping stones to achieve that’

Kambon, 41, an academic in Ghana, said he is never going back to the USA.

He is in the process of renouncing his American citizenship.

He said that after the police in Chicago falsely accused him of concealing a loaded gun in his car, the charges were thrown out by a judge because there was no probable cause for his arrest, and the evidence – obtained illegally – would be not be admissible in court.

“I told myself on the witness stand: I will never allow myself to again be in the jurisdiction of these white people who, on a whim, can decide you’re not going to see your family for the next 10 years, who can decide to throw a felony charge on you on a whim,” he said.

Drayton, in Trinidad and Tobago, said she tells her friends to leave if they can. Many desperately want to, she said, but either don’t have the financial means or face other obstacles.

“I’ve been wanting to leave for a long time,” said Drayton’s friend Karla Garcia, 29, who was born in Ecuador. She lives in Orlando, Florida. “But it’s difficult as a young divorced mother of a child with special needs to just get up and leave.”

Brown, in Spain, said she is determined to make a life in southern Europe, not least because she wants to own a house and build and pass on wealth. She has a 16-year-old sister in the USA, and she said accumulating “generational wealth” is something that has proved elusive for Black Americans, unlike for many whites.

Her experience is that it will be easier to do this in Spain than in New York, where there are more barriers to financial success, from discrimination in mortgage lending – “red lining” – to access to social welfare services, such as affordable day care.

“It’s like having a few more stepping stones to achieve that,” she said.

Pew Research estimated that the overall average wealth of white American families is at least 10 times larger than that of Black American families.

In an opinion piece for Al-Jazeera , a Doha, Qatar-based news network, Amali Tower, executive director of Climate Refugees, a migration advocacy organization, wrote that if Black Americans sought asylum abroad they would probably qualify.

“The social and political unrest that has rocked the country just these past few weeks alone would add to a trove of evidence to support any claims of ‘well-founded fear’ for this person’s safety and well-being at home,” Tower argued in the piece.

A Washington Post-Ipsos poll of Black Americans conducted in mid-June found that although they are outraged and frustrated by Floyd’s death, they are optimistic about rising concern from whites and the prospect of improved police treatment.

In Berlin, Baggette has learned to live with his mixed feelings about his adopted homeland. He values the free education and health care his kids receive in Germany. He does not routinely fear for their lives.

Baggette is retired but coaches youth basketball.

When a team from Chicago’s South Side visited a few years ago as part of an exchange program, he was shocked to hear from some of the youngsters that one of the things that most impressed them about Germany’s capital was the easy access to fresh fruit, especially strawberries. It was available on most streets in small kiosks.

These kids weren’t used to that on the South Side, he thought.

Baggette said he feels a little cut off from the American movement that sprung up in the aftermath of Black American deaths at the hands of police: Floyd, Garner, Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Terence Crutcher, Freddie Gray, Rayshard Brooks and many more.

‘You don’t get over nothing like this’: Mother of Tamir Rice says moving on has been painful

Most weeks, Baggette sends out lengthy emails to parents, players and coaches, pointing out racist language used by referees. He is heavily involved in various initiatives that raise awareness of racism and xenophobia. He acts as a mentor for disadvantaged kids. He avoids certain working-class areas of Berlin where there is strong support for right-wing, anti-immigration political policies.

“Being Black in Berlin is a challenge,” he said. “One thing I can say is that when those young kids from Chicago visited us here, well, they felt a certain amount of freedom that I can tell you they don’t feel over there.”

This post is curated. All content belongs to original poster at www.usatoday.com

Black Homeownership is Set to Soar


Homeownership among Black Americans, which saw a modest uptick in 2022 compared with the year before, is expected to soar in the future as a result of changing demographics, according to a report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

A new study published by NAR on Tuesday, which examined the homeownership rate by race and the experience of recent homebuyers in the real estate market, showed that the number of Black, Hispanic and Asian Americans owning a home continued growing despite fast-rising mortgage rates in 2022.

According to the report, titled ” A snapshot of race and home buying in America ,” the Black homeownership rate reached 44.1 percent in 2022, growing by 1.6 percentage points from 2012, while Hispanic homeownership reached 51.1 percent (up 5.4 points from 2012) and Asian homeownership 63.3 percent (up 6.1 points from 2012). The rate among white homeowners fell slightly, though it’s still the highest in the country at 72.3 percent (up 3.1 points from 2012).

This means that despite the progress in the past few years, the Black homeownership rate is still trailing behind all others, including by 28 percentage points compared with white homeowners. Newsweek illustration. Millennials, the largest generation in the U.S., should boost the rate of homeownership among Black Americans. However, the Black homeownership rate is expected to rise in the future, as Baby Boomers—those born between 1946 and 1964—leave their homes vacant and younger, more diverse generations take on the U.S. housing market.


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“Millennials and Generation Z are more racially and ethnically diverse,” Jessica Lautz, Deputy Chief Economist and Vice President of Research at NAR, told Newsweek . “While all first-time buyers are facing challenges in entering into homeownership, as more young buyers enter into the home buying market, there will be a rise in minority owners.”

Millennials have delayed the process of buying a home for years while they waited for better times to buy between the 2008-9 financial crisis and the pandemic, but they’re now flocking to the market, contributing to keep demand and prices up. As the largest generation in the U.S., Millennials are shifting the housing market in many ways—including making it more diverse.

According to the NAR report, 1.5 million Black households are expected to turn the median homebuying age over the next five years, as are 775,000 Asian households and 2.2 million Hispanic households.

A 2022 report by Realtor.com found that female and millennial buyers were driving growth in Black homeownership. Female buyers grew faster than their male counterparts each month, with an average year-over-year growth rate of 10.4 percent between October 2018 and September 2021. The average year-over-year growth rate of Black millennial buyers was 13.8 percent in the same period.

However, significant barriers to homeownership among Black Americans remain.

“The new research continues to show that Black potential home buyers are hurt more by rental affordability and student debt, which make saving for a downpayment difficult,” Lautz said.

“Additionally, there is a higher denial rate for mortgages for Black buyers.”

These are not the only hurdles they face.

“If a Black potential buyer does successfully save for a downpayment and is approved for a mortgage, they often have a limited pool of homes which they can afford to purchase based on their household income,” Lauz said. “Also, more than half of Black buyers are first-time buyers, which means they do not have housing equity to use for a downpayment.”

A March 2023 report by NAR highlighted the disproportionate burden of housing costs on Black Americans. It showed that 30 percent of Black homeowners are cost-burdened, meaning they spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing, a rate higher than that of Hispanic Americans (28 percent), Asian Americans (26 percent), and white Americans (21 percent).

The disparity extends to renters as well, with over half of Black renter households (54 percent) spending more than 30 percent of their income on rent, and about 30 percent of Black renters being severely cost-burdened, allocating more than 50 percent of their income to rent. This contrasts with 22 percent of white renters facing severe cost burdens.

According to the analysis, only 9 percent of Black renters can afford to buy the median-priced home nationwide, compared with 17 percent of white renters.

This means their ability to actually purchase homes and increase minority homeownership rates will ultimately depend on their ability to overcome challenges like affordability, access to mortgages and historically low housing inventory.

This post is curated. All content belongs to original poster at www.newsweek.com

List of U.S. states and territories by African-American population

Proportion of African Americans in each U.S. state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico as of the 2020 United States Census Proportion of black Americans in each county of the fifty states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico as of the 2020 United States Census The following is a list of U.S. states , territories and the District of Columbia ranked by the proportion of African Americans of full or partial descent including those of Hispanic origin, in the population. Considering only those who marked “black” and no other race in combination as in the first table, the percentage was 12.4% in 2020, down from 12.6% in 2010. [1] Considering those who marked “black” and any other race in combination as in the second table the percentage increased from 13.6% to 14.2%.

2020 census (single race) % Black or African
American alone [2] Rank State or territory Black or African American alone
Population (2020) 76.0% 1 Virgin Islands (U.S.) 80,908 [3] 44.17% 2 District of Columbia 385,810 37.94% 3 Mississippi 1,084,481 33.13% 4 Louisiana 1,564,023 33.03% 5 Georgia 3,538,146 32.01% 6 Maryland 2,220,472 29.80% 7 Alabama 1,696,162 27.09% 8 South Carolina 1,680,531 23.50% 9 North Carolina 2,350,217 22.11% 10 Delaware 218,899 21.60% 11 Virginia 1,607,581 19.80% 12 Tennessee 1,492,948 17.11% 13 Florida 3,703,952 17.10% 14 Arkansas 853,783 16.89% 15 New York 3,533,873 16.19% 16 Illinois 2,108,271 15.76% 17 Michigan 1,576,579 15.19% 18 New Jersey 1,519,770 14.20% − United States of America 47,511,020 12.58% 19 Ohio 1,258,781 12.21% 20 Texas 3,964,700 11.40% 21 Missouri 799,840 11.30% 22 Pennsylvania 1,490,169 10.88% 23 Connecticut 388,675 10.80% 24 Nevada 404,739 10.60% 25 Indiana 748,513 8.09% 26 Kentucky 462,417 7.39% 27 Oklahoma 389,961 7.09% 28 Massachusetts 594,029 7.08% 29 Minnesota 598,434 7.46% 30 Puerto Rico 328,711 6.40% 31 Wisconsin 476,256 6.30% 32 California 2,825,293 5.79% 33 Kansas 308,809 5.78% 34 Rhode Island 92,168 5.77% 35 Nebraska 196,535 5.76% 36 Arizona 439,150 5.19% 37 Colorado 334,828 5.14% 38 Iowa 231,972 5.09% 39 Washington 407,565 3.9% 40 North Dakota 30,067 3.76% 41 West Virginia 165,813 3.70% 42 Alaska 31,898 2.28% 43 New Mexico 55,904 2.26% 44 Oregon 182,655 2.24% 45 South Dakota 27,842 1.90% 46 Maine 25,752 1.60% 47 Hawaii 23,417 1.50% 48 New Hampshire 20,127 1.40% 49 Vermont 9,034 1.20% 50 Utah 62,058 1.0% [4] 51 Guam 1,540 [4] 0.99% 52 Idaho 15,726 0.91% 53 Wyoming 5,232 0.50% 54 Montana 5,484 0.1% [5] 55 Northern Mariana Islands 55 [5] 0.02% [6] 56 American Samoa 13 [6] African-American proportion of state and territory populations (1790–2020)[ edit ]

From 1787 to 1868, enslaved African-Americans were counted in the U.S. census under the Three-fifths Compromise . The compromise was an agreement reached during the 1787 United States Constitutional Convention over the counting of slaves in determining a state’s total population. This count would determine the number of seats in the House of Representatives and how much each state would pay in taxes. The compromise counted three-fifths of each state’s slave population toward that state’s total population for the purpose of apportioning the House of Representatives. Even though slaves were denied voting rights, this gave Southern states more Representatives and more presidential electoral votes than if slaves had not been counted. Free blacks and indentured servants were not subject to the compromise, and each was counted as one full person for representation. [7]

In the United States Constitution, the Three-fifths Compromise is part of Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3. Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment (1868) later superseded this clause and explicitly repealed the compromise. African-American % of Population (1790–1990) Black or African American alone or in combination (2000-2020) by U.S. state and territory [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] State/Territory 1790 1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 United States of America 19.3% 18.9% 19.0% 18.4% 18.1% 16.8% 15.7% 14.1% 12.7% 13.1% 11.9% 11.6% 10.7% 9.9% 9.7% 9.8% 10.0% 10.5% 11.1% 11.7% 12.1% 12.9% 13.6% 14.2% Alabama 41.4% 29.0% 33.2% 38.5% 43.3% 44.7% 45.4% 47.7% 47.5% 44.8% 45.2% 42.5% 38.4% 35.7% 34.7% 32.0% 30.0% 26.2% 25.6% 25.3% 26.0% 26.3% 26.8% Alaska 0.3% 0.3% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 3.0% 3.0% 3.4% 4.1% 4.3% 4.7% 4.8% American Samoa 0.02% 0.04% 0.02% Arizona 0.3% 0.3% 0.4% 1.5% 1.5% 1.0% 2.4% 2.5% 3.0% 3.5% 3.3% 3.0% 2.8% 3.0% 3.6% 5.0% 6.2% Arkansas 13.0% 11.7% 15.5% 20.9% 22.7% 25.6% 25.2% 26.3% 27.4% 28.0% 28.1% 27.0% 25.8% 24.8% 22.3% 21.8% 18.3% 16.3% 15.9% 16.0% 16.1% 16.5% California 1.0% 1.1% 0.8% 0.7% 0.9% 0.7% 0.9% 1.1% 1.4% 1.8% 4.4% 5.6% 7.0% 7.7% 7.4% 7.4% 7.2% 7.1% Colorado 0.1% 1.1% 1.3% 1.5% 1.6% 1.4% 1.2% 1.1% 1.1% 1.5% 2.3% 3.0% 3.5% 4.0% 4.4% 5.0% 5.5% Connecticut 2.3% 2.5% 2.6% 2.9% 2.7% 2.6% 2.1% 1.9% 1.8% 1.9% 1.6% 1.7% 1.4% 1.5% 1.8% 1.9% 2.7% 4.2% 6.0% 7.0% 8.3% 10.0% 11.3% 13.0% Delaware 21.6% 22.4% 23.8% 24.0% 24.9% 25.0% 22.2% 19.3% 18.2% 18.0% 16.8% 16.6% 15.4% 13.6% 13.7% 13.5% 13.7% 13.6% 14.3% 16.1% 16.9% 20.1% 22.9% 24.7% District of Columbia 30.4% 33.1% 31.2% 30.1% 29.1% 26.6% 19.1% 33.0% 33.6% 32.8% 31.1% 28.5% 25.1% 27.1% 28.2% 35.0% 53.9% 71.1% 70.3% 65.8% 61.3% 52.2% 44.2% Florida 47.1% 48.7% 46.0% 44.6% 48.8% 47.0% 42.5% 43.7% 41.0% 34.0% 29.4% 27.1% 21.8% 17.8% 15.3% 13.8% 13.6% 15.5% 17.0% 17.2% Georgia 35.9% 37.1% 42.5% 44.4% 42.6% 41.0% 42.4% 44.0% 46.0% 47.0% 46.7% 46.7% 45.1% 41.7% 36.8% 34.7% 30.9% 28.5% 25.9% 26.8% 27.0% 29.2% 31.5% 33.0% Guam 2.37% 1.02% 0.96% Hawaii 0.2% 0.4% 0.1% 0.2% 0.1% 0.5% 0.8% 1.0% 1.8% 2.5% 2.8% 2.9% 3.2% Idaho 0.4% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.1% 0.2% 0.2% 0.3% 0.3% 0.3% 0.6% 1.0% 1.5% Illinois 7.4% 6.4% 2.5% 1.5% 0.8% 0.6% 0.4% 1.1% 1.5% 1.5% 1.8% 1.9% 2.8% 4.3% 4.9% 7.4% 10.3% 12.8% 14.7% 14.8% 15.6% 15.4% 15.5% Indiana 4.4% 2.6% 1.0% 1.1% 1.0% 1.1% 0.8% 1.5% 2.0% 2.1% 2.3% 2.2% 2.8% 3.5% 3.6% 4.4% 5.8% 6.9% 7.6% 7.8% 8.8% 10.1% 11.2% Iowa 0.4% 0.2% 0.2% 0.5% 0.6% 0.6% 0.6% 0.7% 0.8% 0.7% 0.7% 0.8% 0.9% 1.2% 1.4% 1.7% 2.5% 3.7% 5.4% Kansas 0.6% 4.7% 4.3% 3.5% 3.5% 3.2% 3.3% 3.5% 3.6% 3.8% 4.2% 4.8% 5.3% 5.8% 6.3% 7.1% 7.6% Kentucky 17.0% 18.6% 20.2% 22.9% 24.7% 24.3% 22.5% 20.4% 16.8% 16.5% 14.4% 13.3% 11.4% 9.8% 8.6% 7.5% 6.9% 7.1% 7.2% 7.1% 7.1% 7.7% 8.7% 9.7% Louisiana 55.2% 51.8% 58.5% 55.0% 50.7% 49.5% 50.1% 51.5% 50.0% 47.1% 43.1% 38.9% 36.9% 35.9% 32.9% 31.9% 29.8% 29.4% 30.8% 32.9% 32.8% 33.1% Maine 0.6% 0.5% 0.4% 0.3% 0.3% 0.3% 0.2% 0.2% 0.3% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.1% 0.2% 0.1% 0.3% 0.3% 0.3% 0.4% 0.7% 1.6% 2.7% Maryland 34.7% 36.7% 38.2% 36.1% 34.9% 32.3% 28.3% 24.9% 22.5% 22.5% 20.7% 19.8% 17.9% 16.9% 16.9% 16.6% 16.5% 16.7% 17.8% 22.7% 24.9% 28.8% 30.9% 32.0% Massachusetts 1.4% 1.5% 1.4% 1.3% 1.2% 1.2% 0.9% 0.8% 1.0% 1.0% 1.0% 1.1% 1.1% 1.2% 1.2% 1.3% 1.6% 2.2% 3.1% 3.9% 5.0% 6.3% 7.8% 9.5% Michigan 3.7% 3.0% 2.1% 0.8% 0.3% 0.6% 0.9% 1.0% 0.9% 0.7% 0.7% 0.6% 1.6% 3.5% 4.0% 6.9% 9.2% 11.2% 12.9% 13.9% 14.8% 15.2% 15.3% Minnesota 0.6% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.3% 0.3% 0.3% 0.4% 0.4% 0.4% 0.5% 0.7% 0.9% 1.3% 2.2% 4.1% 6.2% 8.5% Mississippi 41.5% 47.0% 44.1% 48.4% 52.3% 51.2% 55.3% 53.7% 57.5% 57.6% 58.5% 56.2% 52.2% 50.2% 49.2% 45.3% 42.0% 36.8% 35.2% 35.6% 36.6% 37.6% 37.9% Missouri 17.6% 15.9% 18.3% 15.6% 13.2% 10.0% 6.9% 6.7% 5.6% 5.2% 4.8% 5.2% 6.2% 6.5% 7.5% 9.0% 10.3% 10.5% 10.7% 11.7% 12.5% 13.0% Montana 0.9% 0.9% 1.0% 0.6% 0.2% 0.3% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.3% 0.2% 0.3% 0.5% 0.8% 1.2% Nebraska 0.3% 0.6% 0.5% 0.8% 0.6% 0.6% 1.0% 1.0% 1.1% 1.5% 2.1% 2.7% 3.1% 3.6% 4.4% 5.4% 6.4% Nevada 0.7% 0.8% 0.8% 0.5% 0.3% 0.6% 0.4% 0.6% 0.6% 2.7% 4.7% 5.7% 6.4% 6.6% 7.5% 9.4% 12.1% New Hampshire 0.6% 0.5% 0.5% 0.3% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.1% 0.1% 0.2% 0.1% 0.1% 0.3% 0.3% 0.4% 0.6% 1.0% 1.7% 2.4% New Jersey 7.7% 8.0% 7.6% 7.2% 6.4% 5.8% 4.9% 3.8% 3.4% 3.4% 3.3% 3.7% 3.5% 3.7% 5.2% 5.5% 6.6% 8.5% 10.7% 12.6% 13.4% 14.4% 14.8% 15.2% New Mexico 0.0% 0.1% 0.2% 0.8% 1.2% 0.8% 0.5% 1.6% 0.7% 0.9% 1.2% 1.8% 1.9% 1.8% 2.0% 2.3% 2.8% 3.2% New York 7.6% 5.3% 4.2% 2.9% 2.3% 2.1% 1.6% 1.3% 1.2% 1.3% 1.2% 1.4% 1.5% 1.9% 3.3% 4.2% 6.2% 8.4% 11.9% 13.7% 15.9% 17.0% 17.2% 17.5% North Carolina 26.8% 29.4% 32.2% 34.4% 35.9% 35.6% 36.4% 36.4% 36.6% 38.0% 34.7% 33.0% 31.6% 29.8% 29.0% 27.5% 25.8% 24.5% 22.2% 22.4% 22.0% 22.1% 22.6% 22.5% North Dakota 1.0% 0.3% 0.2% 0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.1% 0.4% 0.4% 0.6% 0.8% 1.6% 4.4% Northern Mariana Islands 0.06% 0.06% 0.1% Ohio 0.5% 0.8% 0.8% 1.0% 1.1% 1.3% 1.6% 2.4% 2.5% 2.4% 2.3% 2.3% 3.2% 4.7% 4.9% 6.5% 8.1% 9.1% 10.0% 10.6% 12.1% 13.4% 14.4% Oklahoma 8.4% 7.0% 8.3% 7.4% 7.2% 7.2% 6.5% 6.6% 6.7% 6.8% 7.4% 8.3% 8.7% 9.7% Oregon 0.5% 0.2% 0.4% 0.3% 0.4% 0.3% 0.2% 0.3% 0.2% 0.2% 0.8% 1.0% 1.3% 1.4% 1.6% 2.1% 2.6% 3.2% Pennsylvania 2.4% 2.7% 2.9% 2.9% 2.8% 2.8% 2.3% 2.0% 1.9% 2.0% 2.0% 2.5% 2.5% 3.3% 4.5% 4.7% 6.1% 7.5% 8.6% 8.8% 9.2% 10.5% 11.9% 12.7% Puerto Rico 10.9% 14.8% 17.5% Rhode Island 6.3% 5.3% 4.8% 4.3% 3.7% 3.0% 2.5% 2.3% 2.3% 2.3% 2.1% 2.1% 1.8% 1.7% 1.4% 1.5% 1.8% 2.1% 2.7% 2.9% 3.9% 5.5% 7.4% 9.1% South Carolina 43.7% 43.2% 48.4% 52.8% 55.6% 56.4% 58.9% 58.6% 58.9% 60.7% 59.8% 58.4% 55.2% 51.4% 45.6% 42.9% 38.8% 34.8% 30.5% 30.4% 29.8% 29.9% 28.8% 26.8% South Dakota 0.0% 0.6% 0.3% 0.2% 0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.2% 0.2% 0.3% 0.5% 0.9% 1.8% 3.0% Tennessee 10.6% 13.2% 17.5% 19.6% 21.4% 22.7% 24.5% 25.5% 25.6% 26.1% 24.4% 23.8% 21.7% 19.3% 18.3% 17.4% 16.1% 16.5% 15.8% 15.8% 16.0% 16.8% 17.4% 17.3% Texas 27.5% 30.3% 31.0% 24.7% 21.8% 20.4% 17.7% 15.9% 14.7% 14.4% 12.7% 12.4% 12.5% 12.0% 11.9% 12.0% 12.6% 13.6% Utah 0.4% 0.1% 0.1% 0.2% 0.3% 0.2% 0.3% 0.3% 0.2% 0.2% 0.4% 0.5% 0.6% 0.6% 0.7% 1.1% 1.6% 2.1% Vermont 0.3% 0.4% 0.3% 0.4% 0.3% 0.3% 0.2% 0.2% 0.3% 0.3% 0.3% 0.2% 0.5% 0.2% 0.2% 0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.2% 0.2% 0.3% 0.7% 1.5% 2.2% Virgin Islands (U.S.) 76.62% 76.19% 76.03% Virginia 43.4% 44.6% 47.1% 47.8% 47.9% 46.9% 45.0% 43.3% 41.9% 41.8% 38.4% 35.6% 32.6% 29.9% 26.8% 24.7% 22.1% 20.6% 18.5% 18.9% 18.8% 20.4% 20.7% 20.9% Washington 0.3% 0.9% 0.4% 0.4% 0.5% 0.5% 0.5% 0.4% 0.4% 1.3% 1.7% 2.1% 2.6% 3.1% 4.4% 4.8% 5.8% West Virginia 9.5% 9.8% 11.5% 12.1% 11.2% 9.6% 7.8% 5.6% 4.1% 4.2% 4.3% 4.5% 5.3% 5.9% 6.6% 6.2% 5.7% 4.8% 3.9% 3.3% 3.1% 3.5% 4.2% 5.0% Wisconsin 1.2% 1.8% 0.6% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.2% 0.4% 0.4% 0.8% 1.9% 2.9% 3.9% 5.0% 6.1% 7.1% 7.7% Wyoming 2.0% 1.4% 1.5% 1.0% 1.5% 0.7% 0.6% 0.4% 0.9% 0.7% 0.8% 0.7% 0.8% 1.0% 1.3% 1.7% Free blacks as a percentage out of the total black population by U.S. region and U.S. state between 1790 and 1860[ edit ]

In 1865, all enslaved blacks (African Americans) in the United States were emancipated as a result of the Thirteenth Amendment . However, some U.S. states had previously emancipated some or all of their black population. The table below shows the percentage of free blacks as a percentage of the total black population in various U.S. regions and U.S. states between 1790 and 1860 (the blank areas on the chart below mean that there is no data for those specific regions or states in those specific years). [ citation needed ] Free blacks as a percentage of the total black (African-American) population by U.S. region and U.S. state between 1790 and 1860 [14] State/territory 1790 1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 United States 7.9% 10.8% 13.5% 13.2% 13.7% 13.4% 11.9% 11.0% Northeast 40.1% 56.2% 73.5% 83.7% 97.8% 99.5% 99.8% 100.0% Midwest 78.7% 52.4% 38.0% 37.7% 34.4% 35.5% 37.6% South 4.7% 6.7% 8.5% 8.2% 8.4% 8.1% 7.0% 6.3% West 97.9% 99.4% Alabama 4.4% 2.2% 1.3% 1.3% 0.8% 0.7% 0.6% Alaska Arizona 100.0% Arkansas 1.4% 3.5% 3.0% 2.3% 1.3% 0.1% California 100.0% 100.0% Colorado 100.0% Connecticut 50.4% 84.9% 95.4% 98.8% 99.7% 99.8% 100.0% 100.0% Delaware 30.5% 57.3% 75.9% 74.2% 82.8% 86.7% 88.8% 91.7% District of Columbia 16.2% 30.7% 37.9% 50.5% 66.2% 73.2% 77.8% Florida 5.2% 3.1% 2.3% 1.5% Georgia 1.3% 1.7% 1.7% 1.2% 1.1% 1.0% 0.8% 0.8% Hawaii Idaho Illinois 41.5% 78.5% 33.3% 68.7% 91.6% 100.0% 100.0% Indiana 75.7% 62.4% 86.6% 99.9% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% Iowa 91.5% 100.0% 100.0% Kansas 99.7% Kentucky 0.9% 1.8% 2.1% 2.1% 2.9% 3.9% 4.5% 4.5% Louisiana 18.0% 13.2% 13.2% 13.1% 6.7% 5.3% Maine 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 99.8% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% Maryland 7.2% 15.6% 23.3% 27.0% 33.9% 40.9% 45.3% 49.1% Massachusetts 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% Michigan 100.0% 83.3% 100.0% 99.6% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% Minnesota 100.0% 100.0% Mississippi 5.0% 1.2% 1.4% 0.8% 0.7% 0.3% 0.2% Missouri 17.4% 3.3% 2.2% 2.6% 2.9% 3.0% Montana Nebraska 81.7% Nevada 100.0% New Hampshire 79.9% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 99.5% 99.8% 100.0% 100.0% New Jersey 19.5% 26.2% 42.0% 62.2% 89.0% 96.9% 99.0% 99.9% New Mexico 100.0% 100.0% New York 17.9% 33.3% 62.8% 74.4% 99.8% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% North Carolina 4.7% 5.0% 5.7% 6.7% 7.4% 8.5% 8.7% 8.4% North Dakota Ohio 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 99.9% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% Oklahoma Oregon 100.0% 100.0% Pennsylvania 63.6% 89.5% 96.6% 99.3% 98.9% 99.9% 100.0% 100.0% Rhode Island 78.2% 89.7% 97.1% 98.7% 99.5% 99.8% 100.0% 100.0% South Carolina 1.7% 2.1% 2.3% 2.6% 2.4% 2.5% 2.3% 2.4% South Dakota N/A [a] Tennessee 9.6% 2.2% 2.9% 3.3% 3.1% 2.9% 2.6% 2.6% Texas 0.7% 0.2% Utah 48.0% 50.8% Vermont 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% Virginia 4.1% 5.6% 7.3% 8.2% 9.3% 10.1% 10.2% 10.5% Washington 100.0% 100.0% West Virginia 11.6% 6.8% 10.5% 8.5% 10.9% 14.1% 13.1% 13.1% Wisconsin 100.0% 51.6% 94.4% 100.0% 100.0% Wyoming a ^ There were no blacks at all—either free or enslaved—in South Dakota in 1860. [14] See also[ edit ]

African-American neighborhoods

List of African-American neighborhoods

List of U.S. cities with large African-American populations

List of U.S. counties with African-American majority populations

List of U.S. metropolitan areas with large African-American populations

Black Southerners

[ edit ]

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Ranking black America as a separate nation

What in the world?

Pieces of global opinion

A review of the best commentary on and around the world… Today’s must-read

When talk show host Larry Elder declared that racism is not a major problem and that black Americans are thriving economically, he added: “If black America were a country, it’d be the 15th wealthiest nation in the world.”

As reported by the Tampa Bay Times’s PunditFact blog , “Elder referred us to an annual report by Target Market News called ‘The Buying Power of Black America’, which publishes the only estimate we could find of the total earned income of African-Americans. In 2011, the report he provided us, Target Market News put the income spent by African-Americans at $836bn [£524bn].”

But as author Theodore R Johnson of the Atlantic points out , the stats do not support Elder’s presumed monolithic black America.

“Nearly all the sources of black America’s attributes are grounded in America’s history, economy, geography and government structures,” he says.

As NYU economics Prof Gian Luca Clementi tells the Tampa Bay Times, “factors like government expenditure and private investment mean that buying power and [the total income produced in a country] aren’t comparable.”

Even so, statistics published in the Atlantic paint a picture of two countries:

“The first is of a strong nation with considerable manpower and purchasing power. The second is of a troubled, fragile state suffering from socioeconomic disparities and structural subjugation in ways that degrade life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

According to the US Census and the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook, the median wealth per black American adult is $4,955 (£3,100), below the median wealth per adult in Mexico, China and Brazil. And in the United States, the average poverty rate is 15.1% overall, versus 27.4% in the black community.

“Black household wealth is just over the median wealth of an adult in Palestine,” writes Johnson.

WEB Du Bois, founder of the NAACP, outlined a similar concept in his address A Negro Nation Within a Nation .

“As for the belief that black America is an immense, multifaceted asset to the United States, his instincts were right,” writes Johnson. “Black Americans boast enormous capital that has been exploited over the course of the nation’s history and has yet to be fairly and fully employed to increase prosperity for all Americans.” North Korea

The rise of capitalism in Pyongyang – State socialism “is as dead in North Korea as it is in China”, according to Bloomberg’s Andrei Lankov.

The north is now home to a large and growing private economy whose existence is not officially recognised. The regime, Lankov says, has largely chosen not to enforce the Stalinist regulations banning almost all private economic activities.

“Though these changes have prompted a partial economic recovery – largely eliminating outright starvation – they have also had dangerous side effects,” he writes. “Left unchecked, they’ve encouraged corruption and levels of income inequality that are high even by Asian standards. In fashionable restaurants, crooked officials and Pyongyang’s nouveau riche now splurge on $50 dinners – about as much as the average rural family makes in a month.” Venezuela

Misplaced priorities – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro seems to be more concerned with the academics who discuss the country’s debt than the debt problem itself, write Harvard Profs Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff.

Mr Maduro recently called for “action” against the Venezuelan economists Ricardo Hausmann and Miguel Angel Santos for, in the words of Reinhart and Rogoff, asking whether “defaulting on every conceivable kind of domestic debt, Venezuela should invite foreign investors to the party and default on its debt to them as well”.

“Maduro’s absurd threat against Hausmann and Santos smacks of a search for a scapegoat,” they write. “They were not giving a political speech, but were simply summarizing deeply troubling and unpleasant facts.”

Ir ish Republic

Economic rebound brings false hope -The government of Ireland is taking too much credit for an economic rebound that was inevitable, writes Fintan O’Toole of the Irish Times. The actions the government took, he continues, did more harm than good.

“Was it really wise to spend vast sums paying off bank bondholders whose gambles had gone wrong?” he writes. “Was it wise to allow such a sharp increase in child poverty when we know how enormously costly that condition is? Did these policies really make us more fiscally stable?”

O’Toole also points to the $252bn (£158bn) of public debt passed on to the next generation. “These things don’t cause recovery – they limit it for years to come. People know this too well to be impressed by those who crow about it.” Pakistan

A tale of two Nobel laureates – Seventeen-year-old Malala Yousafzai is the second Pakistani to win a Nobel Prize. Abdus Salam was the first – and like her he lived outside of Pakistan because of persecution at home.

In 1979 Salam and two other scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for pioneering work in subatomic particles (anticipating the discovery of the Higgs Boson).

As the Washington Post reports, Mr Salam belonged to the Ahmadi sect, whose adherents are considered heretics by some Muslims because they don’t believe Mohammad was the last prophet. This year alone at least 13 Ahmadis have been killed in targeted attacks in Pakistan.

“Per his own instructions, Salam’s body was taken back to Pakistan [from Oxford, England] and buried next to the graves of his parents,” writes author Ishaan Tharoor. “His gravestone epitaph read, ‘First Muslim Nobel Laureate.’ But a local magistrate ordered the word “Muslim” to be obscured – much like Salam’s larger legacy in Pakistan.” BBC Monitoring’s quote of the day

A Russian commentator responds to the ongoing economic sanctions imposed by Western nations.

“The Western sanctions are very serious. This is a monumental, long-term and multifaceted challenge to the Russian Federation – a challenge our country must meet… American strategists intend the sanctions to act as a toxin, slowly but surely poisoning our economic system… The West, itself responsible for the ‘hellish brew’ of the Ukraine crisis, is always shifting the burden of its guilt to us, both consciously and unconsciously. The US and the EU are projecting onto Russia their own hang-ups, fears and disappointments – and ending up with the image of an aggressor nation that must be crushed with sanctions at all costs.” – Mikhail Rostovskiy in Moskovskiy Komsomolet .‎

Have you found an interesting opinion piece about global issues that we missed? Share it with us via email at echochambers (at) bbc.co.uk.

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Instead of crippling black-owned companies with debt let’s instead focus on how they compete


After receiving $4 million in orders for her stem products the young black Entrepreneur and Russell’s Innovation Center for entrepreneurs said simply “I am not going to earn a single penny in profit from these orders”. This was the outcome of almost four years of extremely hard work that included becoming registered as a minority vendor and being in the multibillion-dollar purchasing programs from Walmart and Target. Although the idea of receiving $4 million in orders is something that would seem rudimentary to celebrate there are many parts to this are unclear to the naked eye and many extreme expenses that have been piled on the black business owner that completely degrade their ability to be competitive.

Like many entrepreneurs, the young lady had a business, for which we will not name in order to maintain the confidentiality of her business operations, is caught inside of a trap whose tentacles were laid by people who did not even stop once but consider the impact of their actions on her business. She simply did what any other young entrepreneur would do. Identified a massive need in the market, develop a product to serve that need come and mark it, and build with all our her heart and might.

But in America’s highly competitive business arena, searching the entire globe to find the best prices and products for your customers is not enough. The power of lobbies that far surpassed the reach of any of the entrepreneurs that are in the black-owned space seek to achieve their own goals and retention of their profits by successfully limiting the transport of low-cost goods from capable manufacturers that exist outside of the United States. While at the same time increasing the prices and the minimum order quantity and the requirement to purchase from manufacturers in the United States.

So many of the organizations and the initiatives that are focused on helping black-owned companies and entrepreneurs are targeted directly at the idea of raising funds. What is the use of raising funds if all the money simply goes back into the hands of the people that you’ve raised the money from? It’s a ludicrous proposition. The idea of bringing money into a black owned business should be increasing the liquidity and the bottom line of those entrepreneurs so that they have the funds necessary to fuel expansion, scaling and growth.

However, there are few initiatives, if not any that focuses on increasing the ability for black owned businesses to source the goods that they sell and to improve the dynamics in the supply chain. In addition there exist almost no initiatives that focus on the reduction of tariffs and duties and taxes that are levied against black owned businesses. These supply chain inefficiencies and reduction of sourcing partners contribute to an absolute reduction in the profitability of black owned businesses.

The average black owned business in the United States has a profit margin of less than 10%. And every program that is designed to help black owned businesses eats away at these margins. That means that a $1,000,000 organization will spend $900,000 simply to operate and to pay for basic cost of goods sold. The $100,000 that is left has to pay the owner and founder as well as fuel any ideas of expansion. In most cases the money that is left over will not even allow for purchasing additional inventory. Leaving these companies in an endless loop of trying to raise additional funds just to fund the inventory necessary to maintain sales.

It is this very problem that is being addressed by the Freedom Nation through their new initiative called the black competitiveness initiative. Instead of holistically focusing on bringing in new sales or additional funding or debt into black-owned companies the BCI is instead focused holistically on improving sourcing and fulfillment measures and increasing supply chain efficiency for black owned businesses.

This might seem simple, but these efficiencies can increase the 10% profit margin to 60%. In a company that has $1,000,000 in annual sales it is like driving an additional $500,000 into that business. But unlike many of the capitalists methodologies that are used in order to bring money into these businesses it is 100% debt free.

To put that in perspective, if you raise $2 million for your company through a loan of a modest six per cent rate then you will pay almost an additional $2 million in order to borrow that money. The concept of the cost of money is very real to businesses. Because although you have fueled $2 million into your business you must generate $4 million worth of profit at a 10% profit margin in order to even have a chance. That means that you will have to turn the $2 million into $20million in sales in order to survive. It is an impossible notion and very very few companies can survive.

On the other hand, $500,000 of debt-free liquidity inside of a business can be used to immediately generate capital and revenue without any hindrances or any future debt obligations. Call it magic money. It is all thanks to a focus on competitiveness instead of simply raising funds.

The black competitiveness initiative is in its early stages of development and is being rolled out first to the business citizens of the Freedom Nation. You can learn more by becoming a business citizen by going to https://www.freedomnation.me/apply

How building Black is the next step in the buying Black movement

‘Things remain very much business as usual within real estate’: a Black-run Manhattan skyscraper hits a roadblock

A new New York City skyscraper designed by a white architect, built by a white contractor and developed by a white real estate company? Business as usual. But what about a new New York City skyscraper designed by a Black architect, built by a Black contractor and developed by a Black real estate company? Now you’re paying attention.

Which is why the proposal for the 90-story Affirmation Tower is both so audacious – and long overdue.

Set on a 1.2-acre plot along Manhattan’s far West Side, across the street from the Jacob K Javits convention center, the skyscraper was designed like a delicately cantilevered, gravity-defying stack of building blocks, skinny on the bottom and wider up top. Envisioned as a home for some of the nation’s top Black-owned businesses, the Affirmation Tower would be ambitious for a real estate leader of any race, let alone Don Peebles , the Florida- and New York-based businessman considered by many to be the most accomplished African American property developer in the nation. “The time for this project is long overdue,” says Peebles, whose all-Black supporting cast includes the Anglo-Ghanaian architect David Adjaye for its design along with the McKissack Group , the century-old Black- and woman-owned construction management firm to oversee its construction. “New York is a city filled with monumental towers but not one of them is designed by a Black architect with a Black development team and a Black builder,” says Peebles. “This is my way to address these inequities.” The time for this project is long overdue Developer Don Peebles While the scale of the Affirmation Tower, a super-tall structure that would put most skyscrapers to shame, may appear outsized, the challenges Peebles faces – and his hopes that the Affirmation Tower will ultimately become New York’s tallest building – are shared by Black developers at every level. Indeed, nearly three years after the murder of George Floyd – which saw US corporations of all stripes publicly commit to investing in racial equity initiatives including property development – the $20tn US real estate industry remains almost entirely devoid of African American participation.

Despite a handful of high-profile Black-led projects – including a $3.8bn lakefront Chicago development and a 109-acre redevelopment scheme for Philadelphia’s navy yard – only 2% of US real estate firms , according to Enterprise Community Partners , are run by African Americans. (In addition to Peebles, another key player is Greg Reaves , whose 15-year-old firm, Mosaic Development Partners, is behind that billion-dollar Philadelphia project.) Urban Land Institute , a nonprofit that advocates for urban development and growth, reports that just 5% of its total members are Black.

“This is a very difficult industry to be part of without wealth or capital, and the Black community doesn’t traditionally come to the table with large amounts of either,” says Reaves, a former pharmaceutical executive whose firm is focused on correcting racial and gender inequities within the commercial real estate sector. Even after the outpouring of industry support that followed the George Floyd killing, and the fashion for buying – and supporting – black, “things remain very much business as usual within real estate,” Reaves says. “And this means an industry with [overwhelmingly white] institutional players and legacy businesses hoping to grow those family legacies.” Don Peebles, the developer behind the Affirmation Tower, says it ‘will serve as an economic engine for all of New York’. African Americans’ historic lack of capital has implications at every level of the Black real estate community. According to Peebles, the Affirmation Tower, which will cost $3.5bn (£2.9bn) to build, came to market with ample prefunding to get the project completed – an immense achievement for a developer of any race for a project of this scale. But with adequate access to capital far more the exception than the rule for Black developers, securing early-stage financing for even the most modestly sized Black-led projects can feel equally monumental.

Curtis Doucette, CEO of New Orleans-based Iris Development , says the intersections of race and economics are felt throughout the development cycle. Whereas other independent developers might be able to tap extended family networks for startup cash, “people in my circle may believe in me but lack the money to invest in me”. Once funding has been secured, discriminatory race-based appraisal practices can undervalue completed developments, which make it harder for builders to secure funding for subsequent projects. “At every stage of the game, there are efforts to prevent opportunity,” says Doucette.

This lack of opportunity doesn’t just affect Black developers. As Peebles’s Affirmation Tower, which still awaits a green light, illustrates, Black entrepreneurs are more likely to hire Black partners, and often build in their own communities. Developers of color also skew in favor of affordable housing, often because they’re supported by various public- and private-sector initiatives. The correlation is so great that some minority developers worry that operating mostly in the affordable housing arena may stigmatize their firms and stand in the way of their seeing profit. We are finally seeing capital investment concerned with both impact as well as returns Brian McLaughlin of Enterprise Community Development Nonetheless, as it supports entrepreneurs who actually look like their target communities, investment in Black developers has the potential to “shape a neighborhood so that it can stand up on its own”, says Baltimore-based Brian McLaughlin, president of the national nonprofit housing owner and developer Enterprise Community Development. And in the wake of George Floyd, he adds: “We are finally seeing capital investment concerned with both impact as well as returns.”

Indeed, both major financial institutions and specialized, equity-focused firms have developed investment programs that especially target Black developers. Citibank, for instance, has committed $200m to fund affordable housing programs led (or mostly led) by minority developers as part of its far-larger billion-dollar Action for Racial Equity initiative, which was announced just after the George Floyd protests. There is also a $3.5bn program run by Enterprise Community Partners to support developers of color who are focused on affordable housing. Capital Impact Partners (CIP) launched a $20m fund in 2021 to support Washington DC-based developers of color, such as Thomas Houston, who’s transforming a vacant lot in DC’s economically challenged Ward 7 into the 31,530 sq ft mixed-use facility Deanwood Station. When completed, the structure will include 26 affordable condos along with a pair of Bipoc-owned businesses, a much-needed grocery store and a juice bar and cafe.

Helping young developers like Houston secure their first win is of particular importance for CIP, which has not only launched startup funds, but also a range of fellowships and initiatives to educate and support young developers of color. In this industry, “there is a lot of focus on track records”, particularly as it relates to a young developer’s ability to “scale upwards”, says Jeff Mosley, CPI’s director of national equitable development initiatives. “We are helping to demonstrate that there’s a path for these young developers to achieve and execute given the right support.” We are helping to demonstrate that there’s a path for these young developers to achieve and execute given the right support Jeff Mosley of Capital Impact Partners Beyond institutional financing, Black developers are also securing support from white investors. Reaves’s Mosaic Partners, for instance, recently saw a $10m investment from billionaire Josh Harris , cofounder of Apollo Global Management and owner of the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team. Reaves describes the Harris investment as “critical and crucial” for the long-term growth of Mosaic, whose projects have created more than 200 construction jobs over the past 15 years.

In New York, Peebles’s Affirmation Tower has spent the past year in regulatory limbo after Governor Kathy Hochul’s decision last year to reconsider the site’s long-term fate. Initially, under then governor Andrew Cuomo , calls were put out to develop the site with the type of commercial and hotel tenants Peebles planned for Affirmation Tower. But after Cuomo’s resignation in mid-2021, his successor faced pressure from activists to introduce affordable housing into the tower’s design, which was not part of the original plan for the project. Peebles, who has built thousands of affordable units throughout his career, finds this snag irksome for a commercial tower that was never intended to include housing of any type.

“This is often where they think we belong, in the affordable housing space,” says Peebles. “But Affirmation Tower will serve as an economic engine for all of New York.” Peebles remains in a holding pattern, waiting for Hochul to restart the bidding process for the Affirmation Tower’s proposed sites. In the meantime, Peebles insists that the project would not just salute the Black design and development talent behind it – it would also provide a permanent home for the New York headquarters of the NAACP, a national civil rights museum and myriad offices for major Black businesses. “This is the type of economic inclusion the state should truly be encouraging,” he says.

This article was amended on 24 February 2023 to reflect that Enterprise Community Development is a nonprofit housing owner and developer, not a lender.

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‘American Dream’ costs $1M more than average person makes in a lifetime: study


An American can achieve their ideal living situation on an average salary — and a million bucks.

Achieving the once-standard American Dream now costs over $1 million more than an average individual makes in their entire lifetime, according to a new study.

Owning a home, a car, a pet and sending two children to school — once considered basic milestones of life in the US — costs a whopping $3,455,305, a study conducted by Investopedia found.

The average American — across all education levels — only rakes in roughly $2.3 million, according to the research.

“But rising costs have made the typical ‘American Dream’ out of reach for many,” the researchers wrote.

Inflation and high-interest rates are two of the main drivers for the disjunction between an individual’s paycheck and their bills.

Fortunately, the average rate on a 30-year mortgage eased to 7.03% this week, but not before it hit its highest-ever rate of 7.79% in October — making the average lifetime cost of a home about $796,998.

Having kids in this day in age will cost nearly as much as a house, the research states. It costs an average of $576,896 to raise two children to the age of 18. Raising two children to the age of 18 is now estimated to cost $576,896 — but the true price could be much higher as it becomes more common for children to live with their parents well into adulthood.

A good chunk of that half-million dollars comes in the form of education bills, roughly $42,070 per year for in-state college. Plus their births alone will likely ring up for $5,708 out-of-pocket for two children, for those enrolled in a large group health plan.

“If your family includes a furry friend, you could be looking at up to $67k in lifetime costs for a dog and cat that each live for 15 years,” Investopedia.com states. Owning a home via a mortgage can run a family roughly $796,998. What do you think? Post a comment.

Here are some other massive cost-of-living price tags: wedding and engagement ring: $35,800

car: $271,330

health insurance: $934,752

retirement: $715,968

funeral: $7,848

Economists are calling for a Federal Reserve rate cut to battle stubborn inflation, worrying that without one the economy could be headed toward a recession.

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The housing crisis is still being underplayed


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Liberia – the country where citizenship depends on your skin colour


AFP A Liberian boy plays with a ball as international Liberian football star, George Weah plays a match on a dusty pitch at the Alpha Old Timers Sports Association in Paynesville in Monrovia on April 30, 2016 Tony Hage has lived in Liberia for more than 50 years.

It is where he went to university. Where he met his wife. Where he set up his successful business.

He has stayed when so many others have fled the country’s years of unrest- determined to see the country he loves and calls home succeed.

But Mr Hage, it could be argued, is a second-class citizen in Liberia. In fact, he is not a citizen at all – prohibited from becoming a full member of Liberian society because of the colour of his skin and his family’s roots in Lebanon. ‘They will enslave us’

Liberia, on Africa’s west coast, was established as a home for freed slaves returning to the continent, escaping from unthinkable misery in the United States.

Perhaps, then, it is unsurprising that when the constitution was created, a clause was put in restricting citizenship to just those of African descent, creating “a refuge and a haven for freed men of colour”.

Hundreds of years later, Liberia’s new president, the former footballer George Weah, described the rule as “unnecessary, racist and inappropriate”.

What’s more, Mr Weah said, discriminating against races “contradicts the very definition of Liberia”, which is derived from the Latin word “liber,” meaning “free”.

The pronouncement has sent shockwaves through some parts of Liberia.

“White people will definitely enslave black Liberians,” businessman Rufus Oulagbo tells the BBC, bluntly. Fubbi Henries at a protest against dropping the colour provision of the constitution He fears any move to widen citizenship away from just black people would damage Liberians’ chances to develop their own country.

In particular, he says, allowing people from other countries to own property would be dangerous.

Mr Oulagbo is not the only one to voice these fears: a new advocacy group, Citizen’s Action Against Non-Negro Citizenship and Land Ownership, has been set up to fight the president’s plans.

“Every nation has a foundation on which it was built – if you undermine that foundation, the nation will definitely crumble,” the group’s leader Fubbi Henries told the BBC.

Mr Weah, he said, “needs to focus on the right policies for Liberians”. Life after Ebola in west Africa

The legacy of Africa’s first elected female president

“Right now the prime focus is how to get our businesses on track, our agricultural and educational sectors on track, not citizenship or land ownership to non-Negroes,” he said.

It is true Mr Weah has his work cut out without changing the constitution.

Despite its wealth of natural resources, Liberia is ranked 225 out of 228 countries when it comes to average income per person, at just $900 per year for 2017.

In comparison, the US figure was $59,500, while the UK’s was $43,600.

In fact, a third of Liberia’s GDP comes from those living overseas – with some families entirely dependent on remittances from the US.

Mr Weah has been blunt in his assessment of the situation: Liberia is broke, and he is going to fix it.

How is Africa’s most beloved footballer going to turn Liberia’s economy around?

After years of civil war – not to mention the devastating effect of the Ebola epidemic in 2014 – the promises are music to most Liberian ears.

But changing the law now, Mr Henries says, would be like putting a two-year-old boy – Liberians – and a 45-year-old man – outsiders – in a boxing ring and seeing if they could have a fair fight.

“He will take undue advantage over that little child,” he said. “Liberian businesses don’t have that same leverage.” Harmony

The fear of outsiders is nothing new. The Lebanese community is used to it.

“Probably some people might take this as a threat – that foreigners are coming to take over,” Mr Hage tells the BBC from his home in Monrovia. “That’s not the case.”

At its height in the 1970s, Liberia’s Lebanese community was 17,000-strong. Now, after Liberia’s long civil war, it numbers around 3,000 – barely a drop in the ocean in a population of four million. How a footballer became president

The Liberian teenager whose hero is… Howard Webb

Find out more about Liberia

At one point, Lebanese families had businesses across the country. Even now, the community owns some of the country’s top hotels and businesses.

But, says Mr Hage, that should never worry their Liberian-born neighbours.

“Lebanese were all over in this country and it wasn’t any threat; and we have enjoyed living with Liberian people,” he said.

“Liberian people are fine people; and we have lived together for all these years, we have had inter-marriages. The records speak for Lebanese in this country.” Tony Hage has lived in Liberia for most of his life In fact, he believes that should Mr Weah’s proposal go forward, it would open the way for even more cooperation.

But on a personal note, it would mean a huge amount to him.

“I have always hoped that one day the clause would be changed.

“I celebrated my 15th birthday in Liberia, I have never regretted living in Liberia.

“I am happy not because I am not a Liberian, I am happy because President Weah is looking at the future of this country,”

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AI fever takes over Davos pushing crypto aside as the new cool kid on the block


A pedestrian walks past the TATA pop up store with a poster reading ‘The Future is AI’ ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

DAVOS, Switzerland — For the last few years at the World Economic Forum cryptocurrency firms dominated the main strip in Davos, promoting their wares.

But in 2024, artificial intelligence has taken over. Some of the world’s biggest companies are pushing their AI products and services with one declaring: “The future is AI.”

This shift underscores the rapid rise in AI investments and interest last year, sparked by the explosion of popularity of ChatGPT, the AI chatbot developed by OpenAI, and launched at the end of 2022.

Global technology companies are jostling to take a lead position in AI and are they are likely hoping their big statements on the Davos Promenade will serve to show their prowess in the field.

Companies from U.S. semiconductor firm Intel to Salesforce had AI slogans on the properties they took over. And then there was the “AI House”, an events space hosted by companies including Swiss telecommunications firm Swisscom. The “AI House” was one of the biggest displays on the Davos Promenade.

Arjun Kharpal | CNBC

AI dominated the Promenade far more than crypto firms, reversing a trend from the past few years.

For example, at the World Economic Forum in January 2022, even after the price of cryptocurrencies had collapsed, firms were touting “Bitcoin Pizza Day” and so-called non-fungible tokens . In January 2023, as the crypto winter had set in , firms pulled back on splashing the cash at Davos, but there was still a heavy presence from the industry , inclduing a mysterious orange bitcoin car .

The AI dominance makes sense.

PitchBook’s Emerging Tech Indicator, which tracks angel, seed, and early stage investments at the world’s 15 most successful venture firms, found that AI and machine learning startups gained far more investment in the third quarter. The buzzy tech pulled in around $600 million over the three months, compared to just over $100 million for Web3 and decentralized finance companies.

Nvidia , which was the poster child for AI in the public markets, saw a 239% rally in its stock in 2023 . The AI hype shows little signs of fading. U.S. semiconductor firm Intel took over one of the properties on the Davos Promenade with its AI agenda front and center.

Arjun Kharpal | CNBC

The crypto industry, for its part, seems to be OK with the shift at Davos.

Dante Disparte, the chief strategy officer for Circle, issuer of the popular U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoin USDC , has been a Davos regular. For the last eight years, Disparte tells CNBC that the blockchain and crypto industry had to “tell the story of the technology, as opposed to the story of results.”

“Today, there are very few crypto houses along the Promenade. They’re all AI houses, which is good,” Disparte said. “That suggests that this is becoming a background technology.”

According to Disparte, who has worked extensively with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to pass through legislation on stablecoins, the companies and players left standing will converge with traditional banking, finance and payments.

“It’s not dissimilar to the way the internet had to go through its dotcom bubble phase to hand over the development of the Internet to more durable, trusting and safe hands,” Disparte said.

“There’s a new technology kid on the block, which means that I get to become a vintage player. And I don’t have to explain the tech so much so that’s encouraging,” he added.

That’s not to say there are no crypto firms present. Circle had a big presence on the Promenade. A Swiss non-profit industry body called the Global Blockchain Business Council also had an events space. And blockchain firm CasperLabs, which has been attending for the past few years, also had a large space. But overall, it was certainly more muted despite the crypto industry and investors appearing to have had a better year in 2023 than 2022. Bitcoin rallied more than 150% in 2023.

There’s a narrative in the industry that crypto companies no longer have to prove themselves. Some view the approval of a bitcoin ETF by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last week as a moment that has locked in crypto’s place as a legitimate asset class.

— CNBC’s Ryan Browne contributed to this report.

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Depopulation and associated challenges for US cities by 2100


For cities, having a declining population usually means socioeconomic and infrastructure challenges to accommodate the remaining population. Using population projections, we found that, by 2100, close to half of the nearly 30,000 cities in the United States will face some sort of population decline, representing 12–23% of the population of these 30,000 cities and 27–44% of the populated area. The implications of this massive decline in population will bring unprecedented challenges, possibly leading to disruptions in basic services like transit, clean water, electricity and internet access. Simultaneously, increasing population trends in resource-intensive suburban and periurban cities will probably take away access to much needed resources in depopulating areas, further exacerbating their challenges. Although immigration could play a vital role, resource distribution challenges will persist unless a paradigm shift happens away from growth-based planning alone.

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ChatGPT may be coming for our jobs. Here are the 10 roles that AI is most likely to replace.


Economy ChatGPT may be coming for our jobs. Here are the 10 roles that AI is most likely to replace.

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Read in app Insider compiled a list of the 10 jobs that could be disrupted by AI tools like ChatGPT, according to experts. Experts say ChatGPT and related AI could threaten some jobs, particularly white-collar ones.

It could do so by automating mid-career, mid-ability work.

Business Insider compiled a list of 10 jobs this technology could replace, according to experts.

Since its release in November 2022 , OpenAI’s ChatGPT has been used to write cover letters , create a children’s book , and even help students cheat on their essays .

The chatbot may be more powerful than we ever imagined. Google found that, in theory, the search engine would hire the bot as an entry-level coder if it interviewed at the company.

Amazon employees who tested ChatGPT said it does a “very good job” of answering customer support questions, is “great” at making training documents, and is “very strong” at answering queries around corporate strategy.

Companies are taking notice. Both IBM and British telecommunications giant BT Group cited AI when announcing job cuts earlier this year — and said that many wouldn’t come back.

A recent Goldman Sachs study found that generative AI tools could, in fact, impact 300 million full-time jobs worldwide, which could lead to a “significant disruption” in the job market.

By 2030, nearly 12 million Americans in occupations with shrinking demand may need to switch jobs , a McKinsey analysis published in July found. AI was deemed a key reason — McKinsey estimated that 30% of hours worked in the US could be automated by 2030.

Human judgment needs to be applied to these technologies to avoid error and bias, Anu Madgavkar, a partner at the McKinsey Global Institute, told Business Insider. Users of ChatGPT have found that the bot can generate misinformation , incorrectly answer coding problems , and produce errors in basic math .

“We have to think about these things as productivity enhancing tools, as opposed to complete replacements,” Madgavkar said.

Business Insider talked to experts and conducted research to compile a list of jobs that are at highest-risk for replacement by AI. Tech jobs (Coders, computer programmers, software engineers, data analysts)

Coders, software developers, and data analysts could be displaced by AI, an expert says. Coding and computer programming are in-demand skills, but it’s possible that ChatGPT and similar AI tools may fill in some of the gaps in the near future.

Tech jobs such as software developers, web developers, computer programmers, coders, and data scientists are “pretty amenable” to AI technologies “displacing more of their work,” Madgavkar said.

That’s because AI like ChatGPT is good at crunching numbers with relative accuracy.

In fact, advanced technologies like ChatGPT could produce code faster than humans, which means that work can be completed with fewer employees, Mark Muro, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute who has researched AI’s impact on the American workforce, told Business Insider.

“What took a team of software developers might only take some of them,” he added.

Tech companies like ChatGPT maker’s OpenAI have already considered replacing software engineers with AI .

Still, Oded Netzer, a Columbia Business School professor, thinks that AI will help coders rather than replace them.

“In terms of jobs, I think it’s primarily an enhancer than full replacement of jobs,” Netzer told CBS MoneyWatch . “Coding and programming is a good example of that. It actually can write code quite well.” Media jobs (advertising, content creation, technical writing, journalism)

Experts say AI like ChatGPT is good at producing written content and can do so “more efficiently than humans.” Media jobs across the board — including those in advertising, technical writing, journalism, and any role that involves content creation — may be affected by ChatGPT and similar forms of AI, Madgavkar said. That’s because AI is able to read, write, and understand text-based data well, she added.

“Analyzing and interpreting vast amounts of language based data and information is a skill that you’d expect generative AI technologies to ramp up on,” Madgavkar said.

Economist Paul Krugman said in a New York Times op-ed published in December 2022 that ChatGPT may be able to do tasks like reporting and writing “more efficiently than humans.”

The media industry is already beginning to experiment with AI-generated content. Tech news site CNET used an AI tool similar to ChatGPT to write dozens of articles — though the publisher has had to issue a number of corrections — and BuzzFeed has used tech from the ChatGPT maker to generate new forms of content like quizzes and travel guides .

But Madgavkar said that the majority of work done by content creators is not automatable.

“There’s a ton of human judgment that goes into each of these occupations,” she said. Legal industry jobs (paralegals, legal assistants)

AI can replicate some of the work that paralegals and legal assistants do, though they aren’t entirely replaceable, experts say. Generative AI could impact legal workers in the US, a March Goldman Sachs report found .

That’s because legal services jobs had already been highly exposed to AI automation before the advent of new AI tools, Manav Raj, an author of the Goldman study, told Business Insider .

Like media roles, jobs in the legal industry such as paralegals and legal assistants are responsible for consuming large amounts of information, synthesizing what they learned, then making it digestible through a legal brief or opinion.

Language-oriented roles like these are susceptible to automation, Madgavkar said.

“The data is actually quite structured, very language-oriented, and therefore quite amenable to generative AI,” she added.

But again, AI won’t fully be able to automate these jobs since it requires a degree of human judgement to understand what a client or employer wants.

“It’s almost like a bit of a productivity boost that some of these occupations might get, because you can use tools that actually do this better,” Madgavkar said. Market research analysts

Market research analysts are susceptible to AI-driven change, says an expert. AI is good at analyzing data and predicting outcomes, Muro said. That is why market research analysts may be susceptible to AI-driven change.

Market research analysts are responsible for collecting data, identifying trends within that data, and then using what they found to design an effective marketing campaign or decide where to place advertising.

“Those are things that we’re now seeing that AI could handle,” Muro said. Teachers

Even teachers are susceptible to job disruptions from AI. Teachers across the country are worried about students using ChatGPT to cheat on their homework, but according to Pengcheng Shi, an associate dean in the department of computing and information sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology, they should also be thinking about their job security.

ChatGPT “can easily teach classes already,” Shi told the New York Post .

“Although it has bugs and inaccuracies in terms of knowledge, this can be easily improved,” he said. “Basically, you just need to train the ChatGPT.”

But Shannon Ahern, a high school math and science teacher who said she used ChatGPT to do things like lesson planning, told Business Insider in March that she’s not worried she’ll be replaced by the tech.

“There will always be a need for us and the human connection that comes with in-person instruction,” she said. Finance jobs (Financial analysts, personal financial advisors)

Workers in the finance industry could be at risk for AI replacement, expert says. Like market research analysts, financial analysts, personal financial advisors, and other jobs in personal finance that require manipulating significant amounts of numerical data can be affected by AI, Muro, the researcher at The Brookings Institute, said.

“AI can identify trends in the market, highlight what investments in a portfolio are doing better and worse, communicate all that, and then use various other forms of data by, say, a financial company to forecast a better investment mix,” Muro said.

These analysts make a lot of money, he said, but parts of their jobs are automatable. Traders

Traders work on the New York Stock Exchange floor in New York City. Experts say ChatGPT could upend jobs across a range of Wall Street industries , from trading to investment banking.

“It’s going to automate select tasks that knowledge workers are engaged in today so that they can focus on higher-value tasks,” Dylan Roberts, a partner at KPMG, told Insider.

Pengcheng Shi, a dean at the Rochester Institute of Technology’s computer science department, agrees that certain Wall Street roles could be in jeopardy.

“At an investment bank, people are hired out of college, and spend two, three years to work like robots and do Excel modeling — you can get AI to do that,” Shi told the New York Post . Graphic designers

AI has many graphic design abilities. In a Harvard Business Review post published in December 2022, three professors pointed to DALL-E , an AI tool that can generate images in seconds, as a potential disruptor of the graphic design industry.

“Upskilling millions of people in their ability to create and manipulate images will have a profound impact on the economy,” they wrote, adding that “these recent advances in AI will surely usher in a period of hardship and economic pain for some whose jobs are directly impacted and who find it hard to adapt.”

But Dr. Carl Benedikt Frey, an economist at Oxford University, told Business Insider that AI-tools like ChatGPT may actually help workers in “creative” industries like art and graphic design produce higher quality work. Frey said he is more concerned about how the tech will impact wages.

“In my view, it’s less about automation,” he said. “It’s more about democratization and competition, potentially leading to lower wages for people in some of these professions.” Accountants

Accountants may see their jobs at risk because of ChatGPT, experts say. Accounting is generally viewed as a stable profession , but even employees in this industry could be at risk.

“Technology hasn’t put everybody out of a job yet, but it does put some people out of a job,” Brett Caraway, associate professor with the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology at the University of Toronto, said on Global News Radio 640 Toronto in January 2023.

Caraway added that “intellectual labor” in particular could be threatened.

“This could be lawyers, accountants,” he said. “It is something new, and it will be interesting to see just how disruptive and painful it is to employment and politics.” Customer service agents

Customer support specialists may lose their jobs to AI, experts say. You’ve probably already experienced calling or chatting with a company’s customer service department and having a robot answer. ChatGPT and related technologies could continue this trend.

A 2022 study from the tech research company Gartner predicted that chatbots will be the main customer service channel for roughly 25% of companies by 2027 .

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Boomers’ dominance of the housing market is so complete that empty nesters own twice as many large homes as millennials with kids, Redfin analysis reveals


Boomers are sitting on lots of large houses. We all know that baby boomers are dominating the housing market , as they either own their homes outright or have locked-in low mortgage rates, while their properties appreciate in value. But Redfin reveals it’s perhaps even worse than you thought, with an analysis suggesting empty nesters are sitting on all the biggest homes that millennials could be using to raise their children instead.

Empty-nest boomers, which Redfin defines as baby boomers with one to two people living in the household, own 28% of the country’s large homes, which it defines as three bedrooms-plus, whereas millennials with kids own only 14%, the newly published report found.

Redfin’s analysis, which uses U.S. census data from 2022 (the most recent available), lists several reasons why boomers “own an outsized share of large homes.” For one, there’s really no financial reason to let go of a large home. More than half of boomers own their homes outright, and their median monthly cost of owning a home, including insurance and property taxes (among other costs) is just $612, according to Redfin. To compare, the median mortgage payment during the four weeks ending Dec. 31, 2023 was $2,361, down $372, or 14%, from October’s all-time high.

And boomers with a mortgage mostly have an interest rate that’s much lower than the current market rate. “Even if they downsized, they may have a nearly identical monthly payment,” wrote Redfin’s data journalist and senior economist, Dana Anderson and Sheharyar Bokhari. While mortgage rates have fallen from a recent peak at just above 8% in October, the average 30-year fixed rate is sitting at 6.77%.

For millennials it’s much harder to find, let alone afford, a home given how tight supply is. The lock-in effect has severely limited the supply of existing homes for sale. Meanwhile, home prices rose substantially during the pandemic-fueled housing boom, and have generally continued to rise, certainly on a nationwide basis .

“2023 was the least affordable homebuying year on record; it was especially hard for younger Americans who don’t have equity from a prior home, and the bigger the home, the more expensive it generally is,” Anderson wrote, noting that affordability is expected to improve this year. Boomers hold half of U.S. wealth, much of it in housing

Since the 1980s, trillions of dollars have flowed from the public sector to the private sector in a “massive wealth transfer,” that benefited baby boomers; household wealth increased from $17 trillion to $150 trillion, a record high, according to Bank of America Research strategists, led by Ohsung Kwon, touched on this as they pointed out that “everyone locked in 3% mortgage rates, except millennials.”

They’ve also benefited from “an abundance of newly built homes and favorable economic conditions during their prime moneymaking years,” as Redfin pointed out. Boomers built wealth and bought big homes, and now they’ve seen those home values grow four times faster than incomes over the last several decades, the report notes.

“Boomers hold half of the wealth in the U.S., and much of it is in real estate,” Anderson and Bokhari wrote. “Americans who bought their homes more than 20 years ago didn’t have to spend as big of a portion of their incomes on housing as those—like millennials—who are buying today.”

However, to be clear, lots of boomers entered the housing market in the 1980s, when mortgage rates peaked at roughly 18% as Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker attempted to lower inflation, which reached 14% ( not dissimilar to last year’s housing market ). But to put it simply, boomers had more time to buy homes and refinance their mortgages, which has pushed them ahead—so millennials are renting instead.

Millennials with kids account for nearly 25% of three-bedroom-plus rentals throughout the country—the largest share of any generational category. It helps that, as of late last year, rent was cheaper than mortgages in all but two of 97 major metropolitans. But obviously not all millennials can afford to rent large homes, some live with family or roommates.

But it hasn’t always been this way. “The landscape has transformed over the last decade: 10 years ago, young families were just as likely as empty nesters to own large homes,” Anderson and Bokhari wrote. And it doesn’t seem to be changing immensely anytime soon.

“There’s unlikely to be a flood of large homes hitting the market anytime soon,” Bokhari said. “Boomers don’t have much motivation to sell, financially or otherwise. They typically have low housing costs, and the bulk of boomers are only in their 60s, still young enough that they can take care of themselves and their home without help.”

Although affordability is set to improve slightly and the lock-in effect is set to ease—so while there won’t be a flood of inventory hitting the market, there will be a trickle, as Bokhari put it.

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11 inspiring Black American heroes whose stories deserve to be celebrated


Aviation pioneer Bessie Coleman, NASA’s Ronald McNair and Civil War hero Robert Smalls. Tyler Essary / TODAY Illustration / Getty Images / Alamy Black history lessons in the month of February likely include the teachings of famous Black Americans like Martin Luther King Jr. , Rosa Park and Jesse Owens.

There are a number of hidden heroes that are rarely discussed in classrooms, or around the dinner table, and while their names might not sound immediately familiar, these famous figures have shaped history and deserve the spotlight.

“Often Black history is taught from a one-sided perspective, what happened to Black folks,” author and antiracist educator Britt Hawthorne tells TODAY.com.

“Instead, we need to teach Black history from what Black folks did to resist, experience joy, and continue to create in spite of white supremacy.”

Pioneers like Ronald McNair, Bessie Coleman and Alexa Canaday have earned their pages in history textbooks — so why is so much Black history missing?

“The reason is simple,” Gerald Horne , Moores Professor of History and African American Studies at University of Houston tells TODAY.com. “Just look at the legislative backlash to Critical Race Theory or the Virginia gubernatorial race. Black history well taught leaves discomfort, which many would prefer to avoid.”

Horne says that a fuller understanding of Black history isn’t just about looking back into the past, it’s also about improving the future for America.

“History of a nation helps said nation better comprehend what ails it, so as to prescribe effective remedies,” he says. 11 Inspiring Black American Heroes

Here are Black American heroes you (and your kids) might not know about; now is the perfect time to learn. 1. Claudette Colvin

Claudette Colvin, civil rights activist, made history in 1955 as a teen. Craig Barritt / Getty Images While Rosa Parks’ name may be synonymous with the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Claudette Colvin came first.

On March 2, 1955, 15-year-old Colvin was on her way home from high school when she refused to give up her seat to a white woman and move to the back of the bus. Colvin was arrested for her refusal.

“All I remember is that I was not going to walk off the bus voluntarily,” Colvin told NPR in 200 9.

The incident occurred nine months prior to Parks’ famed refusal.

In June 1956, Colvin was one of five plaintiffs in ” Browder v. Gayle,” the first federal court case filed by a civil rights attorney that challenged bus segregation.

A three-judge panel determined Alabama’s bus segregation laws to be unconstitutional. The state of Alabama appealed the ruling, taking the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

On November 13, 1956, the Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s ruling and affirmed bus segregation laws were unconstitutional. 2. Alice Coachman

Alice Coachman, a gold medalist in the high jump at the 1948 Olympics, speaking to Olympic swimmer John Nabor in 2012. Bebeto Matthews / AP Jesse Owens may be the athlete that comes to mind while thinking about the Olympics, but Alice Coachman is an important name to remember.

Alice Coachman was the first Black woman to win an Olympic gold medal.

“My father wanted me to be more like a young lady and sit on the porch,” Coachman told the New York Times , reflecting on her childhood. “But I would go out back and jump over the fence and straight down the street where they were playing ball.”

Coachman’s medal was achieved at the 1948 Olympic Games in London where she leapt 5 feet 6 ⅛ inches to earn the top spot in the high jump, beating out Britain’s Dorothy Tyler.

After her win, Coachman returned to the United States where she was celebrated with motorcade parades, yet faced strict segregation in the South.

In 1952, Coachman achieved another historic first: becoming the first Black woman to endorse an international product when Coca-Cola hired her to become a spokesperson for the brand.

On July 14, 2014, at the age of 90, Coachman died in Albany, New York. The arrival of the famed 369th Black infantry regiment in New York after World War I. Celebrated in Europe, they faced discrimination at home. Bettmann Archive 3. Harlem HellfightersThe 369th Black infantry regiment was an all-Black U.S. regiment nicknamed the “Harlem Hellfighters” which formed during World War I.

In the first World War, they became the first African-American infantry unit, and spent more time in combat than any other American unit. Initially deployed to help unload supply ships, they regiment was then loaned to the French Army and spent 191 days on the front lines.

Though the unit lost 1,500 men, and only received 900 replacements , the Hellfighters were the first unit of the French, British or American Armies to reach the Rhine River at the end of the war.

The Hellfighters received their formidable nickname from the Germans; “Hollenkampfer” in German translates to “Hellfighters.” Because most of the unit hailed from Harlem, New York, the name stuck.

The Hellfighters were lauded in Europe for the bravery. But when the war ended and the Hellfighters returned home, they faced racism and segregation from the country they bravely defended.

The summer of 1919 was called the “Red Summer,” and marked by violence against Black Americans at the hands of white Americans. 4. Ronald McNair

Mission specialist Ronald McNair relaxes with his saxophone during the STS 41-B mission on the Challenger shuttle. NASA / Getty Images Ronald McNair was 9 years old when a South Carolina librarian told him he could not check out books from a segregated library in 1959. Refusing to leave, a determined McNair sat on the counter while the librarian called the police, as well as McNair’s mother. The police arrived, told the librarian to let the young boy have his books, and McNair walked out alongside his mother and brother.

McNair went on to earn his Ph.D. in physics at MIT and became one of the first Black Americans selected as astronauts by NASA, alongside Guion S. Bluford, Jr. and Frederick Gregory.

McNair’s first spaceflight was the STS-41B mission, aboard the “Challenger” shuttle. He successfully maneuvered the robotic arm, which allowed astronaut Bruce McCandless to perform the first space walk without being tethered to the spacecraft.

The second space flight for McNair would be his last. He, along with six other NASA astronauts, were aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger when it exploded 73 seconds after takeoff in 1986. Everyone on board the shuttle was killed.

Today, the library in South Carolina where McNair was refused books is named after the heroic boy determined to make a difference. 5. Bessie Coleman

Bessie Coleman was the first Black woman aviatrix. George Rinhart / Corbis via Getty Images While Amelia Earhart is often celebrated for her piloting heroics, it is pioneer Bessie Coleman who broke down barriers for women in aviation.

Coleman took flight in 1921, becoming the first African American woman to earn a pilot’s license. She was inspired to take to the skies at 27 after her brother, a World War I veteran, told her that women in France were superior because they could fly . Despite her drive, Coleman was denied flying privileges in the U.S. because she was Black and a woman.

Determined to become a pilot, Coleman began learning French, before leaving for Paris to pursue her dream. After successfully earning her pilot’s license, Coleman returned home and on September 3, 1922, she made the first public flight by a Black woman in the U.S. in a plane she borrowed.

Coleman worked her way into barnstorming, a form of entertainment involving aerial stunt tricks. In April 1926, while performing in Florida, Coleman’s plane began nosediving at 3,500 feet. Because she was performing tricks that did not allow her to wear her seatbelt, she was thrown from the aircraft and killed. 6. Alexa Canady

Nationally renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Alexa Canady became the youngest Black female in her specialty at age 30. Hugh Grannum / Detroit Free Press / AP Born in Lansing, Michigan in 1950, Dr. Alexa Irene Canady broke both gender and color barriers when she became the first African American woman neurosurgeon in the United States in 1981.

While majoring in zoology at the University of Michigan, Canady became interested in medicine after attending a summer camp on genetics for minority students.

After receiving her B.S. in 1971, Canady graduated cum laude from the College of Medicine at the University of Michigan in 1975.

While she was initially interested in internal medicine, Canady later developed an interest in neurosurgery. She was accepted as a surgical intern at Yale-New Haven Hospital in 1975. She was the first Black woman to be enrolled in the hospital’s program.

“I made it to Minnesota for residency, and before I knew it, I was a neurosurgeon. I had achieved my dream,” Canady wrote in a personal essay for the University of Michigan . “And that’s all it was to me, because being the ‘first’ anything was never my goal.”

Canady said that it was not until she began talking to people in the community that she realized the importance of her milestone.

“One, it was important for the children, who would no longer see neurosurgery as yet another world that they couldn’t belong to. That’s the side everybody appreciates,” she said. “And that was equally important in changing society’s expectations. So while being first wasn’t important to me, it was important for many others.”

Dr. Canady served as the chief of neurosurgery at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan from 1987 until her retirement in June 2001. 7. Robert Smalls

Robert Smalls was an enslaved African American who escaped to freedom. Alamy Stock Photo Robert Smalls was only in his early 20s when he risked his life as a Black, enslaved man in the U.S. South to sail his family to freedom.

Haunted by the idea that his family, which included his wife, Hannah, and two children, could be sold and separated, a common practice during slavery, Smalls devised a plan.

On a moonlit night in the spring of 1862 during the Civil War, Smalls, an enslaved Black man, and a crew of fellow enslaved people, stole one of the Confederacy’s most crucial gunships from its wharf in the South Carolina port of Charleston.

Smalls, a maritime pilot, and his crew hijacked the U.S.S. Planter, a well-stocked ammunitions ship, after the three white officers left overnight.

Smalls and the crew sailed the vessel, carrying 16 passengers, into free waters, and handed it over to the Union Navy.

This intricately coordinated escape astonished the world. Smalls was hailed as a hero in the North, and helped lobby President Lincoln to allow Black men to enlist in the Union Army. After the war, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives. 8. Gordon Parks

Gordon Parks was a groundbreaking photographer and movie director whose work includes “The Learning Tree” and “Shaft.” Shepard Sherbell / Getty Images Gordon Parks was a Black American photojournalist, musician , writer and film director who is known for breaking the “color line” in professional photography.

“I saw that the camera could be a weapon against poverty, against racism, against all sorts of social wrongs,” said Parks, who was born in Kansas in 1912. “I knew at that point I had to have a camera.”

A self-taught photographer, he was the first African American staff photographer for “Life” magazine, and took photos of many notable figures in history throughout the years. He was the first Black man to produce and direct a major motion picture, paving the way for Black directors after him. In 2000, he won The Congress of Racial Equality Lifetime Achievement Award. 9. Marian Anderson

Marian Anderson became the first African American singer to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in 1955. Gaston Paris / Getty Images Marian Anderson was an American contralto — meaning she possessed a very low range in her vocal register. She was famous for performing a wide range of music, including opera and spirituals.

For many years in Anderson’s career, she wasn’t allowed to perform in front of integrated audiences. But, with the aid of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Anderson performed a critically acclaimed concert on April 9, 1939, on the Lincoln Memorial steps. 10. Jane Bolin

Judge Jane Bolin was sworn in by New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia as a justice in the court of Domestic Relations in 1939, making her the first female Black judge in the U.S. Getty Images Jane Bolin broke many boundaries in her life, but perhaps her most famous is being named the first Black woman judge in America in 1939. (This is after she was the first Black woman to graduate from Yale Law School, and the first to gain admission to the New York City Bar.)

She fought against racial discrimination within the legal system; one of her many accomplishments as a Family Court (formerly the Domestic Relations Court) judge was changing the system so that publicly funded child care agencies had to accept children with discriminating on race or ethnicity.

She served as a judge for 40 years and only retired reluctantly when she hit the mandatory retirement age of 70. After retiring, she volunteered as a tutor at New York City public schools and went on to serve on the New York State Board of Regents. 11. Robert Sengstacke Abbott

Robert Sengstacke Abbott was the publisher and founder of the Chicago Defender, which came to be known as “America’s Black Newspaper.” Robert Abbott Sengstacke / Getty Images Born to parents who had been enslaved in Georgia, Robert Sengstacke Abbott was an American journalist, attorney and editor.

After attending Kent Law School in Chicago, he was told repeatedly that he was “too dark” to practice law in America — which inspired him to go into journalism. In 1905, he founded the Chicago Defender, and he sold 300 copies of the four-page booklet by going door to door. He started seeing a profit on the Defender 15 years later, and it became one of the nation’s largest and most influential Black newspapers.

The Defender both reported on and encouraged the “Great Migration,” the massive movement of Black Americans from the U.S. south to cities in the North. He fought against Jim Crow laws and at one time, popularized the anti-lynching slogan, “If you must die, take at least one with you.”

Kait Hanson

Kait Hanson is a lifestyle reporter for TODAY. A graduate of Penn State University, she began her career in collegiate sports communications.

Madeline Merinuk contributed. Create your free profile or log in to save this article

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