11 Ways to Build Black Wealth According to Black Panther

Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER cast photographed exclusively for Entertainment Weekly by Kwaku Alston on March 18, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Wakanda is our wildest dreams. For 2 hours, it opens the door to a country rooted in prestige and great wealth. But for many, a quick step outside of the theater welcomes you back to a reality that isn’t so Wakandan. There are no ultra high net worth black dynasties or black owned neighborhoods where communities regularly come together to solve their problems. What’s great about this film is its acute awareness to this issue, and so creatively presented solutions.

Within the monumental film, one can find 11 strategies to build black wealth and make Wakanda a reality.

1. Have a Vision of Black Wealth

Wakanda is 100% black owned! We get a BIG vision of black owned assets as soon as the movie invites us into the country with the powerful welcome, “We Are Home.” Farm land, local shops, manufacturing, software, and technology are a few of the highlighted assets. The images of black wealth make known to some and remind others that black wealth is possible.

Although nearly 1 in 5 black families have zero or negative net worth, black wealth does exist, has existed, and has the ability to grow. There are a number of black business owners and investors like Sheila Johnson (BET, Salamander Hotels & Resorts), Robert Smith (Vista Equity Partners), and Courtney Sanders (Think & Grow Chick) who serve as examples of Wakanda in real life.

The juxtaposition of Wakanda and Oakland California is stark but it acknowledges the challenges we face and where we can go. Building black wealth starts with you and me getting a vision of black wealth.

2. Be Legacy Minded

“A man who has not prepared his children for his death has failed as a father” - T’Chaka

Wealth is transferable. You can transfer the ownership of your assets to anyone whether that’s your child or grandchild. This gives them a financial foundation and head start so that they can thrive in taking care of themselves, their family and their community. A good man leaves an inheritance for his grandchildren. This is wisdom.

T’Chaka was legacy minded. He made sure that T’Challa had the character, love for family, and community required to thrive as the Black Panther and lead well. His father gave him an inheritance. Later I’ll discuss the importance of fathers.

Where would you be if your dad gave you and your family a fully paid home? A stock portfolio? A multifamily rental unit? Building black wealth requires that you and I think and prepare not only for ourselves, but also for our children’s financial and life success.

3. Find and Mine your Natural Resources

Wakanda’s $90 trillion wealth is in its Vibranium. This indestructible metal laces Black Panther’s suit and made Wakanda the most technologically advanced country on Earth. Wakanda funded their entire education system by selling off a few small pieces of Vibranium.

The movie highlights an entire area dedicated towards mining Vibranium. It’s important to look at the definition of mine: to delve into (an abundant source) to extract something of value, especially information or skill. Wakandans would have never experienced such wealth if they didn’t take the time to extract the value of their natural resource. How much wealth could black communities create if they identified and extracted the value out of their people? Find and mine.

4. Get Skilled

Wakandans are skilled! Whether it was Killmonger’s traditional MIT degree, General Okoye’s armed forces training, or Shuri’s knowledge of software and hardware engineering, there’s a clear value on becoming skilled. Their skill allowed them to create value in the form of battle victories, protecting the king and improving existing technology. Building black wealth requires skill, so find something you want to become skilled at and start perfecting your craft.

5. Build Technology

Wakanda is 2000 years ahead of Apple. The iPhone is like a VHS in comparison to the applications of Vibranium tech. Wakandan’s built and scaled their technology in such a way that generated huge economic value for the country and its people. Black communities need to do the same.

Get inspired by the stories of trailblazer’s like Biotech entrepreneur Tony Coles, M.D. (Yumanity Therapeutics), Jewel Burkes (PartPic), or Rodney Williams (LISNR), whose technology companies are generating major revenue and creating jobs. Technology will continue to be the driver of wealth in the future. Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Netflix, and the entire financial system leverage technology to create wealth. As black communities build and sell technology they’ll experience the same returns.

6. Global Relationships

“More connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis, the wise build bridges while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another as if we were one tribe.” - T’Challa

T’Challa spoke confidently to