Articles

Prudential Presents: Legacy Lives On


>>What does legacy mean to you?>>Yes, legacy is life contribution
beyond the life that you live.>>Legacy is critical to survival.>>Legacy means the transferal of accomplishments achievements
from one generation to another.>>Legacy, for me, means standing on
something, taking all that hard work that our ancestors did and building on that.>>Legacy, to me, means life after, what’s left
behind where you’re no longer physically here?>>You don’t see the seed in the ground,
but you water it every day, sun hits it.>>Even though I will never bear the fruit
of the foundation that we are building, I want it to start with me,
I want it to start with us. [ Music ] [ Singing ]>>Tulsa has historically tried to ignore its
past tried to ignore the 1921 Race Massacre. There was a mass slaughter of black folks. Hundreds of homes and businesses
were burnt to the ground. This — at that time — was the
only place in the United States that have been bombed from the air.>>The African-American community across
the country is being assailed and attacked, mob violence, lynchings, the urban riots. All of this was part and parcel of a very, very
terrible period in African-American history.>>It was a domestic terrorist
attack because of the jealousy of the prosperity within the black community. The people who lived here were
upper middle class people. [ Music ]>>Greenwood, everyone doesn’t know is, it’s
been kind of known as black Wall Street. There was a black majority of people who
had all businesses, they had churches, restaurants, everything you could think of.>>The spirit, to me, of black Wall Street,
I can’t tell you, it was just a place that you have to visit to understand it. I saw the fires, the riots. I couldn’t believe how that happened in Tulsa. And our young people, they need
to know what Wall Street means, we need to know what Wall Street means, so
that way, that’s not stuff that’s repeated.>>As we approach the Centennial Commemoration
of the 1921 Race Massacre, all one would need to do is to look at the news and
— and look at the comments — the public comments to see
what the racial tensions are. Everything we try to implement that will improve
the quality of life for African-Americans in this city is met with a fight. One of the things I say constantly is, we’ve
had to fight for everything we’ve received since we got off the boat,
and that has not changed.>>I keep hearing about the word
reconciliation and I’m like, wait a minute, that means restoring friendly relations,
which presupposes that we’ve created them, and I don’t know a point in our
history when we’ve ever done it. There is no racial reconciliation in
the context of Tulsa, it’s an oxymoron.>>The city, overall, often feels
like it’s in a state of denial. We’re not in a place where anyone
wants to admit responsibility for the disparities that
continue to happen today. I think of black Wall Street as critical to
survival and critical to our ability to thrive. The most disturbing thing about moving through
the postcards and the pictures was this feeling that history is repeating itself
and that’s kind of the elephant in the room that no one wants the name. The community still feels like it’s on
fire and so what then am I responsible to do now knowing what I know, seeing what I
have seen, what is my responsibility in terms of how I move throughout the world? [ Music ] So, one of the things I really
want to do out here, I know we have this beautiful window
space is, potentially, get permits and do a little outside seating here so when
the weather is nice, people could kind of, sit inside, sit outside,
have little patio deal, yeah.>>That’s what’s up.>>And then we’ve got part of
the ceiling up on this side.>>That’s just nice.>>I know. I grew up in foster care and there was a
time in my life where I didn’t know anyone who had known me before the age of 9 and that
felt really isolating and it felt like the idea of home was elusive and I
would never have that feeling. I reconnected with my biological family
and I go to this house and I walk in and my Great Aunt Daisy embraces me and she
starts telling me the story of, you know, me being a baby in that house and for the
first time, I had this feeling of home. And so, the house was on Fulton Street, to
me, Fulton Street became a symbol of home. It was my last year of teaching, I knew
I wasn’t returning to the classroom and I started actually writing down what it
— what would it mean to have a bookstore. And then right here, what we’ll
do is put like a little one — a few inch platform with platforms, so
we’re having programming, you got speakers, you got your poets, you got
your artists right here. I want people to walk into the space
and feel a little bit of that feeling. this feels like home to me.>>That’s really good, [inaudible]. It’s impressive.>>Thank you.>>[Inaudible]. And you’re going to have a heater in here?>>Yes, I’m going to have a heater in here.>>Or is it going to be a summer business? And you said you want people
to feel like, oh, wow, this place was created with me in mind, yes.>>I think people are going to come to
this space, even though they don’t live in the Heights because it’s a space for them, so knowing that we have combined enough
student loan debt to buy a couple houses, how do you feel about us now adding
this additional business [inaudible].>>It’s almost crazy that it’s easier to
get student loans than it is to get — you know, loans to start a business.>>If it was as easy to get this business
loan as it was to get a student loan, this business would already be open. I don’t have parents who
are financing my business. So, what it means for me is,
potentially putting my house on the line. What it means for me is irreparable credit
damage, so the consequences are higher.>>Yeah, I think we’re betting on
ourselves, you know, betting on you. And if we have a viable business plan and
business idea, it’s something that we know can, right, produce returns, then I think it’s a good
bet, so betting on you, so don’t let us down.>>I am who I am because I’m
running away from something. I don’t want to be like my mom. I don’t want to — I don’t want to be poor. I don’t want to — you know, it’s more
of the things that I don’t want to be that often drive me and so when you talk about
masks, like that is the mask that I wear, trying to look like who I aspire to be
and not who I feel like on the daily.>>There’s an economic trickle-down effect and
when you mention smaller towns, like Tulsa, the dollar goes so far in those smaller
towns that allows for economic stability, that actually goes financial wellness.>>Corporative economics has
always been quite prevalent. Because of the nature of
oppression and discrimination, African-American people cannot fully participate in the American society, so
they have to build their own.>>When it comes to building your confidence and
just success around money, there’s three things that I found that are most
helpful, first is knowledge, the second thing is access,
and the third is community. Community provides encouragement, community
provides normalization of the struggle, and community also provides this sense
of like, you know, you’re able to do so and that other people are going through
what you’re going through as well. [ Music ]>>Can I please have your
attention for just a moment? We’ve assembled here this evening to actually
show love to Onika [assumed spelling], she’s decided to invest in our community to give
back to focus on literacy, we’re lucky so I want to say thank you, Onika, for having
the fortitude to step out on faith to pursue your dreams and passions.>>Thank you for being here, it feels
good to be around family, you all, and that’s what Fulton Street is supposed to
be, it’s a space for us to have conversation, to have dialogue in the way
that we naturally would. It’s a space to build community, it’s a space
to build relationship, and so I am so excited that I have the privilege to build that here
in Tulsa with each and every one of you. As much as I own this, we own this, and so thank
you, thank you, thank you to every single person in this room, I could not do this without you.>>Yeah. Yeah. [ Applause ]>>Let’s have a toast to Onika,
the dream of our ancestors. Salut! [ Applause ] [ Music ]>>Money.>>Money.>>Money.>>Money makes me feel good.>>Secure.>>Confidence.>>Reassurance.>>Power. If I don’t have no money,
I’m tight, I’m upset, straight up.>>It’s not just something
you just ball out with.>>Right.>>You know, [inaudible] like a ball
sometimes, you know what I’m saying? [ Inaudible ]>>Detroit ain’t no joke okay. Detroit ain’t no joke, and
we still ain’t no joke. [ Music ]>>A Detroiter is someone, head up, shoulders
back, working hard, determined, focused. The work ethic of this town is serious.>>A Detroiter personifies the existence of a
city that was one of the most creative entities in the world, that is the essence of Detroit. It is a place of connectivity.>>We were born moving. We were 1 in 5 million, migrating toward the
north to find work, the opportunity, fathers, grandmothers, 140 trains arriving daily, a
place known as an Underground Railroad Stop.>>In the midcentury period,
blacks began to rush into the city. They were coming at the behest of Henry
Ford who put out a call, I will pay $5 a day for anyone who wants to come here and work. We’re at the Highland Park Ford Model T Plant. African-Americans are working in these
factories and they’re now finally able to rent space but then some kids buy homes. However, even though he’s paying
African-Americans the same wages as the white workers, they’re not
doing the same work his white workers.>>The most dirty, the hardest,
the most life-threatening jobs. Black people also were severely limited as far
as being compressed into limited neighborhoods and one of those neighborhoods
being Black Bottom. The capital of Black Bottom and the
Main Street was called Hastings. Hastings, it was the street where
all the black businesses was and what happened is the establishment
eventually took a bulldozer. And when they put in I-75, they
took the bulldozers straight down the black economic system,
right down Hastings. Can you imagine what those
businesses would be worth today? I mean in the billions.>>Ford Motor Company, Chrysler,
Sears, Kresge’s, Highland Appliance, all of those things were
here operating at their peak from the 1920s to the 1950s in Highland Park. Highland Park population has gone down
significantly and many of those businesses, they’re no longer here in
the City of Highland Park. We see a lot of things in the new Detroit,
there’s new shops, new restaurants new stores, particularly in Downtown and Midtown. But of course, what’s also happening is the
removal of people and a removal of history.>>We are in Highland Park
specifically in the Avalon Village. The Avalon Village is basically a
living space, a community that was built out of blighted and abandoned houses. The Homework House is the first entity
that was built out of a house that was on a demolition list, so space where
children can actually feel like their home and have a peaceful space to
just live, learn, and play. This land was totally dead, it needed a healing. Even though it was in its fall, it was still
worth something, it was still beautiful, and it could be a phoenix rising.>>I set a goal about 10 years
ago that by the age of 55, I want to be able to gainfully
employ 50 to 100 people and multiply that every five years from there. Once money becomes reciprocal in the
community, it no longer feels like money, it feels like a bloodline, and it feels
like something that we can build off of.>>Money is a real big factor in younger
people’s lives nowadays because we’re in a transition stage, we’re
learning how to live on our own and how to create opportunities
with our own money. When you sit and actually focus on a task,
there’s a lot of things that you can accomplish when you choose and decide that
that’s what you want to do. But you have to be committed
and you have to be driven. You have to understand it’s going
to take a lot of sacrifices. [ Music ]>>Jonah, go tell Braylon to come here. Thank you. Say good morning, please. Raising children, making
sure they eat every day. You ready to go to school? No? I’m actually right here up the street. Making sure that everything
is done, homework is done. All right, see you later. And half the time, I say I
may get four hours of sleep. I tell my kids that education is very important. I have to be honest with them, I didn’t
go to college right after high school. I went to cosmetology school but I was so
caught up in doing other things in life that I didn’t finish cosmetology school. I always tell them now, because I learned
the hard way, finish what you start, that’s my main rule to them because after
so many years and then getting of age, things get harder, but I’m great
at doing here, that’s what I do. So, I’m going back to cosmetology
school to finish. [ Music ] I have a lot of side hustles.>>Hey.>>Hey, how you doing?>>Good.>>Decorating, making clothes, doing hair. And when I turned 10, I started
pressing my own hair. I taught myself how to cut my own hair, braid my
own hair, and then after that, it just took off. If someone calls me at 2 o’clock in the morning
and they say, I need my hair done, I’m up, let’s get it, that’s money in my pocket. Whatever I can get my hands on, I’m going to
hustle to make the money to feed my family. I have a cycle every month of [inaudible]
getting paid, I set aside food money. Recently, I just paid most of my credit
card bills, off but I have student loans, about $25,000 in student loans, it’s a lot of
stuff that gets thrown back on the back burner because I just don’t have it, or
my husband just doesn’t have it. Me and the kids don’t even have insurance at
this moment because I’m on a leave of absence. 2007, I was in a motorcycle accident. My femur was broken in two,
my ankle was shattered, and I have at least $90,000 in medical bills. Those payment arrangements
that I can stick to, I do. If I know I don’t have it, I just don’t
even try to make it because I — I can’t. I know — and it’s sad to say, after years,
some of the medical bills are fall off, but I’m still dealing with my student loans,
and I’m completely in debt to the point where it’s — I can’t even breathe.>>Money makes me feel —
hmm, let me think about that.>>Money.>>Money.>>Money just makes me feel — I’ve
never thought about that question.>>Money.>>Money.>>Money is complicated.>>Money makes me feel uncertain.>>Money.>>Money.>>It doesn’t make me feel. If I have it, I have it, if I don’t, I don’t.>>Money is the tool, it’s not the money,
itself, it’s what the money allows you to do. But true wealth and true
money is really your mind.>>Money.>>Money.>>Money is something that
everyone needs to survive.>>Money makes me feel free.>>And my mother’s passing, she left
the house to all three of her daughters.>>I don’t know. To be honest, I don’t want to sell the house.>>I know. But her wishes were that the — that the house
was sold because everybody got their space.>>Yeah.>>Yeah.>>I guess.>>That’s what she asked to do. The day she passed, I went upstairs, and
I stayed in her bed after everybody left. It’s hard being there without her. I miss her. This is a beautiful house; I would love
to be able to rent it out to someone. That house means the world to me.>>You know, oh, that made you laugh, didn’t it? That made you laugh, didn’t it?>>You know, mama hated pictures.>>She would take them, but she
wouldn’t want you to take hers.>>And this was on Terry and Crystals wedding.>>Oh, yeah. Wow, so many memories.>>So, it’s these — the hats I got
in the dining room, I wanted you — you know, to kind of go through with
me to see what I should do with them.>>Oh, okay.>>It’s the first lady hat, this is
the one I like, the first lady hat.>>All right. All right.>>Had you thought about like when you
sell the house and you get your portion, had you thought about what you were going to
do with your — your portion of the money?>>I need to put some money up for my children.>>Yeah, that’s — that’s a
good idea, very, very good idea.>>That’s my number one goal,
but that’s my first start.>>Right.>>I don’t want them to struggle
financially, if they don’t have to.>>If you could talk with someone
that could give you some direction and a little education on
how to make that money last.>>Right.>>And make it grow, then I’m thinking that
you would be better off in the long run and you’d have something for your kids. And if — you know, if you need
anything, I’m right here always.>>Always. Say, Always.>>She’s a sweet child, she’s a good mom. She is handling it okay on the
surface but there’s a sadness there.>>I’ve had a time where I had so much debt
that I couldn’t sleep and unlike other periods in my life where I was able to out
hustle and work my way out of debt, in this particular situation, I couldn’t. It taught me a lot about patience and that’s
probably one of my most tested moments. Whenever I felt like giving
up, when I’d asked for a sign, the sign would always say, stay, keep pushing. It wasn’t the million dollar check,
it wasn’t a thousand dollar check, but it was just enough to keep me going. So, I was like all right, I’ll
stick it out a little longer.>>Everyone is struggling with something. You cannot find the solution when you’re
still hiding behind that wall of shame. The moment I turned things around
and got a new mindset, it — it wasn’t an a-ha moment that was, you know,
the ceiling opened up, and angels saying, oh, and everything was great, it wasn’t that. It was $11.42. I ran out of Pampers and I went to the ATM
to get $20 out and it said I had $11.42, insufficient funds, and I had
to wrap my son in a towel. I was repeating what I had learned
from my mom, which was spend it fast. In that moment, I said, I don’t know
how to make, or keep, or grow money.>>But we are getting to the point of
ingredients now that are making it able for us to get on that pathway to financial wellness.>>People think, oh, you have to be
rich to see a financial professional. It’s not true, you can pay a flat fee
and go see someone annually for a checkup to help you create a plan and stay on course.>>The first step of becoming
financially successful is to get started. [ Music ]>>We’re in the process of trying to help
our people all across the country get from where we are financially to where
we believe we have the potential to be. My mother’s religion is shopping, right? So, like most families, we didn’t
really talk about money a lot.>>DFree is a transformational lifestyle
movement that it uses faith based principles and practical approaches to financial management
to help people become financially free.>>Thirty five percent of African-Americans have
a negative net worth, we don’t own anything. Our debt exceeds our assets. All of those problems that have economic
implications motivated me to create DFree to partner with other people who are
very serious about our people rising out of this economic cesspool and
really experiencing financial wellness. When grandmother died, she had raised
six children and she was a seamstress, she sewed other people’s clothes for a living. When she died at 80-years-old,
she left three houses paid for. I stood at her grave and I said to myself. I am embarrassed now, and I got to change. And if I died right now, all I’d have
to leave anybody is credit card bills. There’s an emotion that’s building in black America towards
self-sufficiency, economic empowerment. I think that atmosphere is
being infected by possibilities. What — what we bring to that
atmosphere your strategy because a dream without a strategy is just an illusion.>>Hey, I’m glad that I’m getting to talk
with you because my mom left us some money and we’re getting ready to sell the house.>>Talk to a professional.>>Yeah, I’m definitely going to do that.>>I’ve got a 529 plan for your
kids, and that grows tax-free.>>Okay. There’s certain responsibilities
that we all have but there’s a different kind of freedom that you can have when you know
you have a plan on the other side of it, that concept of freedom and just liberation,
and being able to breathe, and really live, and exist, and move in the world from a position
of power because you now feel in control of your circumstances and in
control of your situations.>>Anytime you [inaudible].>>I appreciate it greatly. I — I really love it. I love — love –>>I’ve heard so many great things
about you, I’m — I’m just so impressed. I can’t wait to see where you’re headed.>>I love Detroit, I love my city. I have a group of friends, one
is starting a makeup company. She quit her job and she just went straight
for it, like, I’m just going to do it. It was kind of a group of us that got
together, we were just talking, like, what can we do to inspire people to
do the things that they want to do. For a long time, I was scared to step out. I was scared to say, let’s start a
business because I’m scared of failing, but you have to fail to get somewhere. [ Music ]>>Across the water from another
country, our birth, a starting line, our journey constantly evolving,
we were born moving. A metropolis of ideas, our minds,
the workstations of the future. We are the inherited legacy,
black Wall Street to Black Bottom. Detroit is still on the frontline of the world’s
imagination, how we finish defines our legacy. We were born moving. [ Music ]>>Strong black woman living in America, if you would have asked me what strong
black woman means me five years ago, I would have given you flexing and stoic.>>I feel a sense of obligation.>>Holding the world.>>And I mean you get up
to do what you need to do to accomplish whatever needs to be accomplished.>>People call me a strong black woman all the
time, I feel like the cape became my noose.>>The super sister soldier, I’ve got it, I
don’t need help, I’m not a burden on anyone. We put it on every morning,
we wash it off every night. But what happens is, if no one sees you
crumble, they don’t believe that you do.>>What’s your favorite slogan about Atlanta?>>Oh, wow. You mean, aside from Atlanta got
a Mayor Named Keisha [inaudible]? [ Music ] Atlanta is the city too busy to hate and
we’re too smart to rest, we can’t settle.>>We look at any number of things that
have separated us from other cities and if you get comfortable, you’ll lose it. We’re going to leave it all on the battlefield. History will be kind to what we’ve
done for those who are yet to come. What I show the people is that anything
is possible, especially in Atlanta. Your dreams don’t have to be
limited by your circumstances. Your dreams don’t have to be limited by what other people think you
should be and who you should be. And I hope that as a mayor with a name
Keisha that it says to little girls and little boys, this is yours too.>>Atlanta truly is a Mecca
land, it’s a fertile ground of just creative energy, this entrepreneurship.>>Cooperative economics is the core of
Atlanta and it’s still the spirit of Atlanta, free civil rights movements,
African-Americans live in the same community, they work together, they
went to church together. Your education, what you did
professionally, that didn’t matter, you were in the same neighborhood and because
of that, you learn to invest in one another. Because of that spirit, things
blossom in this city.>>This is prime real estate down in Atlanta. And if you’re not looking at the
numbers, our numbers are dwindling. I don’t think there’s anything wrong,
we’re trying to preserve a legacy.>>There’s never enough conversation about
financial literacy, generational wealth, that has to be the forefront
of the conversation every day. If not, we will lose this city. While it’s nice to have all these big buildings
and all these companies moving to town, and how much participation do we have, as
a people, in their growth and development? [ Music ]>>I set a goal for myself that I wanted
to become a millionaire by the age of 30. My first experience with business I can think
of are when I was maybe 4 or 5 years old and my grandfather started
businesses in Mobile back in the ’50s and ’60s and passing them on to my dad. And one of the things that I would do in the summer times is I would
help them by counting money. It would be my responsibility to count the ones.>>I saw my mom start businesses
when I was really young as well. I remember her reaching certain
milestones and being excited, and I also remember times
when it was really tight. Money was tight, it was hard, she was — I would see her crying sometimes
because things were challenging.>>I made a decision, as I have
been exposed to generational wealth, that our family was never
going to struggle again. When I first started agency and I
really didn’t have anything extra. In fact, I didn’t have enough,
so extra was not on the table.>>Not on the table. I mean you got upset because
you only had one pair of K-Swiss and you had to wear them with everything. But I did feel like — at the time that — if we took a step back for that period that
we would be able to take more steps forward.>>Yeah.>>I think that really motivated me, and helped
me, and made me feel like it was possible to start a business myself
because I had that exposure. I first had an idea to start a business when
I was in high school and I was a painter, someone offered to purchase
the art, and I was like, oh.>>When she was negotiating that — that first
painting, I was like, oh, maybe, you know, she’s got a little neck for business.>>When I went out to Google working in Silicon
Valley, there are people who are working at Google one day, and then they would go to
a startup, or go start a startup themselves.>>That was like planting a seed,
showing the entrepreneurship in a different way than I had seen it before. The company I started was called Part Pick and we created technology to
recognize replacement parts.>>For her to bring something like
this together, I just knew all along. In fact, the first time she called me,
and she told me what she was planning, I was like that’s a hit,
that’s — that’s a homerun. [ Music ]>>Unfortunately, the morning after I sold
my company, I could not get out of the bed. I was crying, I was upset, and it
wasn’t necessarily because of the fact that I sold the company, it was more so just
feeling somewhat out of control and that’s when I was actually diagnosed with depression.>>I think a challenge for
black women, in general, is you have so many identities
that you have to balance. They tout how, you know, there’s a rise
of professional black women graduating from college, and being entrepreneurs,
but they don’t talk about the challenges that go along with it. Even though there are more black women
entrepreneurs, they’re actually making less than they were a decade ago so you look at that
and you think, what does that mean when you go into a professional space and you’re maybe the
only or you have less than what everyone else, has how does that make you
feel like you have to show up?>>Yes, we as black women, are strong, when I
think of what we’ve had to endure as a people. There’s generational trauma, I
don’t like crying, I’m not a crier, but that’s part of trying to live up to this
standard of being strong and always taking, taking, taking, and never asking
for help, never saying I can’t.>>A strong black woman can
talk to you about anything, no matter what obstacles are in her way. I’ve been through depression;
I’ve been through anxiety. You’re strong because you can
speak out about your situation because you never know who you can help. [ Music ]>>The Gathering Spot is a private
membership club that has a workspace amenity. It definitely was built [inaudible] people,
like ourselves, who are black professionals, seeking a space where it’s not about being
tolerated, it’s about being celebrated, being able to access your
best self because you feel that security and connectivity in the space.>>It is not only appropriate, and cool,
and trendy to invest in black entrepreneurs, it makes good business sense to do it. Jewel is an excellent example of
this concept, whereby doing well, it facilitates the opportunity
to be helpful to other people.>>Experiencing injustice and feeling slighted
in different ways throughout the course of my life, and feeling like I’ve always had
to do more, and work harder, and be better, I think that — that must be the reason that
I’m specifically focused on giving my time to black entrepreneurs and
resources to black entrepreneurs. I mean I had investors ask me
if my team was still black. I’ve had people say that they’ve never
invested in a black woman and kind of infer that they would not be starting with me. I would do trade shows where I would
have members of my team with me and I could almost always count on people not
directing questions or speaking to me at all. They would rather speak to the young white male
intern that I would have and that, to me — obviously, it hurt my feelings, but it also
just kind of showcased what I was up against. After I sold my business, I was really
having somewhat of an identity crisis. I put a post out there that
said, hey, I’m open to meeting with entrepreneurs every
morning at the Gathering Spot. I’m going to be there for breakfast anyways,
so I might as well have some company, and I got an overwhelming response from
just putting out a simple post like that. And so, over the course of the last two years,
I’ve probably met with over 100 entrepreneurs.>>Raising more money at this point,
it’s one of the big [inaudible]. I find that ecommerce companies usually
are losing money the first couple of years because they are — being a mentor to other
people has allowed me to just be helpful to them, to learn more about
what they’re working on, and really teach them lessons
from mistakes that I made.>>So, what’s the timeline look like for that?>>So, phase one is June.>>Okay.>>This. Phase two would be August.>>Okay, so not too far.>>Exactly.>>I started about a year and
a half ago and I am just coming out of what I call the valley of disappointment. So, hearing other entrepreneurs go through
the same things, especially talking to people like Jewel, it’s helped me to understand
that what I’m going through is normal.>>Maybe it’s better to focus on those kinds
of three verticals, since those are the ones that are picking up some traction.>>I don’t think that there’s anything that’s so
special about me that can’t also come into play in other people’s stories and I can be a
relatable source for people that are on the path and not sure if they can
get there and hopefully, seeing me helps them feel like they can.>>I’m just so thankful for everything that
you’ve poured into me over the years and I feel like I have this amazing advantage
because of you and thank you. I love you.>>I love you too. [ Music ]>>Behind me is the home of Alonzo Franklin
Herndon, Atlanta’s first black millionaire. Alonzo Franklin Herndon was born into slavery,
he would actually be emancipated at 6 years old and come to Atlanta to create his fortune. He is the founder of Atlanta
Life Insurance company. The legacy of Alonzo Herndon is
one of generosity, sacrifice, his legacy of self-determination, and that’s
the legacy that we live today, as entrepreneurs, continuing the work that he has started for us.>>Plant seeds that will grow trees from
shade you may never sit under, and for me, that defines legacy, as I’m sitting
next to this great oak right now. At some point, someone planted that tree.>>Dreams, and aspirations, and
upliftment has always been a struggle in the African-American community, and that’s
been the real genius of the black experience, how we have dealt with these challenges,
no matter where we are in this country.>>We know that black people have created
a lot of amazing things and historically, they do not reap the financial benefits of it. And I think that one of the things that this
generation is doing is trying to close that gap. If you think we’re cultural
influencers now, world, get ready when we can afford
to finance our own ideas. There are ideas sitting in
people that they can’t activate on because they don’t have the financial
fortitude to be able to see them through.>>I am black woman, I am a business owner,
and the women that work with me look like me. And I always tell them that the world
doesn’t always want your black girl magic, but I want it. You get to decide what your legacy looks like; you get to shift your community
from the inside out. You get to be the solution
for the problems that you see.>>As hard as we are on ourselves and each
other, we have to take a moment to step back and say, man, we’re doing it,
we have a lot to be proud of. But they’re our brothers and sisters to our
right into our left that may not be doing as well as us and it’s our job to
bring them up and bring them with us.>>Imagine that freedom and luxury of
privilege of sitting around the dinner table and just pontificate on our ancestors. Imagine we don’t have financial wellness,
and we don’t have financial security, those dinner conversations are different.>>Because I was born, because you
can hear my voice, because I have air in my body, abundance is my birthright.>>This generation will change the
planet and the financial landscape of America, and black America, and humanity.>>The black story is the American story and
because America is the beacon of the world, that means black people are the beacons of this
world and it’s time that we start owning that, and recognizing that, and realizing
that, and letting our light shine. [ Music ] [ Singing ]

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