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I assume since the end of the Civil War, every Black American has had a strong opinion on what freedom looks like. I also presume it entails some form of financial prosperity. In our summer adjustment to congregating again, the new abnormal will surely create interesting conversations where all disagreements will agree to follow the money.

While there’s probably no avoiding beer-fueled arguments ranging from the NBA to the CDC, there are a few new contenders out to dominate discourse at cookouts. This might be the first Independence Day where MMA is discussed more than Boxing and air fryer aficionados compete with grill masters for plate equity.

Sometime after the sober first round of life updates, during the waiting period before the main meal, one might find a diverse huddle of AF1’s, Stan Smith’s and assorted J’s mixed with air shell-toe leather sandals and a few designer flats with freshly polished nails; all gathering to discuss this “crypto thing.”

The bandwagon experts will eventually expose their limitations of the space by over-using Bitcoin examples and the savvy investors will raise the exchange rate with commentary worthy of CNBC (btw, please properly acknowledge the cousin who was trying to explain the space to everyone years ago and is annoyed by your new-found excitement).

In my lifetime, I’ve watched Black people be late (and loud) about plenty of business trends. I tend to scroll past IG LLC gangsta gurus who apply dated methods of flipping houses 10 years too late. Snark aside, some of them are good and honestly, most systems aren’t designed for us to be in the timely know. I guess it’s similar to white people being tardy to our trendsetting parties, except we don’t benefit financially from the co-opting of our cultural innovation.

It’s important to point out obvious factors of our delayed engagement, but let’s not make excuses for priority choices either. Generally speaking, we’re working from deficits where many are still the first to graduate college, let alone have close relatives who are doctors, lawyers and accountants. Institutionally speaking, there are still too many “first” or “first since” positions being filled in 2021. While we have a long way to go, there seems to be a more natural network of professionals within our overlapping family circles – many not solely dependent on traditional education and corporate assimilation for upward mobility. This is a GOOD thing.

After you get past a few ego-flexing Clubhouse moderators, you’ll find something of unique value in the crypto landscape. The decentralized market makes it something governments can’t easily turn into pyramids of caste inequality. Blockchain technology provides a transparency that doesn’t give golf club members power to manipulate handicaps we can’t see. It eliminates the advantage of who intercepts crop reports or other little-known variables of earth. Man and machine. There is no racial, religious, patriarchal or masonic messaging on the money. This fishbowl reserve allows us to see the DNA of currency untethered from colonial bloodshed – it’s hard to “Columbus” something that is in the form of a NFT.

The new frontier is digital; which means newly blazed trails have less highway robbers (who are often cops) that can select victims based on race. This is why sometimes our appearance of being “late” in business opportunities really stems from distrust of those who are supposed to keep our money safe. Yeah, we see that steel vault but there’s something about all these people with fancy suits, titles and ledgers that raise concern, making us sleep better know the money is in the mattress.

Investment banks are losing power in leveraging privilege of those they anointed. In this marketplace, licensed bankers are middle men who no longer serve a justifiable purpose. That alone is a wrecking ball to their old ways of control. More importantly, now when we build Black Wall Street 2.0, and our boot strapped masses face the violent impulses of white rage, we can still retain our wealth because there is no brick and mortar to bomb, burn or flood.

The disruption is an equal watershed and the time is now.

That’s why the voices of this growing Crypt-gang are very necessary. The space attracts some annoying passionate personalities so please begin to develop a high tolerance. We can’t afford to wait for America to do right by us. Meaningful legislation seems to occur with the frequency of Halley’s Comet, and then they’ll spend the same amount of time slowly reversing the progress. Even John Lewis died seeing life achievements for voting rights gutted in one term.

That’s that bullsh-t…which is why I have little faith in the actualization of reparations and growing frustrations with the symbolic bones being thrown at us for appeasement. Listen, my sentiment is not meant to belittle the strides made by those who’ve paved the way for progress. However, those at negotiating tables and award ceremonies shouldn’t be dismissive of other methods to enact substantive change – quicker.

I salute the life work of people like Ms. Opal Lee (known as the “Grandmother of Juneteenth”) and the participants of her movement. While I question how Juneteenth should be observed, I fully understand the importance of it being federally recognized. It’s my understanding some want to start the tradition of unifying both independence days by celebrating from June 19th to July 4th – cool, maybe during that time (hold on let me do a quick compound calculation, 1865 minus 1776) there can be an Opal coin yielding a 189% annual interest rate, just for Black people.


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