For over 500 years, African Americans living in the USA have experienced struggles and challenges, including slavery, persecution, inequality and racism. Unfortunately, being poor comes into play. A large percentage of the black population is more likely to live in poverty than any other ethnic group, with only one in 50 African American families considered millionaires.
However, in this 21st century, post-modern, and highly globalized economy we live in, it looks like change is coming. Today, there are more wealthy black people who are millionaires than ever before, and the majority of them call America home. This group of wealthy individuals of color have found success against the odds, rising above America's institutional racism, thanks to changing their mindset, having an entrepreneurial spirit and intensive networking within the Black community.
The number of affluent black Americans is rising across the country, doubling over the last 25 years, particularly in "Black Mecca" cities like Atlanta, New York (Harlem), Houston, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Interestingly enough (and refreshing), they do not fit the mold of the stereotypical wealthy African American, pigeonholed as sports personalities, musicians, artists, or actors. This new Black upper class are entrepreneurs, property developers, realtors, and community advocates, who persevere and display leadership qualities that have allowed them to succeed.
This rising affluent class is the focus of "America's Black Upper Class: Rich, Successful and Empowered", and they follow four members of the black community who currently embody the qualities of "Black Excellence" - not only are they individually and independently wealthy but they pay it forward, give back and uplift the Black community.
Don Peebles is one of America's wealthiest and most powerful businessmen. He is a property developer worth 700 million dollars, fondly nicknamed the "Black Trump". His working-class background prepared him well for this role, buying his first building at 22 and earning his first million at 30.
Psyche Terry is a successful entrepreneur who built a cosmetics empire from the ground up. She is a sought after philanthropist and is a mainstay in Dallas society and charity events.
Successful real estate agent Tahlia Diaz Brown closes another deal in Atlanta, Georgia and throws a thanksgiving party at a fashionable club. Other successful community members are invited, allowing them to network and even forge partnerships.
Finally, activist and advocate Maggie Anderson fosters the Buy Black Movement. She believes it's time that the Black community supports each other, encouraging African Americans to patronize Black-owned businesses and services, products and banks. On a similar track, Shareef Abdul-Malik is determined to launch a "Black Amazon" where all the products are from black enterprises.
Directed by: Agathe Soleranski