By London Ward
London Ward, founder and CEO of Snob Nails interviews Angel Rich, founder and CEO of Wealthy Life, on “How To use Dr. King’s Principles to Succeed as an Entrepreneur.” These two entrepreneurs are killing the game in their respective fields of beauty and finance – and happen to be sisters.
London Ward – We will honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on January 20, and as we begin another year, I realize how much I try to rely on his words: “we must in strength and humility meet hate with love.” My focus is on learning to be humble as a first instinct, and when I need to fight, fight with kindness.
So Angel, what tools do you borrow from Dr. King the most?
Angel Rich – Economic justice, equality of pay, and access to capital are my areas of focus. To bring everyone to equal footing financially is what I work toward daily – the gifts of Dr. King’s famous speech that I utilize daily. Martin Luther King’s speech on March 14,1968, less than a month before his assasination.
“Most of the poverty stricken people of America are persons who are working every day and they end up getting part-time wages for full-time work. So the vast majority of negroes in America find themselves perishing on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. This has caused a great deal of bitterness. It has caused a great deal of agony. It has caused ache and anguish. It has caused great despair, and we have seen the angered expressions of this despair and this bitterness in the violent rebellions that have taken place in cities all over our country. Now I think my views on non-violence are pretty generally known. I still believe that non-violence is the most potent weapon available to the negro in his struggle for justice and freedom in the U.S,” said Dr. King.
It is a constant reminder of the dangers and existence of inequality and that when Black people become powerful and affluent, many of them are removed from their missions, imprisoned, or killed with impunity. When I think about the injustices perpetrated against our people, it reminds me of 1921 and “Black Wall Street” in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 40 years before Martin Luther King, Jr fought for our civil rights and economic justice.
London Ward– What has happened to equality? Do we still struggle with that today?
Angel Rich – I do not know the exact amount we were making as a percentage of every dollar during Martin Luther King’s , Jr. era, but I think we only made 70 cents. We know that during Harriet Tubman’s era, Blacks made only 53 cents on the dollar, and now, Blacks make 63 cents on the dollar that Whites make. The difference is that today, visually we have more freedom and access, but there are still rules that apply to us. We also have not had the opportunity to build generational wealth. If you take into consideration that the poorest neighborhoods have more cameras than the suburban areas that observes the community 24 hours a day – seven days a week.
London Ward – For those readers that do not know what Black Wall street is please explain?
Angel Rich – Black Wall Street was an area called Greenwood in a historic freedom colony in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As one of the most prominent concentrations of African American businesses with 600 business, 21 churches, 21 restaurants, 30 grocery stores, 2 movie theaters, 6 private planes, a hospital, a post office, a bank, schools and a bus system all Black owned in the United States during the early 20th century, it was popularly known as America’s “Black Wall Street” until the Tulsa race riot of 1921, in which White residents massacred as many as 300 Black residents, injuring hundreds more, and burned down the neighborhood within hours. The riot was one of the most devastating massacres in the history of U.S. race relations, destroying the once-thriving Greenwood community.
London Ward – From Black Wall Street to Martin Luther King, Jr., who would you say is carrying the torch today?
Angel Rich – That is a really good question regarding who is moving the culture forward today. I think Van Jones is doing a good job to move the culture forward. I think Van Jones’ actions embody the Martin Luther King, Jr. quote “ An injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere.” Also, I try my best to educate our community on how to build wealth in everything that I do in the world.