Photo credit: Tayo, Jr
Book illustration by Rachel Motley
Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and Thought Leader Luke Lawal, Jr., best known for founding the social platform HBCU Buzz, a community connected on what’s happening across HBCU campuses around the country, while giving audiences the opportunity to share a common interest, has made a great name for himself. Lawal will add to his legacy the title of author with the release of this financial literacy book RICH BLACK, POOR BLACK. This book tells a story on how to attain and sustain financial stability and create general wealth through the pillars of mental health, physical health, social health, and spiritual health, and serves as a guide for Generation Z.
For many individuals, when they think of generational wealth, they think of “financial assets,” but for Lawal, he considers everything. “When I consider generational wealth, I think of your physical or mental health, your spirit, your purpose, because a lot of times family culture is passed down and for me, when you’re generating wealth, all of those things are included.”
There were many things that compelled Lawal to write this book, and one of those things included an interaction with a student about their financial status. He recommended some things this student could do to elevate their financial status, and this student informed him that they were at negative 15 trying to get to zero. Lawal pondered on this thought and how most informational things about money whether it’s a book or a class, they teach you how to go from zero to 100. However, in the Black communities, we lack the fundamentals to even get to zero. “That’s when I realized there was a huge void within the community understanding the foundation of things,” he said. He wanted to create a book that would teach the community that to obtain generational wealth, it is more than just going out to “make money,” and how there are other necessary fundamental components that are needed to generate wealth.
When discussing the importance of generational wealth, Lawal stressed the importance of being financially literate and creating a world that goes beyond financial stability. For Lawal, building a sense of community and knowing where you come from is equally important. He also discussed the need for keeping the Black dollar within our community and making sure our “family is supported outside our direct generational wealth.”
Today, for some individuals it may seem like generational wealth may be out of reach due to inflation and the financial demands of life. However, Lawal made it known that is it “absolutely” possible to achieve generational wealth. He also emphasized that generational wealth is not just one number, but more so about growth. “I think it’s not about trying to say okay, try to reach a million or a billion right now, but more about how do I go from 10,000 to 20,000? How do I go from having a mentor to having five mentors? How do I go from having terrible health habits to focusing on holistic health?” Lawal wants individuals to look at the bigger picture when it comes to generational wealth and not just focused on money. “The opportunities are endless. You could be building your wealth tomorrow by just investing in you and creating that foundation and allowing you to start becoming wealthy.”
For the title of the book, Lawal wanted to show the comparison between rich and poor and he also wanted to demonstrate that through the book cover. Since he is a Gemini and there is a constant struggle between his two personalities, he wanted a cover and title that would reflect that and to “meet people where there are.” He also wanted a title that was community oriented and generational. Lastly, he expressed that the difference between rich and poor sometimes is that visual representation of why you’re doing it.”
Overall, Lawal wants people to shift their mindset when it comes to generational wealth and to understand that it’s more than just the financial piece to it. It’s mentorship, community, and family. It’s everything.
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