ABOVE: Jerome D. Love
When nearly the entire nation watched George Floyd lose his life at the hands of police officers, it was a wakeup call for many. As shocking as the murder was to some, for others it was just another day in America, where yet one more Black person’s life was treated as if it had no value.
Similar scenes have played out countless times in cities and suburbs across the country, whether in secret or on a national stage. The discrimination and brutality displayed towards Black people is not always as obvious as a knee on the neck. It shows up in the lack of educational opportunities for Black children, the denial of funding for Black businesses, the scarcity of healthy food options in Black neighborhoods, the gerrymandering of political boundaries, and countless other examples.
Jerome D. Love, entrepreneur, and founder of the Texas Black Expo, believes the way to level the playing field is by building wealth in the Black community. Love wants to take the experiences of successful businessmen and women and share nuggets of wisdom through the newly launched Black Money Tree podcast.
“Success leaves clues, so when someone from our community figures out how to achieve a level of success, we need to share those lessons with other members of our community so we call can thrive,” said Love. “I am fortunate enough to be in relationship with high achieving individuals who have taught me a lot over the years, and I believe we can all benefit from the knowledge of others, so I created the Black Money Tree podcast.”
As an entrepreneur himself for the last 25 years, Love has built his own brand on empowering the Black community. For nearly two decades he has produced the Texas Black Expo, which has become the largest African American business expo in the state. Through the Expo, college fairs, scholarships, youth entrepreneur camps, and a variety of programs and philanthropic initiatives, Love has worked consistently to help Black people elevate their station. It is his life’s calling.
“What I hope people take away from these conversations is the realization that it is entirely possible to create a better station in life using many of the tools we already have,” said Love. “Each person I talk to on the podcast has a unique path they took to achieve success, and the lesson in that is that there are many ways and resources that exist, and I want to help Black people gain access to them.”
In just a few weeks since its launch, Black Money Tree has already featured some notable guests who have shared their own stories of navigating the tricky terrain of business, career and personal finance in a system built to keep Black people oppressed. A few of the guests sharing their experiences on the podcast include Eden Bridgeman Sklenar, owner of Ebony magazine, Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover, president of Tennessee State University and international president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, TV executive Rushion McDonald, and Ron DeVoe, owner of Ron DeVoe Real Estate and a member of the iconic music groups New Edition and Bell Biv DeVoe.
“A major component to wealth building is owning real estate. Growing up, we were not taught about money and how to use property to build wealth,” said DeVoe. “That’s why I founded DeVoe Real Estate and am excited to be a part of the Black Money Tree podcast series, which has a major focus on wealth development through real estate.”
The podcast is just one tool in Love’s arsenal of resources he wants to share with the public in hopes of educating, inspiring and motivating Black people. A new book under the Black Money Tree banner titled Closing the Wealth Gap: How to Build Wealth in Black Communities by investing in Real Estate reframes for readers the power of using real estate to amass wealth, strengthen the community and give future generations a head start.
“When you look at the statistics, Black Americans are twice as likely to live in poverty as White Americans, and less than half of Black families own their homes compared to nearly 75 percent of White families,” Love continued. “The incarceration rate of Blacks is almost six times the rate of Whites, and life expectancy for Blacks is 3.6 years lower than that of Whites. With such dismal statistics like these, it can seem next to impossible for Black people to rise out of poverty, but I’m here to tell you that it’s not only possible, it’s probable when you have the knowledge, tools and network.”
Building wealth does not happen by accident. On the contrary, it takes focused, consistent, and strategic effort. Love wants people who tap into Black Money Tree to learn how to balance consumption with saving and investing, and how to circulate funds within the Black community and how to transfer wealth through future generations.
“It is horrific what happened to George Floyd and continues to happen in Black communities across America,” Love said. “Unfortunately, this pattern will continue until African Americans have the financial resources to build and protect our own communities. We don’t need saving from outside sources. I created Black Money Tree to help us save ourselves.”
To listen to the Black Money Tree podcast, visit www.TheBlackMoneyTree.com.