Home » Eight of 10 wealthiest Black Americans too poor to make Forbes 400 list

Eight of 10 wealthiest Black Americans too poor to make Forbes 400 list

by Eduardo C. Serrano
Rihanna

Despite the fact that it now takes $6 billion to make the Forbes 400 richest list, up from $6.4 billion, many of the richest African-American billionaires are having difficulty making the list.

According to data tracked by Billionaires.Africa, eight of the 10 richest Black American billionaires are unable to meet the $6 billion required to make the Forbes 400 list.

This is a clear indication of the wealth gap that exists in the United States, as there are more than 700 billionaires in the United States, but only 10 of them are Black, and only two of those are women.

The addition of Sean Diddy Combs to the list in 2022 would have brought the number of Black American billionaires to 11, but this was not to be, as Kanye West, also known as “Ye,” lost his billionaire status after Adidas severed ties with him due to offensive and antisemitic comments that he made.

While some Black American billionaires, such as Robert Smith and David Steward, are listed on the exclusive Forbes 400 richest list, others, like Oprah Winfrey, are lower down on the Forbes 1,000 richest list.

According to data tracked by Billionaires.Africa, these eight billionaires are presently ranked in this order.

1. Oprah Winfrey

Source: Media

Net worth: $2.5 billion

Oprah Winfrey, dubbed “The Queen of Talk,” is the wealthiest black woman in America after turning her 25-year-long hit talk show into a media and business empire. She is currently ranked 1,153rd on Forbes’ richest list, with a net worth of $2.5 billion.

2. Michael Jordan

Source: Charlotte Hornets, Endorsements

Net worth: $1.7 billion

Michael Jordan, the fourth-richest black billionaire in the United States and the 1,690th on Forbes’ richest list, has a net worth of $1.7 billion and is considered the greatest basketball player of all time, earning $90 million in salary during his career.

Jordan is the chairman and principal owner of the Charlotte Hornets, a North Carolina-based NBA team. He agreed to sell a minority stake in the NBA team for $1.5 billion in 2019. He also has a NASCAR team and a stake in the sports betting company DraftKings.

3. Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty

Source: Cosmetics, Music

Net worth: $1.4 billion

Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty, the world’s youngest Black billionaire and renowned musician, is the second-richest Black woman in the United States. Her net worth, which is now valued at $1.4 billion, places her as the 2,022nd richest person on Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people.

The majority of her wealth stems from her ownership of Fenty Beauty, a rapidly expanding cosmetics company that sells her makeup and skincare products on Sephora shelves in the United States, Canada, Mexico, France, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, Singapore, and the Middle East, as well as online to more than 150 countries.

4. Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter

Source: Liquor, Music Streaming

Net worth: $1.3 billion

Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter is an African-American businessman who sold a 50-percent stake in his Champagne brand, Armand de Brignac, to Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), a French luxury goods holding controlled by the world’s richest man, Bernard Arnault.

When he sold a majority stake in Tidal, his high-fidelity music streaming platform, to Jack Dorsey’s Square in 2021, he made $297 million.

5. Tiger Woods

Source: Golf, endorsements, real estate

Net worth: $1.1 billion

Tiger Woods, the world’s greatest golfer, is currently worth $1.1 billion, ranking him 2,396th on the Forbes list.

Woods owns a golf course design firm and a live production company, as well as a stake in a luxury mini-golf experience with multiple Florida locations and a hospital software startup. He also owns a stake in Nexus Luxury Collection, a global hospitality real estate development, and asset management company.

6. LeBron James

Source: Basketball, Endorsements, Investments

Net worth: $1 billion

LeBron James, the first active NBA player to reach the billion-dollar mark, is currently ranked 2,416th on Forbes’ list of the world’s wealthiest people. His pretax earnings with the Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and Los Angeles Lakers total more than $385 million.

Off the court, he has earned well over $900 million (pretax) from commercial ventures and endorsement deals with companies such as PepsiCo, Walmart, and his long-time sponsor, Nike.

7. Tyler Perry

Source: Films

Net worth: $1 billion

Tyler Perry, an African-American writer, producer, director, and actor who has amassed a fortune through his work, particularly through his “Madea” franchise, which has grossed over $660 million, is currently ranked 2,475th on Forbes’ list of the world’s wealthiest people.

Perry owns 100 percent of his creative output, which includes over 1,200 TV episodes, 22 feature films, and at least a dozen stage plays, as well as a 330-acre studio on Atlanta’s outskirts. He recently signed a four-film deal with Amazon Studios, a television and film producer and distributor based in the United States and a subsidiary of Amazon.

8. Sean “Diddy” Combs

Source: Ciroc Vodka, Music, Investments

Net worth: $1 billion

Sean “Diddy” Combs, a rapper, songwriter, and multi-industry creative who welcomed his seventh child, daughter Love, in late 2022, derives the majority of his $1 billion fortune from his partnership with Diageo to create Ciroc Vodka, a move that saw him take the helm of Ciroc in 2007, guiding the brand from obscurity to multi-billion-dollar status.

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