Black People : The Decadent Veil: Black America's Wealth Illusion


Well-Known Member
Sep 12, 2009
by Antonio Moore

The constant flashing of Black celebrity wealth – much of it earned in sports, entertainment and
media – “has allowed for a broad swath of America to become not just desensitized to black poverty,
but also hypnotized by black celebrity.” But, the real Black economic condition ranges from bad to
hopeless. “Thirty-five percent of Black households have Negative or No Net Worth. Another 15 percent
have less than $6,000 in total household worth.”

"To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships."
W.E.B. Dubois, Souls of Black Folks

“As black celebrity has been shown to millions of people, millions of times, the story of
real lives has also been lost, and with it the engine that thrust forward the demand for
social justice by the masses.”

I write this piece following the groundwork laid by W.E.B. Dubois's Veil of Double Consciousness. The
veil he described was a visualization of the racial duality blacks take on as part of their American
identity. I now undertake the daunting task of clarifying the new veil of economics that has covered
the struggles of a generation. The decadent veil looks at black Americans through a lens of group
theory and seeks to explain an illusion that has taken form over a 30-year span of financial
deregulation and newfound access to unsecured credit. This veil is trimmed with million-dollar sports
contracts, Roc Nation tour deals and designer labels made for heads of state. As black celebrity invited
us into their homes through shows like MTV cribs, we forgot the condition of overall African American
financial affairs. Despite a large section of the 14 million black households drowning in poverty
and debt the stories of a few are told as if they represent those of millions, not thousands. It is this
new veil of economics that has allowed for a broad swath of America to become not just desensitized
to black poverty, but also hypnotized by black celebrity.

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Aug 9, 2003
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