5 Ways Black Men Can Invest In Black Boys

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” – Frederick Douglas

The statistics and data around Black boys/men is and has been alarming for decades. As African Americans in the post-Civil Rights era began to abandon our own institutions arguably nobody has suffered as a result more than Black boys. In almost every category of substance Black boys/men trail and trail significantly against the overall society and within our own community. The consequences of this is seen in the struggles of our communities, institutions, and families. Where are the Black men is a question that is asked so often in spaces that in many ways it has become redundant. Unfortunately, the answer is they were lost as Black boys never to be seen from again in many ways. To become substantive members of our community, families, and institutions requires education, training, mentorship, and so much more. The reality on the ground is that there is very little in the way of organizations or resources that provides enough of that. While Black women have taken upon themselves to create, support, and fund initiatives that support the development and growth of Black girls, Black men have not done the same for Black boys. Conversations between Black men about how they can help Black boys tends to seemingly 99 percent revolve around sports as an answer. Black boys and sports has become a catch all for all things that ail Black boys and yet the outcomes suggest that is a failed investment. The question now is what going forward can Black men do to holistically develop and improve the outcomes of Black boys. Take responsibility and accountability for them. The time for deflecting blame is a broken record in many instances and while there are external forces at work constantly against African American men and our boys, we would be remiss not to as men deal with the protection and providing for them within our control.

  1. Pre-K-5 Investment Is Imperative. African American boys get lost and they get lost early. The majority of any investment made into African American boys needs to be made in early childhood development. This is where boys develop cultural identity, mental health fundamentals, educational confidence, and more. Any conversations that we have about Black boys needs to be heavily weighted on reaching them as early as possible and as often as possible. The foundation of anything being built will always be the most important part of that structure.
  2. Donating To African American Organizations That Specifically Support Black Boys. The easiest thing any of us can do is make sure the organizations that are trying to help our boys have the resources they need to not only fulfill their mission, but to excel at their mission and to exceed their missions expectations. For African American organizations who receive less than 2 percent of all national funding into NPOs, this is a mountainous hurdle. African American men can simply make sure they are active donors if they can afford to be and anything is better than nothing as the old saying goes. African American men can do this individually, but the stronger pathway would be as a collective. Two friends or twenty friends of African American men giving together is powerful for accountability towards giving, conversations about giving, strategic pathways to giving, and of course more capital towards giving.
  3. Create More Organizations That Support Black Boys. Simply put, there just are not many African American organizations that are targeted towards developing Black boys. Arguably, that is because African American men have not created them. This is where inevitably Black boys get funneled into sports and nothing else. Largely because that is what is available. Organizations that solely focus on and encourage Black boys to develop themselves educationally, mentally, artistically, and more are largely absent and in need of existence on the nonprofit landscape. African American men have to take the responsibility of identifying, cultivating, and developing areas where Black boys need development and creating organizations around them. To be clear, we are not talking about organizations where it is boys of color or side initiatives, but actual organizations being created where Black boys are the focus, period.
  4. Subsidizing Black Boys Supplemental Education. Black boys throughout K-12 do not get nearly enough supplemental education. The basic nature of supplemental education is everything that happens outside of a child’s classroom that makes them stronger in the classroom at its essence. Providing Black boys and their families assistance with tutoring costs, trips to museums, art galleries, academic camps, therapy, etc.
  5. Give Your TIME and Be PRESENT. This is free. For whatever reason, African American men are plain and simply absent in activities for Black boys beyond sports. From Boy Scouts, tutors, mentors, and civic engagement in general, African American men are just missing for reasons that are frustratingly hard to understand.

What are we up against? Here are just a few reasons African American men need to be at the forefront of the needs of African American boys.

  • The 2019 National Assessment of Education Progress data also highlighted that only 6% of 12th-grade Black males were reading at the proficient level and only 1% were reading at the advanced level.
  • In 2021, 76% of Black boys finished high school compared to 93% of Asian boys.
  • According to the National Center for Education Statistics, only 36% of Black male students completed a bachelor’s degree within six years (52% of Latino male students completed theirs within the same time. White males graduated at a rate of 63% in six years.)
  • U.S. Census reports African American boys 17 and under comprise over 40% of the African American males in poverty.
  • Of the 12.3 million African American men over the age of 25, almost 50% have only a high school diploma or less according to the U.S. Census.

There is a war going on against African American boys and African American men are leaving them to fight for themselves. Our boys are more than their physicality. They are thinkers, they are astronauts, teachers, gardeners, and so much more, but like a flower they too must be nourished and care for by us. African American men can not leave African American boys to experience the gauntlet of life too many of us have already lived.

HBCUs Have A $1.6 Billion Annual “Cost Of College” Deficit – And A Crisis Is Looming Because Of It

“When you face a crisis, you know who your true friends are.” – Magic Johnson

Nobody ask African American institutions to do more with less than African Americans themselves. We ask Liberty Bank & Trust, the largest African American owned bank by assets, with just over $1 billion to be able to do the same things that J.P. Morgan can do with almost $3 trillion. We ask Howard University with an endowment of less than $1 billion to do the same thing Harvard can do with an endowment of over $50 billion. The perplexing insanity of expectation that we have for African American institutions while European American institutions who get virtually 100 percent of their community’s buying power and over 90 percent of African America’s buying power against African American institutions who get virtually 0 percent of non-African American buying power and less than 10 percent of our own community’s buying power is so often lost on us it is infuriating. We really do give little thought to how much of our educational value both economically and intellectually we pour into non-African American institutions. The intellectual value would require a study of its own, but the economic value we can actually measure rather quickly on the higher education level at least.

According to the Postsecondary National Policy Institute, “In 2020, 36% of the 18–24-year-old Black population were enrolled in college compared to 40% of the overall U.S. population. Since Fall 2010, Black student enrollment has declined from 3.04 million to 2.38 million, a 22% decrease: Undergraduate enrollment declined from 2.67 million to 1.99 million, a 25% decrease.” Next the Education Data Initiative’s reports, “The average cost of college* in the United States is $35,551 per student per year, including books, supplies, and daily living expenses.” Combine those two statistics together and you have a working “cost of college” revenue for African America that is approximately $84.6 billion annually. Unfortunately, HBCUs and their approximately 214,200 students would be valued at only $7.6 billion or less than 9 percent if HBCUs “cost of college” was comparable, but it is not. HBCUs “cost of college” lands around $28,064 annually meaning African Americans at HBCUs value is approximately $6 billion or 7 percent. Beyond building your own intellectual institutions that represent your intellectual interest to the world, just economically it makes more sense for African Americans to choose HBCUs. Unfortunately, the discount is not just based on African American families being economically poorer, but also because African America socially devalues African American institutions so much that they are forced to offer a discount to attract those who economics face the highest uphill battle. This would explain in large parts why HBCUs in general have such acutely high percentage of Pell Grant students. HBCUs may be on a race to extinction without increasing its percentage of African Americans choosing them for college or seeing parabolic growth in their endowments.

The economic model as it stands is simply not sustainable. An institution can not both fail to garner massive support from its community and be cheaper. Unfortunately, because African American households are economically poor and psychologically devalue African American institutions, then being more expensive than the norm is not an option. This harsh reality that HBCUs just to close the approximately $7,500 gap or $1.6 billion in cost would mean attaching an endowment of $150,000 per current HBCU student or $32.1 billion or increase African American students from 214,200 percent (9 percent African American HBCU students) of those attending HBCUs by approximately 57,000 to 271,200 (11 percent African American HBCU students) – an over 25 percent increase from current. The cost to obtain those 57,000 new students (infrastructure aside) according to Nova AI, “the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the average cost per student recruited by a four-year private college was around $2,433 in 2018-2019” would be $138 million. Many HBCU stakeholders would question whether or not most HBCU campuses could handle a 25 percent increase in their African American student bodies when the infrastructure (housing, faculty, etc.) is already a struggle. However the $32.1 billion options is worth noting since current HBCU combined endowments are just a little over $2.5 billion. There are also 23 European Americans with net worths more than $32 billion and 0 African Americans. If the path to survival seems like a gauntlet seems suicidal, then you would be correct.

Increase African American students by 25 percent (and all the infrastructure cost it would entail) or come up with $32 billion seems like being kind to call it between a rock and a hard place of a decision. A pipe dream solution would be that the top 100 PWI endowments valued at almost $600 billion would take 5 percent ($32 billion) and reallocate it to HBCUs with each PWI giving proportional to their endowments. But hell has a better chance of freezing over given our recent piece on “Tone Deaf: Harvard Launches A $100 Million Endowment To Itself To Study Its Ties To Slavery – An Amount Greater Than 99 Percent Of HBCU Endowments”. Trying to squeeze the Federal government for it seems just as foolish given African America’s lack of political power let alone HBCUs lack of political power. All of this without even considering the decline in African Americans going to college, which is likely a correlation with the African American high school graduation rate where African American boys are struggling to finish. There is also the real consideration that many African Americans are seeing less incentive to go to college given the student loan debt and lack of opportunity thereafter. It leaves the question how many HBCUs remaining can survive to the next generation.

Ultimately, the solution will likely and largely lie with HBCU alumni associations and their ability to become more than just social organizations, but truly engaged of the business of group economics. We have discussed previously the “12 Things Your HBCU Alumni Association/Chapter Needs To Do To Be Financially Successful” and the sentiment remains true and urgent. Making HBCU alumni associations financially stronger would also allow HBCUs to be far more competitive for African American students and work towards that increased enrollment while being able to build the infrastructure along side it. The question remains though, can HBCU alumni transform their alumni associations into financial powerhouses in a manner that would allow them to achieve such a goal? You never know until you try, but one thing is for sure you miss 100 percent of the shots you do not take and the consequences here are the institutional death of HBCUs as we know them.

Virginia State University Alumnus Owned Investment Firm Makes First Investment In Africa

Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable. – William Pollard

Over the past few years, Founder & CIO, William A. Foster, IV of 15 & 40, a multi-asset investment firm, had been looking to extend its portfolio beyond the shores of the United States. In particular, the firm has become keen on making their first investment in Africa. Through a previous professional relationship that opportunity would come to pass. Mr. Foster was previously head of acquisitions and Regan Mutumbo was previously head of operations at a private real estate investment firm based in Atlanta, GA. It was Mr. Mutumbo’s leadership that actually brought Mr. Foster into the real estate investment firm’s fold and they formed a fast professional relationship that would be the foundation of the later investment. The investment was a classic case of the importance of building a strong professional network and the fruit of opportunities it can bear years later.

15 & 40 invested a ten percent stake in Ciya, a ride sharing app company located in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital city of Kinshasa. It is the firm’s first investment on the continent, but according to Mr. Foster this is just the beginning. “Our plan is to have a major capital footprint across the Diaspora buoyed with strategic concentration in Africa.” More than just capital though, Mr. Mutumbo has met with Mr. Foster in monthly brainstorming sessions to help with the strategy and direction of Ciya. Showcasing the circulation of intellectual capital on a Diasporic scale. The company is named for Mr. Mutumbo’s mother and is his way to honor her legacy. He also is adamant about being part of the foundation that spurs economic development for the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mr. Foster’s Pan-African investment views make it an ideal match for both.

The World Book’s Economic Situation on the Democratic Republic of Congo:

“Economic growth picked up to 8.6% in 2022, keeping the strong momentum from 2021 (6.2%). Mining sector investment and exports remain the key drivers of growth, owing to capacity expansion and recovery in global demand. However, growth in non-mining sectors (particularly services) was modest, slowing down to 3.0% in 2022, from 4.5% in 2021. Stronger export earnings could not offset higher food and fuel bills, and lead to a wider current account deficit estimated at 2.9% of GDP in 2022 (from -1.0% in 2021). Nevertheless, foreign direct investments (FDI) and external financing contributed to build up reserves, reaching 7.9 weeks of imports in 2022, from 5.4 weeks a year earlier, and limiting excessive exchange rate fluctuations. Higher global energy and food prices due to the ongoing war in Ukraine exerted upward pressures on domestic inflation, lifting the average inflation rate from 9.1% in 2021 to 9.2% in 2022.

The fiscal deficit deteriorated to 2.7% in 2022 (from 0.8% in 2021) as improved revenue mobilization could not fully offset higher capital and current spending. Domestic revenues peaked at 15.6% of GDP in 2022, owing to favorable commodity prices and digitalization of the revenue collection process, while expenditures (19.7% of GDP) increased due to exceptional security spending and arrears repayments, in addition to wage adjustments and fuel subsidies. The medium-term outlook for DRC is favorable with growth estimated at 7.5% by 2025. However, DRC’s economy remains vulnerable to commodity price swings and growth performance of major trading partners which might be disturbed by geopolitical conflicts. The continued economic consequences of the war in Ukraine, through rising global food costs and higher oil prices, could exert stronger pressure on fiscal deficit, inflation, and household consumption thus exacerbating poverty and inequality.

Given persistent conflicts in the East, DRC’s immediate challenge is to strengthen security and maintain political and macroeconomic stability while stepping up ongoing reforms to ensure sustainable growth.”

It speaks to a broader opportunity of African America’s ability to leverage American capital and invest mightily alongside their African brethren and create a transcontinental partnerships that for the first time would put a healthy relationship between capital and investment on both sides of the Atlantic. Instead of hostile lending and investment from European Americans, Europeans, and Asians that has been the traditional order of business for African investment, this lays the ground work for a mutually beneficial relationships that should see both sides prosper. “We are here to build and connect institutions of the African Diaspora. For my firm it really is that simple.”, said Mr. Foster. He hopes that HBCUs in particular along with their endowments, foundations, and alumni associations can leverage their collective capital that would allow them to make major investments throughout Africa.

Visit Ciya by clicking here.

Why Do HBCUs Not Bank With Black Banks?

It could all be so simple But you‘d rather make it hard, loving you is like a battle and we both end up with scars. – Lauryn Hill

Something that should be so simple, HBCUs and other African American organizations, businesses, and other African American institutions have made not just a battle but sometimes it feels like a war. That battle, getting African American institutions to bank with the African American banking system with banks and/or credit unions owned and controlled by – African Americans. It is economic development 101 for other groups, but for African America it is seemingly Calculus III. Based on HBCU Money’s internal research on the matter only two, a PBI and HBCU, are believed to bank with a Black-owned bank. That means that just like the over 90 percent of African Americans who go to college not choosing HBCUs, well over 90 percent of HBCUs do not bank with a Black-owned bank. And in both cases, neither (AAOBs or HBCUs) are able to fulfill their potential as they would with the patronage and investment of those they were built to serve.

We asked the AI app Nova for their take on why HBCUs do not bank with African American owned banks and here was its answer: “There are a few reasons why many HBCUs may not bank with Black-owned banks. One reason is that larger, more established banks often offer more resources and services that HBCUs may need, such as investment services or customized financial solutions. Additionally, some HBCUs may feel more comfortable with larger, more established banks that have a long history of working with educational institutions. However, there has been a growing movement encouraging HBCUs to support Black-owned banks and businesses as a way to promote economic empowerment within the Black community. Many Black-owned banks have a strong commitment to supporting HBCUs, and may offer specialized products and services tailored to their needs.”

Despite AI being quite learned in its contribution to this. There are as they say – levels to this. Not least among them is the plight of public HBCUs lacking autonomy. It would take a massive student and alumni uprising in order to get a public HBCUs moved to an African American owned bank. Ultimately, public HBCUs are controlled by a board or if they are in a system, then a system’s board. In either case, the state’s flagship PWIs carrying the most financial weight and tend to be determinate of how all public universities in the state will behave and most certainly likely where they will bank. And while it is complicated to wrangle the institutional banking of public HBCUs into African American owned banks, their proxy organizations like alumni associations and foundations that serve them should not have anywhere near the issue of banking Black. Then there are the private HBCUs who have far more autonomy with their banking decisions and yet it seems potentially only one private HBCU actually banks Black. It is almost befuddling in the case of the Alabama and Georgia HBCUs not to bank Black. They both have two African American Owned Banks in headquartered in their states. Morehouse specifically just a few years ago had one of their alumni bring back African American owned banking to Oklahoma when alumnus Kevin Perry purchased controlling interest in First Security Bank & Trust. In fact, 14 of the 15 states and territories where there are African American owned banks have HBCUs/PBIs in them with Wisconsin being the lone exception.

African America’s flagship HBCU, Howard University, two years ago entered into a partnership with PNC Bank to create the PNC National Center for Entrepreneurship housed at Howard University. PNC’s Foundation providing Howard University with a rather obtuse $3.4 million a year grant for five years. PNC Bank is based in Pittsburgh,PA, its executive team in 2022 commanded $81 million in compensation, and the bank has assets over $550 billion – an amount that is over 100 times the size of all 16 remaining African American Owned Banks’ assets combined. We think Marcus Garvey just rolled over in his grave. Meanwhile, right in Howard University’s backyard is Industrial Bank, an African American Owned Bank with $723 million in assets, meaning PNC Bank has over 760 times the amount of assets of Industrial. There is in fact only one African American Owned Bank that has over $1 billion in assets, Liberty Bank & Trust in Louisiana.

That HBCU presidents and AAOB CEOs do not have closer relationships simply speaks to the island mentality that African American institutions as a whole have. Although our community loves to parrot the harsh reality of an African American dollar that does not circulate in our community’s even 6 hours while “the average lifespan of the dollar is approximately 28 days in Asian communities, 19 days in Jewish communities, 17 days in white communities”, according to a piece by the FAMUAN (see how we are circulating HBCU media capital). This has done nothing to make HBCU administrators understand that the circulation of the African American institutional dollar is far more impactful than the African American consumer collar. Despite as recently as 2017, there were four African American Owned Banks with HBCU alumni as CEOs. It is also not just on HBCUs, but AAOBs should be doing a better job of heavily pursuing those HBCUs that do have the autonomy to decide where they bank and forging deep relationships with them at multiple levels.

By forging that relationship HBCUs and AAOBs can multiply the probability of opportunities and profitability. That way when an HBCU alum creates the next Google, SpaceX, FedEx, or other Fortune 500 company, then they will already know the importance of banking with an AAOB and hiring HBCU alumni. It will be understood because the intentionality of our ecosystem’s success will be modeled and molded and as a result our community is empowered with success a rule and not the outlier it operates in now as so many of us continue to try and build a nation as an island instead of forging together.

HBCU Money’s 2022 African American Owned Bank Directory

All banks are listed by state. In order to be listed in our directory the bank must have at least 51 percent African American ownership. You can click on the bank name to go directly to their website.


  • 11 of the 16 African American Owned Banks saw increases in assets from 2021.
  • African American Owned Banks (AAOBs) are in 15 states and territories. Key states absent are Maryland, Missouri, New York, Ohio, and Virginia.
  • Liberty Bank and Trust Company is headquartered in Louisiana, but also operates in 7 other states including Mississippi; Kansas and Missouri; Michigan; Alabama; Illinois; and Texas. OneUnited is headquartered in Massachusetts, but also operates in California and Florida.
  • There has not been an African American Owned Bank (AAOB) started in 23 years.
  • Alabama and Georgia each have two AAOBs.
  • African American Owned Banks have approximately $5.5 billion of America’s $22.9 trillion bank assets or 0.02 percent.
  • African American Owned Banks control 1.7 percent of FDIC designated Minority-Owned Bank Assets.
  • 2022 Median AAOBs Assets: $150,072,000 ($194,181,000)
  • 2022 Average AAOBs Assets: $325,391,000 ($297,692,000)
  • TOTAL AFRICAN AMERICAN OWNED BANK ASSETS 2022: $5,531,655,000 ($4,763,079)



Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Founded: January 28, 2000

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $15,784,000

Asset Change (2021): DOWN 1.6%


Location: Mobile, Alabama

Founded: February 19, 1976

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $61,329,000

Asset Change (2021): UP 7.8%



Location: Washington, DC

Founded: August 18, 1934

FDIC Region: New York

Assets: $722,995,000

Asset Change (2021): UP 15.6%



Location: Savannah, Georgia

Founded: January 1, 1927

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $84,015,000

Asset Change (2021): UP 35.1%


Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Founded: June 18, 1921

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $806,801,000

Asset Change (2021): UP 20.6%



Location: Chicago, Illinois

Founded: January 01, 1934

FDIC Region: Chicago

Assets: $71,844,000

Asset Change (2021): DOWN 15.1%



Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

Founded: November 16, 1972

FDIC Region: Dallas

Assets: $1,086,331,000

Asset Change (2021): UP 11.8%



Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Founded: August 02, 1982

FDIC Region: New York

Assets: $743,590,000

Asset Change (2021): UP 15.6%



Location: Detroit, Michigan

Founded: May 14, 1970

FDIC Region: Chicago

Assets: $468,425,000

Asset Change (2021): UP 13.6%



Location: Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Founded: January 1, 1968

FDIC Region: Dallas

Assets: $116,006,000

Asset Change (2021): N/A



Location: Durham, North Carolina

Founded: March 01, 1908

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $429,685,000

Asset Change (2021): UP 17.7%



Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Founded: April 06, 1951

FDIC Region: Dallas

Assets: $79,084,000

Asset Change (2021): UP 29.1%



Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Founded: March 23, 1992

FDIC Region: New York

Assets: $59,416,000

Asset Change (2021): DOWN 7.7%



Location: Columbia, South Carolina

Founded: March 26, 1999

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $405,324,000

Asset Change (2021): UP 28.5%



Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Founded: January 4, 1904

FDIC Region: Dallas

Assets: $150,072,000

Asset Change (2021): UP 11.5%



Location: Houston, Texas

Founded: August 01, 1985

FDIC Region: Dallas

Assets: $206,417,000

Asset Change (2021): DOWN 18.7%



Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Founded: January 1, 1924

FDIC Region: Chicago

Assets: $24,537,000

Asset Change (2021): DOWN 8.9%