Last night, premiering its new documentary, Newbos: The Rise of America’s New Black Overclass, CNBC smooth blew the lid off of a heretofore little known phenomenon—African Americans making extraordinary strides in the fields of professional sports and popular music.
In interviews with the Wall Street Journal’s Lee Hawkins, author of the forthcoming book by the same name, various black performers, as well as behind the scenes notables in the entertainment industry, shared insights into how they earned their wealth. Former BET President and current Charlotte “Bob”cats owner Bob Johnson made the powerful case for a fat knot, saying, “I just think the accumulation of wealth is probably the quickest way for African Americans to attain the American dream.”
And that dream, according to Cash Money Millionaire executive Bryan “Baby” Williams (known to you as Birdman), who reported that he lost many of his 50 luxury automobiles during Hurricane Katrina, was this: “…I wanted jewelry and cars.”
Newbos, featuring commentary by LeBron James’ childhood friends, who’ve helped him figure out how to overcome the many obstacles to profitably marketing his basketball prowess, was at times insightful. But as blogger AverageBro notes, while the CNBC special was “intriguing,” its reliance on entertainers alone as benchmarks of black entrepreneurial success may have been “a little bit iffy.”