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One Billion Dollars – What Would You Do?

One Billion Dollars – What Would You Do?

I remember when I first “played” “How Would You Spend $1 million.?” It was at least 30 years ago. In multiple cities across America, I would build housing communities for single mothers. Co-ops. With a beautiful courtyard in the center for playing, and a community center, and day care. It didn’t occur to me that this existed, and they were called “projects”, and that they had split up families and chased the men away.

Then later, when I played, I would fund endowments, opportunities for young black kids to go to private schools, and to engineering school. These things exist. It is far more important to match children with the opportunities, and to identify the children who would be good candidates, and to somehow prepare them for being in environments with white, wealthy, privileged children. I didn’t think $1 million would do it, so my new fantasy was $10 million.

So then, I thought I would build private schools in the major cities which taught an Afrocentric curriculum. But I wasn’t sure my money would go far enough, so then I thought I would just start after-school Afrocentric study programs. Some in churches, some in schools, some in community centers. Once a week. Across America. African history, African-American history, West Indian history, Afrocentric mathematics, civics, Afrocentric science and medicine, Afrocentric art. With a standardized curriculum developed by some of the greatest minds in African-American studies and education. I think it would take a lot more than $10 million. I increased the dream to $100 million.

Most recently, I upped the ante. I wanted $1 billion. I wanted $10 million for myself and my husband. To live a life of luxury and freedom from any worries and cares about medical bills or nursing care. We would build a modest sized house in Maryland with multiple guest rooms, a nice sized party room and an indoor jacuzzi on 5 acres of land, with a pond for fishing. I would travel to Africa, take a cruise down the Mississippi River, charter a plane to fly over the Grand Canyon, see Puerto Rico and Thailand, and the Castles along the Rhine River in Europe. I would get a condo in Boston, MA so that I could see all of the friends I made when I lived there 30 years ago and attend the Readercon science fiction convention every year. I would NOT get property in Florida. Their politics are atrocious.

Each of my close relatives: siblings, cousins, nieces and steps (24 people) would get a $5 million trust fund, and $500,000 toward the house of their choice. Each of my distant relatives would have the college or trade school of their choice paid for whether they were just getting out of high school, or making a career change. Whenever a relative needed a major operation, I would cover it. I would still create the Afrocentric after-school programs. I would still fund the endowments. But last, I would work with the SBA to make micro loans. Low interest, no collateral, micro loans for starting small businesses and a grant program for non-profits. I would maintain a staff to assist with developing business plans and writing grant proposals. By setting up microloans, my money would be self-sustaining. When I died, the money would go to my alma maters, high school and college, the Black Student Fund that gave me a scholarship to go to high school, and my sorority – Sigma Gamma Rho.

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