Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture


Black Billionaire Gives $20 Million to African American Museum

Like all museums, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture was made possible by generous contributions. Oprah Winfrey made the largest gift of $21 million, and the second largest gift came from one of the nation’s richest men, Robert Smith, a largely unknown billionaire private equity investor who gave the museum $20 million.

Smith’s company Vista Equity Partners is in the business of buying, growing, and selling software companies, and he says that the way forward for Black wealth is through technology.

“This is the first time in history you can create wealth and not have access to capital. You just need intellectual property. A blogger who has a large audience can create wealth by attracting advertisers,” he told The Washington Post. “I am showing the current generations of African Americans they can do it, too. So the next generation can go even higher.”

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