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Because historically, craniometry and Social Darwinism were used to diminish women, blacks, and the lower classes, I have long found it incredibly inspirational that Oprah (a poor black girl from the rural South) grew up to rank so high on the two most Darwinian correlates of intelligence: brain size and money/power. And with the recent release of Forbes annual ranking of the 400 richest Americans, she is once again the only African American on the entire list, and with a net worth that briefly hit $3 billion, the first multibillionaire black in North American history. Don’t get me wrong, there have been two other black billionaires in North American history: BET founder Bob Johnson became a billionaire in 2001 when he sold BET though lost his Forbes billionaire status when a divorce reportedly split his fortune with wife Sheila Johnson and has almost never made the Forbes 400 since. Meanwhile here in Canada, we are all extremely proud of Michael Lee Chin who Forbes has ranked as a billionaire many times on their international rich list, though not lately. Although Lee Chin has two Chinese grandparents, he can be socially classified as black because his other grandparents are Jamaican. But neither Johnson or Lee Chin ever hit or exceeded the $3 billion mark on any of Forbes lists as Oprah just has. I figure $3 billion is the minimum net worth you need to be a multibillionaire. Dictionaries define a multimillionaire as someone having several million, so by extension, a multibillionaire is someone who has several billion.

If one excludes socially classified black billionaires, who are perhaps less than 50% sub-Saharan at the genetic level, Oprah was the only black billionaire on Earth from 2004 to 2006, in addition to being the most influential woman in the world according to Time magazine. However with rising oil prices, black billionaires and even multibillionaires have been emerging in Africa, so Oprah is no longer richest black black on Earth (even when “black” is defined narrowly).