When you can turn a negative into a positive, the riches that can be gained are monumental. We, as Black people, are seen in such a negative way that there are certain descriptors that are attached to us that are always viewed a certain way. A trapper is a person who traps wild animals in the “regular” world, but, in the Black community, particularly in the Southern region of the U.S., a trapper is known as a drug dealer and/or hustler out in the streets. Yet, one man has decided to turn that trapper moniker into a positive word that should elevate the financial education of Black people.
Leon Howard also known as Wallstreet Trapper, is taking the knowledge he learned from his upbringing to benefit others looking to become financially viable. He uses that same approach to make sure Black families get into the mindset of making sure the finances they acquire stay within the family for years to come. BLACK ENTERPRISE was able to talk to Howard about the meaning behind his moniker, how important it is for Black families to learn and talk about Black wealth, and a new program he has initiated that will have Black families handling their financial thinking like successful corporations.
You’ve gained quite the reputation with your moniker, Wallstreet Trapper. For those who may not know, why do you use that name and what’s behind the meaning of “From The Trap to Wall Street?”
Wallstreet Trapper was my way of turning the word trapper into something positive. Being from the streets of New Orleans and most likely in every ghetto in America, the word trapper is associated with street activity. Wall Street is immediately viewed as a place where the wealthy of the world dwelled and was off-limits to us (the wealth-deprived). Wallstreet Trapper means I have now turned Wall Street into my trap and normalized wealth-building. The same as the wealthy have normalized investing in stocks. From The Trap To Wallstreet represents those of us who come from nothing (The trap, that part of the ghetto where we are financially suffocated) but are destined to turn our last names into assets. From the Trap To Wallstreet means that just because we are born with a lack of financial literacy — because we are born expected to go to prison, be murdered, addicted to drugs, and underexposed to the true possibilities that life has to offer —we can come from that and still become wealthy and change the dynamics of our family.
You’ve recently introduced The Family S.O.P. (Standard Operating Procedures). Could you explain what this is?
How important is it for Black families to learn and talk about wealth? Why do you feel that wealth isn’t a pillar in the average Black family and what must we do to change that mindset?