“Dr. King organized the Poor People’s Campaign in 1968 to shut down Washington, D.C. and force legislators to tackle poverty. His efforts to shift focus from civil to silver rights were interrupted by his untimely death. He fought ardently for Black rights, but he also recognized financial literacy as the key to an America that was truly free for all people”. ~John Hope Bryant
Every Black family should invest in a family business. I believe in that statement and in fact I’ve been working on making it happen. I have several independent businesses that I own with my husband but wanted to widen the opportunities.
I reached out to my family and my husband’s side of the family and the discussion I had with them led to the following article. Why are Black people broke? I received a plethora of responses to why people think our community is lacking financial prosperity. I’m going to highlight a few of those claims:
Every generation starts from scratch: Some of us are lucky to enter the world with a financial head start. It could a be trust fund, a home, stocks and bonds, a large sum of money to invest, something that gives you an edge over the rest. Unfortunately, most Black generations are forced to start from scratch because the generations before us left us with nothing.
I stumbled across this article online called, African Americans Face Financial Challenges (2013), that proposed a reason it’s difficult for Black families to get ahead. “Family responsibilities weigh heavy in the African American community.
Some 40 percent of African American households are headed by women with no partner or spouse, compared to 26 percent of female-only heads of household in the general population. On top of that, 33 percent of African American households are financially supporting children and grandchildren younger than 18, and 9 percent are supporting parents or grandparents. In the general population, only 25 percent support children younger than 18 and 4 percent support parents or grandparents” (Phipps,2013)
Lacking Financial literacy: Before you think of building generational wealth one thing to pass down is financial literacy. What good would it do to pass down a fortune to someone who doesn’t understand how money works? They will only run through the wealth you’ve acquired, leaving the generation that follows, high and dry.
Fixed Income: A fixed income isn’t just associated with people who collect social security, disability, etc… Fixed income is correlated with receiving one income from one source. In order to build generational wealth, we must acquire various streams of income (that can be passed down). It is not enough depending on a job to provide you with overtime in order to increase your income. Never allow one person or employer to control whether or not your family eats. Be in control of your earnings.
Integration and not supporting Black Business: I wrote an article a while ago about integration being the demise of Black wealth. I believe that our need to assimilate has destroyed our need to support our own people. Psychologically, there is a lot that we must work on as a community to understand why it is hard for us to support our own people but for now seek out some Black owned businesses and support them.
“One Generation Plants the Trees; another gets the shade”. ~Chinese Proverb
Phipps, Jennie L. (May 21,2013). African Americans face financial challenges. Retrieved from http://www.bankrate.com/financing/retirement/African-americans-face-financial-challenges/
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