Growing Up Black in America – Economic Challenges

America. Land of the free. Home of the brave. A place where people from all over the world come to achieve the dream of financial independence. Can you make that happen in America? Yes. But if that’s the case why do so many black families fail at becoming financially free? There are a lot of […]

Growing Up Black in America – Economic Challenges

America. Land of the free. Home of the brave. A place where people from all over the world come to achieve the dream of financial independence. Can you make that happen in America? Yes. But if that’s the case why do so many black families fail at becoming financially free?

There are a lot of dynamics involved when we look at blacks in America and their money. I will lay out just a few here:

1) Black families start off with a huge disadvantage. Most times they grow up in homes where all they saw their parents do was struggle financially. Even when you had a mother and father in the same house the jobs they held were not very high paying so they struggles to provide a stable existence for the family. This mentality of struggle carried on to the adult life of the children who found it hard to break the cycle.

2) There was no real emphasis on higher education. Many families wanted their children to do better, go to college, get a good job and for some that dream became a reality. But not for many of them. When you come from a home where your parents don’t excel educationally it is very hard to pass that on to their children.

3) Little to no conversations go on in the home about money. As an adult in the real world many black Americans realize that they were never taught the basics of money management – importance of saving money, creating a budget, banking, lending and the value of home ownership. Their white counterparts had been exposed to this since their youth and when they started working began to implement the strategies they were taught and seen in their parents. For many black children all they saw was economic struggle.

4) Many foreigners come to America and success is a family thing. Its not uncommon to have entire families with cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and siblings all living close to each other and all committed to the family business. They work long hours and have their children focus on getting a higher education. This sense of family helps them to weather the storms that come with building a business.

Black families on the other hand do not have this sense of “we all work together for the success of us all”. The black family strutted has been destroyed by the implementation of slavery which had at its roots separation to maintain control. As such you rarely if ever find a black business where all the families involved in its success. Many times it’s one family trying to do it all. And educating the children is not always the goal. Survival is the goal.

it will take more than speeches and promises to erase the stigma and curses laid upon black America by an uncaring society for hundreds of years. It can begin as black families start to realize the importance of whole families sticking together for common goal and successful blacks reaching back to share their success with other black families. If we want to see the black race rise to the level it is capable of it will take a concentrated effort by all.

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