Financial Empowerment with Black Youth

Peace family, PEACE!

I’m writing this blog today from a different perspective than what I usually take.  And in doing this, I want to bring your attention to the question of: How can Black youth learn the skills, strategies, and education they need in order to be financially literate and financially empowered?

Now, I’m not going to go into the the history of these economic disparities and inequalities, because these kinds of analyses are already known and are obvious at this point in history.  So now that we have an understanding of HOW and WHY these inequalities have existed, we need to begin to think about CREATING SPACES & INSTITUTIONS THAT PROVIDE THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENTS THAT BLACK CHILDREN NEED TO SUCCEED, SURVIVE, & THRIVE.  And I also want to acknowledge and SALUTE the ancestor: The Honorable Marcus Garvey because he was one of THE FIRST to advocate for cooperative economics and financial empowerment within the Black community.  So allow me to share my thoughts on the significance of financial empowerment with Black youth:

1. One way that Black children can learn the strategies they need in order to be financially literate begins with EDUCATION.  Black children (just like any other racial group of children) need to be specifically educated on the lessons of financial literacy.  Now here’s the thing–many K-12 schools that serve upper-income–majority White– families TEACH CURRICULUM ON THE TOPICS OF FINANCIAL LITERACY AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP.  This is not the case for the majority of Black children who attend schools in low-income neighborhoods.  So the point I’m making here is that we need to educate children OURSELVES on this topic!  We cannot and MUST NOT wait for schools to incorporate these lessons into their curriculum, we need to be proactive and educate our children ourselves.  COOPERATIVE ECONOMICS!!!

2. Another way that Black children can be educated is for them to be directly involved in wealth-building activities!!! This means that Black children should be at the bank with their parents learning how to open checking/savings accounts; Black children should be involved in entrepreneurship activities as EARLY AS POSSIBLE.    Check out this young man who IS STILL IN HIGH SCHOOL who started a bow-tie company who ended up being supported by a NFL member.  Or 12-year old Marley Dias who started a literacy campaign to donate books to underserved children.   I think it is important to get young kids involved in entrepreneurship at a young age because they have one advantage that adults do not have much of, which is TIME.  They can begin investing in themselves and in their business in their teens and by the time they are in their 30s or 40s, they’ll be millionaires.

3. And the third strategy that I want to suggest is that of exposure.  It is crucial that Black children are exposed to wealthy individuals (who are not always hip hop artists or celebrity athletes) who can serve as role models and mentors to young children.  Financial success is a MINDSET above anything else and it’s a mindset that must be cultivated with the right people, things, and environments in their lives.

If we want our children to create more assets within their personal & financial lives, then we must be spark that energy that will help the children (and help adults too because we are not exempt from this conversation either) realize that WE ARE OUR GREATEST ASSETS!! More has to be done to educate our children on financial empowerment and that ‘more’ begins with us.
And lastly, if you all haven’t watched this DVD, I strongly suggest you do–it is excellent.  It’s called Generation One and it is very inspiring and informative.

In Love,
Dr. Karla

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