Going back to first days of slavery in the United States, enslaved African Americans and their descendants have trekked through the expansive and promising horizon of the American capitalistic economy. At the beginning it was under the brutal and life crushing weight of forced labor, no rights, and zero freedom. In that time, enslaved African Americans and their descendants would become worth more than even the houses their masters lived in, and collectively worth more than all the country’s manufacturing and railroads combined, becoming the single largest financial asset of the entire nation’s economy. With emancipation, in theory and eventually in practice, we moved a tiny bit closer to the frontier of true agency. We continued to do our best to provide for our families using our individual and collective ingenuity, sacrifice, and perseverance with while two boots stood firm on our neck. We continued to be blocked and scammed, 40 acres and mule would come and go unfulfilled, and nearly half of us would migrate out of the southern states, heading north for hopes of a better – less oppressive life.
With each passing decade we would win battles, make progress, but never arrive at the end of the economic war that sought to keep us marginalized. The establishment’s sickening tactics continued to evolve despite the passage of each constitutional amendment and every civil rights law. We went from prima facie slavery, to slavery by other names, to jim crow, and now we face mass incarceration among other never-ending vehicles for our social, emotional, and economic exclusion and overall defeat. Despite these hurdles, we are still here today as the strongest ethnic minority in the country. Better off today than most times in our past, and collectively bearing more tools to fight back and secure our future than ever before. However, that is not to say our fight has been won. That fight wages on daily for each Black man and woman, and begins very early… it begins in at birth. At birth, your life-long education and exposure opportunities have already been pushed further away by oppressors of the past, or will be extended towards you by the champions of your future.
As the leading regional young professionals association for Black men and women in Detroit, we have a duty to support this never-ending endeavor. Thus we have embarked on a journey of Financial Insight for Q4 of 2019, to prepare our members for a renewed outlook going into 2020. This includes integrated financial planning strategies extending from home into the workplace. In this journey there will be a few modules, including:
- History of Black Economics
- Personal Financial Management for the Black Young Professional
- Black Best Practices of Car and Home Buying
- Maximizing your Intrapreneurial Impact and Compensation
- The Whys, Why Nots, and Hows of Black Entrepreneurship
These conversations will be heavily flavored by the economic realities of being Black in America today, which is especially required as descendants of American chattel slavery continue to face racist pseudoscience and propaganda to this day. Additionally we have the uniquely high occurrence of historical hand-me-down traumas and accrued disadvantage from our families, such as the “Black Tax” of having to financially support parents and siblings, as well as the mental cage of inner city ghettos. We will address the specific nuance of these realities with members during this series and how they are to best navigate those impediments. This is not to be your typical run-of-the-mill financial dysfunctionalism guilt trip disguised as motivational speech or tough love. This is not shaming of buying clothes or traveling for pleasure. This is a community, almost “family” centered approach, but using data and validated practices introduced through the heart.
To bring the most accurate and relevant information relative to members’ immediate needs, we are asking for your input. We have developed a quick and anonymous survey to gauge the financial position of our constituents in Metro Detroit. We need your help! Please take a few minutes to complete this survey. The information will be further anonymized and aggregated to give a financial snapshot which will be shared at our Personal Financial Management module. This information will be immensely helpful to the community for gauging where individuals are relative to their average peer, and to answer the age-old question of “am I the only one?” when it comes to dealing with tough financial situations.
Click the button below to take the survey!
Stay tuned to our social media and mailing list for announcements and registration for the workshop modules!