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Fam, let’s talk about why Black people don’t have money. Sometimes last year, I met a black woman on the streets of New York and she was selling books. Being black just like her, I approached and asked if I can have a look at the books she was selling because I am a writer and I love reading books myself hence I was willing to buy a book from her. One book titled “ How to Be a Millionaire in 2 years” immediately caught my attention. Read on, and I’ll unpack here why Black people don’t have money.
Whilst we were having a normal conversation, I realized she is the author of that particular book. I thought she was doing something crazy, or I was mistaking. Hence, I was tempted to ask her the two hard questions running through your mind right now. Well, keep it to yourself. “How long have you been selling this book….1, 2, 3, 4 years? Are you a millionaire? Please forgive my manners, I pleaded humbly.”
What a weird paradox? I felt like we Black Africans tend to limit what is possible for us. That is why in this article I will be sharing with you 9 reasons why Black people don’t have money. Let not the squirrel divert our attention and forget we are chasing an antelope.
Technology is a no-go zone for many Black people
I remember reading a book about the history of the printing press invented in 1440 involving Gutenberg and Goldsmith and there was this particular country where its President refused to accept the printing press claiming it makes the citizens modern and American. This happened centuries ago but unfortunately, still today we Africans tend to ignore technology. Let’s refer to the woman mentioned earlier, she is a writer who thinks the only way she can market her books is on the streets of New York when technology has provided her with free platforms especially the social media channels to reach her targets.
As an African myself, we need to understand that technology is the power that drives many businesses. There’s no super business idea anywhere unless you can execute it flawlessly, and with this comes the need to engage technology. No matter what you are selling, know that your competitors are already out there using technology to claim the domain.
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Africans believe that curiosity killed the cat
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Another reason why Black people don’t have money is less curiosity and drive. Africans knew that satisfaction brought back the cat! Many Africans are not curious, thus exploring and therefore not discovering. Many Africans do not have money because they do not tend to explore what they are doing in a better way. You cannot imagine that almost a whooping 70% of people in Africa are farmers yet Africans cannot figure out how to produce enough food for themselves. For example, the ploughing tools used by our forefathers are still being used in most African cities and towns. Who still lives like this in 21st century!! Not even the Amish people, who firmly resist certain modern trends due to religious beliefs, are still this behind!
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Negative news is a catalyst for laziness
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We wake up everyday to negative news in the media – of people stealing money everyday and doing all sorts of evil; of preachers swindling church members money; of Black people facing serious racial discrimination and prejudice despite all best efforts; and more. Most Black people have been fed with so much negative news that they believe they are in a perpetual; never-ending cycle of dark-place and poverty. This needs to change. It’s time that we renew our mindset.
The power of real estates/home ownership
Black people do not have much money compared to their white counterparts. According to Harvard report, 72% of whites own homes while only 43% of blacks own their own homes. With full cognizance of and regard for all that Black people have suffered and experienced in the hands of white people, there is a notion of taking no for an answer mindset.
According to New York times, the average expected net worth of a homeowner is $195,400 compared to tenants with an expected net worth of $5,400. I am not advocating that black people should engage in risky behaviors to own a home, or go buy a new home without proper plans in place, but home ownership is associated with better jobs, better schools, better homes for kids, improved saving habits, and the appreciation capital. Statistically, it will be safe to say that home ownership is favoring the whites compared to the blacks which in turn further perpetrates social immobility and racial discrimination.
Black people spend their money on wrong things
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Black people spend more money on fashion, clothing, cars and entertainment as compared to the amount of money they spend on their education of their children’s education. Most blacks do not invest their disposable income. They often choose to live large and impress other people. This is according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
God for us all, everybody for himself attitude
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There is a famous quote that says “ Take care of your own and they will take care of you.” When a community does not have a sense of economic and political power, other communities take advantage of that particular community. Many white communities have developed a sense of economic responsibility for each other whereby they form a small community within a larger one and help each other’s businesses.
Not only the white community, the Asian diaspora in the US is big on group economy. Pay close attention to many Chinese restaurants and see how they swap resources and capital, you’ll understand. I’m sure you already know this about the Jewish community -both in the US and around the world. Which community is quickly catching up with this ancient but practical wealth building scheme? The Bangladesh people in the US! If you are not seeing this yet, just start paying close attention to your neighborhood. The black community, however, hardly understand that if you take a thoughtful action to better your community in any way you can, that your community will one day support you. This is consistent with both the laws of men as well as spiritual law.
What the Black people do instead
Interestingly, the Black community are very good in showing off. They come together often; they dance, eat their soul food or whatever African spice they choose to delight on. They invest in expensive cloths, jewelry, cars and more to show their fellow community people that they’ve “arrived”. Worse, when they come together, they cannot agree on one thing. They all get mouths. Everybody is a leader in their own right. Ego is often the ruler of the day. Everybody wants to send help to hungry children in their hometowns; everyone wants to do what the other person is doing. Everyone wants to feel big, and be recognized for that empty “bigness.” Some of them, including the most lousy, empty-headed, and arrogant ones want to rule.
Competition Vs. Collaboration
Black people often compete against each other instead of collaborating. They cite the language, tribal, or religious barriers as the factors against coming together, but then, even when those that speak the same language and from the same locality travel down to new communities, they cannot get along or vote for trust amongst each other. They sabotage; claiming Black isn’t monolithic, but then they are not finding who is in their subset. When some try, the other cheat them and run!
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Group economy or group poverty- Black people picked one
When a community does not have a sense of economic and political power, other communities take advantage of that particular community. For example, the shooting of black people by the police could be tied to the lack of economic power within the black people. Today, in America, there is almost zero repercussions for a police killing a black person. They like to think there are.
Another example, Sub-Saharan Africa has been fundamental to the global prosperity of the advanced countries – the West to be specific, and now China. It is a paradox that Democratic Republic of Congo with its minerals worth trillions of money is among the poorest countries in the World. Wait, what??? In Agriculture, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Togo are the largest producers of cocoa in the world; but who produces chocolate? Switzerland – a nation without cocoa trees! Many families in African cannot even sight a milo drink let alone afford to buy one. Belgium dictates the price of diamond but does not produce it. Africa produces diamond, but don’t get me started on who can afford to wear actual diamond in Africa!
Food insecurity drains the pockets of blacks
Most blacks living in the United States are relied upon for upkeep by their relatives back home in Africa. They send money to their siblings and other close relatives. Nevertheless, black families in the United States have the highest rate of food insecurity with 1 in 5 black families living in households that are food insecure compared to 1 to 10 in white families. When some make some money, the most prudent habit is to head out to farmers market or groceries stores to get the most value for their money and thus extend their budget. Instead, food orders are common. Many will even Uber the orders loading up their living expenses. Because of this reason, most of the money is spent on food items leaving them with little or nothing to invest.
Blacks are workers and not business owners
Most communities, notably the Italian and Asians, when they migrate to the United States they begin to establish some economic base for themselves. In no time, they gain economies of scale in these lines of businesses so much so that they command the chain of activities in that market. Establishments like supermarkets chain, nail-polish stores, factories, second-sale outlets, restaurants, and the likes are some example.
When most black people come to the United States, they are the ones who work in these establishments instead of starting their own. To change this trajectory, the blacks in order to make more money, need to start their own businesses. They need to seek out community organizations that support small business start-ups and operation like WisKnot to learn and gain the support they need to survive and thrive.
Failed Continuity and Succession Plans
It’s a pain that Black people struggle to start out a business compared to other races. It’s also pathetic to hear about the hardship many Black owned small businesses go through to give life to these businesses. However, none of these feelings and experiences trump seeing the demise of these business due to failed succession strategies.
For instance, most Black immigrants open a business in their home countries knowing well that their children or next of kin may not be interested in the hassle of traveling abroad for the continuity of that business. Even if their significant others are willing, it may be impractical due to the lack of requisite preparation socio-culturally and otherwise.
Whilst other races are investing with viable future goals that include planned wealth and estate for their children, Black immigrants only realize this when it is often too late to change course. There are too many businesses owned by other races that stated out small in the United States which took the second and/or third generations in the family to turn them into empires of wealth and influence. Burlington Coat Factory and Timberland are but a few examples to reference.
The conclusion is your turn. Which reason did I leave out? Others agree on many of these reasons. Which one do you agree or disagree with? How can Black people fix money or wealth issue? Share your comments below.