HomeOP-EDThe Lack of Financial Literacy Involving African Americans

The Lack of Financial Literacy Involving African Americans

The school system in which we go by within the United State of America is supposedly designed to equip us with the knowledge to survive after school, right? In school we take courses that are deemed essential such as Math, English, History, Physical Education, etc. Although those classes are essential, especially in fundamental learning, the number one thing that the economy cares about is currency. After all, it was used to create the school and make people (teachers, staff, and students) come there in the first place. Therefore, if money is so important, why aren’t we taught how to earn, invest, and maintain it properly.

School is designed for one intended purpose only, and that is to make you get a job. Work is instilled in humans as soon as the brain is capable enough to understand. Yet, financial literacy is taught mainly through the passing down of knowledge through generations. The problem however comes from the fact that this is not equally just. African Americans have truly never had a fair chance as a whole for accumulating wealth. According to www. brookings.edu, “In the United States, access to capital for individuals and business owners is uneven based on race. The racial wealth gap remains significant.”

I attribute these facts to the disposition of knowledge that has been systematically designed for African Americans to fail. Opposed to other races, our ancestors, for hundreds of years, were forced to work for free, having earned little to nothing. What also contributes to placement on the financial ladder is our ancestor’s inability to buy and keep land.

These factors and conditions both financially and mentally have essentially cursed the African American community with any real chance to amass generational wealth.

With both our school system and lack of inheritances, it is shameful that in today’s current time we are not taught financial literacy. Investments such as rental properties, stocks and bonds, or cryptocurrency are not properly taught nor even discussed. The way to make money is first to have enough money so that you can then use it to generate more money. According to www.federalreserve.gov, “The median young black family has almost no wealth ($600). In contrast, the median young white family has wealth of $25,400.” Therefore, there needs to be a change in how we think about and earn money.

Without education of wealth the progress of our people is stagnant. Wanting financial freedom is not greed, but vital for survival. It is a common saying in the black community that, “Money is not everything!” and although true its importance is very much essential. In this world, without it, you can do absolutely nothing. Everything costs money. Transportation, shelter, food, and medical assistance are all essentials for life. With such great importance, financial literacy should be implemented in school’s curriculums as well as discussed in the household. Instead of us only learning about earned income from working at someone else’s job, entrepreneurship and assets need to be studied and established within our community. Although we are very behind, with all of the available resources in today’s society making it so easy to make money it is our generation’s responsibility to at least try to make a dent within that margin.

D'Marius Jones
D'Marius Jones is a Junior Mass Communications major from Jackson, Mississippi. He will be a contributor for The Campus Chronicle for the Spring 2022 semester.

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