4 Things You Can Do to Support Black Financial Literacy
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If you’re reading this, you’re probably aware of the unrest across that country that has resulted from George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis police officers. What you might be less aware of, is that this recent tragedy is only the tip of the iceberg in a long and painful history of violence and injustice toward the Black community.
And while race is a topic many shy away from in the personal finance space, it also plays a major part in wealth disparities in the United States. According to The Brookings Press, the net worth of a typical white family is $171,000, while that of a Black family is $17,150, as of 2016. This is a gap that has yet to close, despite factors presumed to be income equalizers such as homeownership and higher education for African-Americans.
As a Black woman, I have personally experienced these disparities in my own journey to financial independence, which prompted me to start a personal finance blog in 2017. I recognized that some of the advice on wealth building glossed over the significance of race and I wanted to offer a different perspective. I recently shared a thread on my thoughts about race and finance over the past couple years, which you can find here.
Broaden your circle of influence
However, my voice isn’t the only one you should get familiar with for a unique perspective on personal finance. There are dozens of Black voices in the PF community who share a wealth of information, including:
Kassandra Dasent, who’s a financial wellness engineer. Kassandra has offered her insight on personal finance to media outlets including Forbes, Business Insider, and Glamour. After her own journey of paying off $55,000 of debt in less than four years, Kassandra now shares strategies to help raise awareness around financial literacy, pay equity, and responsible money management.
Kara Stevens of The Frugal Feminista. Kara is founder of The Frugal Feminista and author of the book “Heal Your Relationship with Money.” She works as a writer, coach, consultant and speaker to help Black women overcome money hurdles and build confidence. She has also partnered with big-name brands like Chrysler and Dove to promote financial empowerment and personal development.
Rich and Marcus from the blog and podcast Paychecks & Balances. While Rich and Marcus prefer not to call themselves “experts,” they’ve shared advice on money management and debt payoff with major media outlets. The duo has made guest appearances on media outlets such as CBS News and offered insight on saving for retirement and the importance of making your money matter.
For more names of Black PF bloggers and influencers, My Money Chronicle’s list is a great place to start.
If you’re looking for additional ways to support the Black community and the Black Lives Matter movement, here are some other resources.
The media outlet Supermaker compiled a list of funds you can donate to, that include those for families of the victims of police brutality and bail funds for protest members.
Share these mental health resources
The history of racial injustice plus current events and an ongoing pandemic, have taken a toll on the mental wellbeing of those in the Black community and will continue for months and years to come. The Financial Diet recently shared a roundup of free and low-cost resources for Black mental health.
If you want to educate yourself on how to be a better ally to your friends and co-workers, these are a few of my personal book recommendations:
- Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
- The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table by Minda Harts
- It Was All a Dream: A New Generation Confronts the Broken Promise to Black America by Reniqua Allen
Note: it’s also important to support Black-owned bookstores, which you can find here.
A final point to keep in mind is that race matters require ongoing work, rather than a one-and-done gesture of solidarity. Consider this list of resources a starting point to make anti-racism a part of your everyday life. This way we can work toward true progress in racial equity, both inside and outside of the PF community.