I think Dr. King would say that Black folks need to get educated on financial literacy – period. We need to understand that just because you earn more, you don’t have to and really shouldn’t spend more. He’d say, we need to read more and invest in personal development as opposed to being the overall TV watchers in the country at 57 hours per week in front of a television screen. We need to encourage our children to love education, but not just go to college and major in the easiest subject they can find so they can say proudly one day, “I’m college educated.” We need to steer them toward high-wage disciplines like technology, innovation, science and manufacturing.
He’d say, we need to spend more time on the internet learning and dissecting what’s happening in the news, politics and financial arena. We do not need to continue to spend upwards of 50% of our online time on social media and gossip sites.
I think Dr. King would say yes it’s time to do better with personal finance, but he’d want us to be educated consumers, aware of how we utilize our resources and invest our time. Sure we’ve made great strides in access to education and financial means. Now, let’s use them to help the next generation compete economically in a global economy and begin to leave the legacies we were intended to.
But while we can take well-earned satisfaction in how far we have come, there is still further we can go.
Are we doing what we can to ensure that the next generation of Americans can compete economically and provide for those facing retirement? Other countries, especially India and China, are running hard to beat us in high-wage activities like technology, innovation, and manufacturing, not just low-wage occupations as in the past, by investing in education.
But, rather than producing more high-wage jobs and the well-trained workers to fill them, our nation is producing more people in poverty and lower wages, even as corporate profits and bonuses stand at record levels.
The events and circumstances Americans find themselves in today is eerily similar to what was taking place in the early to mid 1960’s. In fact, Dr. King was fighting for parity and equality for all employees, advocated for government to assist in changing laws to help provide a more level playing field when it comes to job opportunities, equality, civil rights and lodging in hotels and in restaurants throughout America.
Young African-American college graduates say they are more responsibly committed to reaching financial goals than previous generations, according to a study released Tuesday by Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance.
70 percent of African Americans age 18 to 34 said they were either “disciplined” or “highly disciplined” when it came to finances, compared to just 47 percent of those 35 and older.
Is the best course to continue divesting from our public education and retirement systems and look to the private sector to provide, instead? Or is it to encourage both private enterprise and public re-investment? Can we afford to do so? Or can we afford not to?
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50 Wishes for America from 50 Black Women
1. Deborah Hill
"I wish for a more perfect union." Deborah Hill, age undisclosed
2. Dash Harris
"I wish for America to have never made up the concept of race." Dash Harris, 26
3. Kalieya H
"I wish for the elimination of guns and bullets." Kalieya H., 22
4. Amafra K
"I wish for America to be more international." Amafra K., 30
5. Sadiyya A
"I wish us all peace and respect for each other." Sadiyya A., 58
6. Desiree H
"I wish for free education." Desiree H., 26
7. Sierra K
"I wish for free health care for everyone." Sierra K., 23
8. Tanesha Barnes
"I wish for cultural revolution." Tanesha Barnes, age undisclosed
9. Alana H
"I wish for peace." Alana H., 32
10. Muriel R.
"I wish for things to be better. A lot of people don't have a job right now. So I wish for things to be like they used to be." Muriel R., 39
11. Kaylan C
"I wish for a better education system." Kaylan C., 29
12. Heather D.
"I wish for economic stability." Heather D., 29
13. Monique G
"I wish for free health care!" Monique G., 31
14. Roxanne J.
"My wish is that we find a way to find peace with our Muslim brothers and sisters, and as part of global peace, that the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is resolved with each country having sovereign land." Roxanne J., 47
15. Jason-Louise G.
"I wish for an improved political system with more than two parties." Jason-Louise G., 27
16. Chanel C
"I wish for there to be no more hungry people." Chanel C., 26
17. Tracy Hopkins
"I wish that we stop all the violence and stop the mentality of resolving conflict through killing and violence. I wish that we see each other as human beings and have more value for life." Tracy Hopkins, 42
18. Terry Joyner
"I wish for peace, women's rights and diversity." Terry Joyner, 40s
19. Stella A.
"I wish for everyone to love each other." Stella A., 29
20. Mia D.
"I wish that we teach black boys and girls their true history so they can learn to love themselves." Mia D., 24
21. Jacqui Leveine
"My one wish is for us to find a cure for HIV."
22. Courtney M
"I wish for a better economy." Courtney M., 25
23. Ashley G
"I wish for peace." Ashley G., 22
24. Glorya H
"I wish for equality." Glorya H.
25. Michelle Dalmida
"I wish for less animosity and more peace in this country. Just more love and peace." Michelle Dalmida, 19
26. Natasha W.
"I wish us rich." Natasha W., 34
27. Cwen Charlee
"I wish for a America a plus-sized boutique." Cwen Charlee, 33
28. Dorothy Wooten
"I wish that we could stop and find a cure for HIV; empower women and children to protect themselves by using condoms; and stop violence around women being abused." Dorothy Wooten of Iris House, 72
29. Daranice Miguel
"I would like to see the justice system change regarding blacks. Blacks get a lot of time for doing drugs, while they give whites less time for rape. I have sons in jail for 11 years. We get persecuted too hard. I would like to see more jobs available to blacks so the youth don't have to sell drugs. It's like a Catch-22. And they can't vote once they get a felony." Daranice M., 54
30. Bernadette Hamilton
"My wish is that black people really come together and we understand our potential. Somehow with technology, we have lost our way. When something happens in our neighborhood, no one is organizing. We have to know our worth, after all, where does the richest diamond come from?" Bernadette Hamilton, 47
31. Stella Barker
"I wish for the economy to improve and for health care for all." Stella Barker, 33
32. Ginear Campbell
"I wish for an America with a great economy, an America where most others would come to Jesus and have a true appreciation and understanding for what he's done." Ginear Campbell, 31
33. Qubilah Mui
"I wish for Americans to have free health care." Qubilah Mui, 32
34. Tiffany Tate
"I wish for better opportunities for education in urban areas." Tiffany Tate, age undisclosed
35. Michelle Hatchette
"I wish for food and education equity and for justice."
36. Roselind Francis
"I want for America to have healthy food choices for our children. No GMO [genetically modified organisms] in our food." Roselind Francis, 61
37. Nia I'man Smith
"I want for America to stop cutting funding to arts institutions and the arts in schools." Nia I'man Smith, 25
38. Kai Storm
"I wish for more jobs and economic stability." Kai Storm, 40
39. Valencia Good
"I wish for black people to organize and fight police brutality and for parents to focus on what's going on with their kids." Valencia Good, 38
40. Stephanie Ngoziukpere
"I wish for a community amongst black people with one language to connect us." Stephanie Ngoziukpere, 21
41. Melissa Powell
"I wish for more prosperity and more peace for all." Melissa Powell, 30
42. Marissa Mounds
"I wish for the return of strong families." Marissa Mounds, 30
43. Charlotte Newman
"I wish that Americans again feel the sense of unbridled optimism that compelled America to rally around President Kennedy in pursuit of space exploration. And I hope that this renewed optimism is supported by a collective commitment to improving public education and eliminating violence in America's cities." Charlotte Newman, 30
44. Brittani Rettig
"I wish people would care for each other as they would care for themselves." Brittani Rettig
45. Teju Adisa-Farrar
"I wish for increased awareness of social and political issues." Teju Adisa-Farrar, 21
46. Shola Adisa-Farrar
"I wish for increased appreciation for other cultures and lifestyle choices." Shola Adisa-Farrar, 27
47. Torlisa Jeffrey
"I wish for educational opportunities for all, regardless of citizenship or class status." Torlissa Jeffrey, 28
48. Anna Johnson
"I wish Obama for President!!!" Anna Johnson, 32
49. Marrena Edmond
"I wish that each person the opportunity to fulfill his or her potential!" Marrena Edmond, 32
50. Jessica Maina
"I wish for acceptance and diversity." Jessica Maina, 23