Single black women, listen to me now. Know your worth. Such a broad statement, but let me break it down (movie quoters, you know the rest). Within the last few months, the media has taken us through it. We’re never satisfied, too educated, too picky, have too many children out of wedlock, too overbearing to get a good Black man, let alone keep one and marry him.
That’s what the news segments on ABC say. That’s what some of our own, such as Jimmy Izrael, author of The Denzel Principal: Why Black Women Can’t Find Good Black Men think. That’s what countless relationships blogs and news columns suggest. Now studies are suggesting something even more despicable: We’re only worth $5.
From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Study finds median wealth for single black women at $5
“Among the most startling revelations in the wealth data is that while single white women in the prime of their working years (ages 36 to 49) have a median wealth of $42,600 (still only 61 percent of their single white male counterparts), the median wealth for single black women is only $5.”
Really? Five damn dollars? What can you get for $5? A Subway footlong. A Wendy’s combo meal on a good day. A stick of gum and a bag of chips. Excuse me, but miss me with the bullshit. There’s absolutely NO way our median wealth is $5, but honestly, it is a wake-up call, if nothing else. Here’s what a source had to say:
“The popular image is they spend too much, which is the reason they are running up credit card and consumer debt, but the cost of living has risen faster than income, and they need to go into debt for basic daily necessities,” Ms. Lui said. “It’s compounded because unemployment is twice as high in the black community than it is in the white community.
Sound familiar? As a money management facilitator, I see this often–lifestyle maintenance and credit card debt. While, I think our wealth quotient is largely incorrect, there’s some truth to this “popular image” Ms. Lui speaks of. Isn’t that the black women’s dream, according to the entertainment industry, specifically hip-hop? To travel to the most exotic places, carry the most expensive bags and rock the hottest shoes and labels–all while hair-flippin a flawless weave? Yep, it is.
Trina’s verse from Memphis’ own Yo Gotti’s 5-Star Chick Remix:
See I’m a 5 star bitch/Cause I aint dat other bitch
She been stugglin for hers/From da womb I been rich
I aint gotta talk about da money /And da shoe game
All you gotta do is Google Trina/See da proof mane?
Cause aint nun of deez hoes, /Doin shows in the recession
They cards get declined, /Now dey sufferin a depression
While I’m spendin mills/Signin all kinda deals
I’m a 5 star bitch eating 5 star meals
My whole life style like Coming to America
All my Louie luggage/You see my bag, how I carry her?
Walkin through the airport/Like I’m in a parade on my hologram
Loggin on to e-Trade*
Foreal, who wouldn’t want that lifestyle? I would. What gets us in trouble is everyday people and even some celebrities not being able to distinguish between real life and fantasy (Where’s Teeny Barino?). Notice the bolded lyrics. With being a consumer comes financial responsibility. In other words, while poppin’ tags, make sure that credit score is on point and invest in your future.**
Music and entertainment are not solely to blame, as there’s a much deeper issue. People have been trying to keep up with the Joneses since the beginning of time.There are other factors that cause us to remain in financial strain. Let’s discuss:
1) Uneducated about finances. Simply put, people don’t usually learn about money in the home, where it all begins. Unfortunately, as we grow and become independent adults, managing money becomes a harder skill to learn. Things I’ve heard: “I didn’t know my credit score drops when I apply for a credit card!”
2) We help family members…sometimes too much. If single black women are the first ones in our families to graduate from college with good-paying jobs and pursue advanced degrees, we just may be the sole breadwinner in the family (mama, daddy, cousin and all). Many women are paying for their siblings’ post-secondary education and parent’s debts. Sometimes, family can take advantage. Do we know how to say no?
3) We help our mates (boyfriends and boos). Are we trying to fulfill that “strong black woman/ride-or-die chick role or just being stupid? Sometimes it’s necessary when you’re building something solid (marriage) with someone who needs a financial boost. Any other time, it’s just not a smart move. Sex equates to money in our society, but which will do you a better service in the long run?
This post took a totally different turn. I’m supposed to tell you that no media outlet should project who and what we are as black women. The aforementioned story (and many more to come) is a classic example of the Willie Lynch theory. It’s only when we believe what’s printed and internalize it that “they” win. If there is some truth to these stories, let’s begin to identify our individual issues and make some real changes.
What do you think about our image in the media? Our wealth worth? Speak on it.
*I hope you know what E-Trade is. If not, educate yourself here.
**Andre 3000 said it best in “Hollywood Divorce”: Promise me you gon’ stack, promise me you gon’ ball. Promise me you’ll invest 3/4 of it al. For what? So your kids, kids, kids can have some cheese
Can’t get with it? Get get get get get on your knees cause wealth is the word. Rich is round the corner from the curb. Don’t like what I write? Shoot me a bird