WE'VE GOT THE POWER TO BE FINANCIALLY FREE!
by Monica Miller
Before we close the month of April, which is noted as Financial Literacy Month, it is only fitting for BWOPA to spotlight freedom fighter, Harriet Tubman.
Harriet Tubman becoming the new face of the American $20 bill is cause for both celebration and introspection for African American women. Today, the nation prepares to honor Tubman for her tireless work to free slaves over a hundred and fifty years ago. However, it is rather ironic that a countless number of African American women struggle daily with some form of financial captivity.
America's gender-based wage gap is likely to blame for black women's economic woes. It is well documented that African American women are paid 60 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. Coupled with societal issues such as raising children alone and the lack of affordable housing, black women often find themselves in the precarious position of having to make absurd choices. For example, whether or not to provide basic needs for themselves and their families or saving money towards a college education and retirement.
As black women,we don't have to settle or suffer as an economic outcast. We should imitate Harriet Tubman's example by financially freeing ourselves so we can do our part to help other people who are oppressed and financially burdened.
Intrinsically speaking, black women whose finances are in disarray, need to first, take ownership of where they are. Second, make a vow to educate themselves about money. And third, implement financial strategies to change their pecuniary predicament.
Extrinsically speaking, black women need to advocate for policies on all levels of government that favorably influence their financial advancement. Such policies should require equal pay for women and men, parental leave, affordable childcare and flexible work schedules to name a few. As culture keepers, it is our responsibility to financially invest in businesses and organizations in our community that focus on developing, supporting, and advancing our people.
Just like Madame C.J. Walker, Oprah Winfrey, and Cathy Hughes; black women have the power and ability to achieve tremendous economic gains. We can not afford to be passive or intimidated by the present state of our collective fiscal affairs. We have the right to secure financial freedom for ourselves and we have the duty to ensure future generations will benefit from our decision to own our financial destiny.