Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Please Join Me In A Round Of Geostrategy Nerd: What Comes Next For You and Yours?

Faith, blog host of Acts of Faith In Love And Life (which is on my sidebar blogroll), is holding it down! She's done yet another excellent post that I believe deserves your attention: http://actsoffaithinloveandlife.blogspot.com/2009/08/waning-political-clout-of-blacks-in.html

I talked about this waning of African-Americans' prospects in this country from a slightly different angle during the Charity Should Begin At Home series of posts: http://muslimbushido.blogspot.com/2008/09/charity-should-begin-at-home-part-1.html and http://muslimbushido.blogspot.com/2008/09/charity-should-begin-at-home-part-2.html

The bottom line is that African-Americans have collectively "blown it." Across a wide array of issues. Since African-Americans have already lost a series of essential battles, I believe that it's critical that those of us who survive shift our attention at this point. The masses of African-Americans will form a permanent underclass in this country. We need to stop focusing on the dead and dying. We need to focus on securing our own (and our children's) long-term interests as African-American survivors. I said the following in a comment to Faith's post:

"Faith,

Yes, our dwindling political influence WILL be yet another disaster for the masses of unprepared AAs.

Since we've lost the war to prevent AAs from becoming a permanent underclass in this country, I've been thinking about what comes next for those AAs who do manage to avoid this fate. Specifically, what comes next for the AA women that I've nicknamed "Sojourners."

I think it would be helpful for us all to ponder what strategic needs those few surviving/thriving AAs will have a decade from now. And how we might best position ourselves and our children to meet those needs.

This question is the LAST, remaining viable war that's left AFTER the various wars that AAs have already lost. We lost the war to prevent AAs falling into mass, permanent underclass status in this country. We lost the war to preserve the AA family. As you've noted here, we've lost the war to preserve (much less expand) our political influence in this country. We are losing the war to preserve our mass economic gains over the past few decades.

All of that is a done deal, and I believe we need to turn our attention to focus on the strategic interests of those of us who will survive and thrive.

I've been reading a book by Thomas Bass about the Vietnam War called The Spy Who Loved Us: The Vietnam War and Pham Xuan An's Dangerous Game.

To summarize the book: "Pham Xuan An was a brilliant journalist and an even better spy. A long-time correspondent for Time and friendly with all the legendary reporters covering Vietnam, he was an invaluable source of news and font of wisdom on all things Vietnamese. At the same time, he was a masterful double agent, a North Vietnamese intelligence agent...kept his cover in place until the day he died..."

The North Vietnamese sent Mr. An to the US in preparation for what they called "the war after the war." Meaning, the battle to preserve the victory that they (correctly) believed that they would eventually win over South Vietnam (and the foreign powers such as France and the US that were propping it up).

This meant that they were sending people like Mr. An to the US to study American culture (in order to better understand their future opponents---they sent him in the late 1950s, before the US seriously entered the Vietnam conflict---and at the point when they were still fighting the French!).

Thinking through "the war after the war" meant that they were already planning to have agents infiltrate the various worldwide Vietnamese refugee communities that would be created by their victory (they were thinking about this 20 years before their victory in the 1970s).

Those few AAs who survive and thrive also need to look to our future needs and interests. Peace, blessings and solidarity."

We often spend a lot of time talking about the African-Americans who are not going to make it. I'm NOT talking to (or about) the many African-American losers now. With this post, I'm talking to (and about) my fellow survivors and thrivers.

So far, I've been telling you what I think during the Geostrategy Nerd posts. I'm now inviting you to join me in a round of Geostrategy Nerd, and think through the following questions:

What comes next for you and yours during the next 20 years?

What are you preparing for your children that will give them a solid foundation? [Lord, God, please don't say "a good education." You know that this is now a minimum requirement that's needed to function in this society. So, a good education is a given. And you know that "a good education" is NOT enough by itself to give somebody a sturdy foundation.]

We can't all own businesses that we can pass down to our children or other loved ones. And we know that we CAN'T pass a job down to our loved ones. But we CAN accumulate other kinds of tangible assets. At a minimal level, we can accumulate things like U.S. Savings Bonds.

So, what exactly are you doing that's meant to last, and designed to do something concrete for yourself, and for loved ones who come after you? [This was the point of the recent post asking you the question, "What impact will your actions have on life 17 generations from now?"]

So, what's next? What will African-American survivors, thrivers, and Sojourners need to do next to properly position ourselves for the future?

For the next 5 years? For the next 10 years? And beyond?

42 comments:

Imam Isa Mateen said...

I appreciate the urgency you bring. Too many folks are non chalant. Regarding the U.S. Bonds suggestion: Bonds are dependent on
the strength of the US economy. Will the US exist in 17 years? Will the dollar be worth anything?
Our planning will have to include yhe scenario of a weakened/collapsed US economy!

Khadija said...

Imam Isa,

Thank you for your kind words; and also for starting off this conversation. This is another one of those awkward discussions that I don't expect to get many responses to. It's hard for a dependant people to start thinking like free people who can manage their own affairs. We've become used to "crying out" for White folks (including White government) to come in and figure things out for us.

You said, "Regarding the U.S. Bonds suggestion: Bonds are dependent on
the strength of the US economy. Will the US exist in 17 years? Will the dollar be worth anything?
Our planning will have to include yhe scenario of a weakened/collapsed US economy!"


I agree! I also recognize the odds that I'm speaking to an audience that has more than a few folks who don't...have...any...savings...at...all. And, as you know, this state of having "no-savings at all" cuts across all boundaries. [I've known of SEVERAL AA attorneys who have had payday loan people calling their jobs demanding repayment of the money they borrowed.]

I'm hoping to get people thinking in terms of what they're preparing for themselves (and their loved ones) for the long-term. Before some of us can get to more sophisticated plans, we need to establish some basic, long-term self-preservation habits. Such as saving.

I believe that U.S. Savings bonds are a way to methodically save money without having to have extreme mental discipline. Which is one of several good places to start for the many folks (across the board) who continuously spend their paychecks before they get them.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

ActsofFaithBlog said...

Blushing Thank you for mentioning my post. I was totally inspired by YOU. You always bring the hard-hitting thought-provoking questions.

I attended the Get Motivated! Business Seminar recently and will be doing a blog post to share some of what I've learned. One particular speaker really hit it out of the ballpark in my opinion. Colin Powell & Rudy Guiliani (poser extraordnaire) also spoke but were just meh to me. I do try to learn as much as I can from people even if I don't like them!!

Anyhoo, this one speaker (whose name I have to look up I admit I was waiting for Colin Powell to speak and wasn't paying attention) laid a few things out that we need to consider:

1. The first thing he said was DO NOT RELY ON THE PRESIDENT TO SAVE US! That caught my attention right away, lol!!

2. He thinks there's going to be a huge recession looming within 5 years and there will be little economic recovery for the masses, only the prepared.

3. He insists we all need an additional business in place and a job. He focused on internet-based ventures using reverse searches and finding the most popular products, setting up a website and being a 3rd party conduit between the buyer and the manufacturer (i.e watches) so there's no risk, no large sums of money put up, etc. You do have to be internet savvy though and be familiar with SEO.

I need to go through my notes and do some research but I was very encouraged by this speaker. He also mentioned that we needed to be careful with how we speak to and about ourselves (negative thoughts), said parents needed to stop propping their kids up with video games as a substitute for spending time with them, that women earning less money than men when they have the same skill set was offensive and to stop watching so much television.

It was INTENSE but exhilarating. Of course there's a follow-up seminar that you have to pay for but it's $39 and you can bring a relative for free. I'm not sure if that's a gateway to yet another program (probably) but it's better than doing nothing.

Of course the Learning Annex is around and we can go to the library to get books as well. So this is the time to really get focused. We have to save ourselves and the future generations.

Oh yeah he also mentioned something I REALLY LIKED: that we can overcome generational chaos if we've had to fend for ourselves thus far in life.

Lorraine said...

Hi Khadija,

Thanks for this timely post. My circumstance warranted taking action years ago before even understanding the demise of our community and bw becoming empowered. I had to consider my autistic son who will always need assistance.

Once he is 18, he will qualify for what is called a Medicaid Waiver. If he has assets that reduces the help he would get and once the money ran out, he would be stuck. So there are ways to help our special ones long after we are no longer here to provide for their care. My husband and I are gettin a living trust for him so he will have financial support for things that the waiver can't provide. I just have to pray that he will be with those who won't mistreat him or take advantage. That is in God's hands.

An unfortunate parallel is the situation with our lost generations. No one will be there to look out for the masses. When I was a magistrate, it got down right depressing looking at the black folks who made bad choices and who were absolute products of their dbr parenting or lack thereof.

Juveniles are worse because you just know where they are headed without intervention. Intervention that they reject. They can't see they have no futures, let along trying to prepare financially. They are lost to the system, and or their environments. They don't even realize they are lost because of the false security they have by being BAD. Well, the drugs, gangs and what not only lasts so long.

You can't talk to them about the futures because they don't see themselves with one and they don't care. Some are so disrespectful all you can do is pray and wish that they wake up before it is too late.

So in the spirit of concentrating on those who are survivors and thrivers, financial security is indeed a must if we want to pass down something to our children. Although we want to teach our children the value of working hard for what we want, I must provide as best I can to secure both my children's financial future but especially my son. I am by default trying to avoid a disaster.

The Rick E. Trust is one of the best things we can do for our children. A $5,000 investment insures $1,000.000 pay off at retirement. This is just one of many things as they will have to live before reaching retirement age which may be 70 by the time they are adults the way things are going. The living trust is a sure way to go as well.

Khadija said...

Faith,

Thank you for your kind words; I truly appreciate it. Whatever inspiration that exists is mutual. I learn so much from reading select other folks' blogs (yours is one such blog), and from listening to the commenters here.

You said, "I attended the Get Motivated! Business Seminar recently and will be doing a blog post to share some of what I've learned."

I look forward to it; from what you've already said, it sounds like it was very informative.

You said, "1. The first thing he said was DO NOT RELY ON THE PRESIDENT TO SAVE US! That caught my attention right away, lol!!"

I 1,000% co-sign that warning.

You said, "2. He thinks there's going to be a huge recession looming within 5 years and there will be little economic recovery for the masses, only the prepared."

Yep, I believe he's correct about this as well.

You said, "3. He insists we all need an additional business in place and a job."

Again, I co-sign 1,000%. This point can't be repeated or emphasized enough. The days of passively relying upon a "good job" are OVER. They're not coming back. Everybody needs to have a side hustle.

You said, "He focused on internet-based ventures using reverse searches and finding the most popular products, setting up a website and being a 3rd party conduit between the buyer and the manufacturer (i.e watches) so there's no risk, no large sums of money put up, etc. You do have to be internet savvy though and be familiar with SEO."

I agree that the possibilities are HUGE for those people who take the time and effort to educate themselves about running an online business. It's truly amazing when you think about it: I can froth at the mouth endlessly about how exciting I find electronic banking to be. And how wondrous it is to have instant electronic foreign currency conversions.

I was extremely excited to see the service that Gina at WAOD is using to collect donations for hiring a reporter to cover the Dunbar Village trial---Something I have never heard of before called "Chip In."

I hope (probably in vain, I know) that some AA-owned banks will get into this sector of online financial services (providing the same services as PayPal and Chip In). More people are becoming more comfortable with shopping online; so I would expect those sorts of businesses to grow.

Having businesses that provide these online financial services would be an example of AAs getting in front of a trend, or at least surfing the wave created by the trend. Instead of our informal tradition of being a day late and a dollar short. And jumping into things just before they shut down or collapse.

These are the sorts of positioning questions that we need to contemplate.

You said, "Oh yeah he also mentioned something I REALLY LIKED: that we can overcome generational chaos if we've had to fend for ourselves thus far in life."

I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment. The new technology has opened up so many new possibilities, along with eliminating so many previous "gatekeepers," that it's a NEW WORLD in terms of what's possible for a person who lacks connections or clout.

But these open windows of opportunity aren't going to stay open forever. Once enough people get into things, then the doors start closing. The time to get moving is RIGHT NOW.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

lormarie said...

Wow! I am ashamed to admit that I have not planned that far ahead even though I know I should. This whole talk of blacks becoming a permanent underclass is scary although it is a reality. The only thing that I can think of at the moment is to accumulate as much money as I can. I must meditate on this post before I can give an informed answer.

Khadija said...

Lorraine,

Hello there! {waving}

You're welcome! Thanks for the information about these various resources you mentioned. I'm sure you've helped point the way to other readers who are dealing with similar concerns.

In terms of the lost AA generations: {Khadija slipping into Ebonics here}--THEY GONE! Let the dead bury the dead. It's best for us to stay clear of them lest they drag us down with them. Or kill us; which is one of their hobbies.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

DeStouet said...

Khadija,

I will never forget you or this blog.

As far as your latest greatest post, me and my husband have drafted a Dale-DeStouet constitution. We were extremely inspired by your 'Wildest Dream Checklist: Good Luck and Fine Quality for 10,000 Years' so much so, we decided to come up with something very similar. The final draft should be finished and from there we will take it into Kinko's, have them print it up, and then we'll frame it and hang it in the living room of our home and in our bedroom.

As far as income, we are currently working on that.

DeStouet said...

I meant to say, the final draft should be complete by the first of September.

Khadija said...

Lormarie,

There's nothing to be ashamed about! LOL! Long-term planning is NOT part of AAs' modern cultural heritage. In fact, it's frowned upon. [This is yet another reason why I have an aversion to "therapy/12 step meeting talk." "One day at a time" does NOT lead you far in life. "One day at a time" is for: (1) dysfunctional people with severe and permanent deficits such as addictions; and/or (2) other people who are undergoing a TEMPORARY crisis.]

I'm still mulling over some things about this topic too. I look forward to your return!
_________________________

DeStouet,

You said, "I will never forget you or this blog."

Oh, that's so kind of you; I truly appreciate it!

You said, "As far as your latest greatest post, me and my husband have drafted a Dale-DeStouet constitution. We were extremely inspired by your 'Wildest Dream Checklist: Good Luck and Fine Quality for 10,000 Years' so much so, we decided to come up with something very similar. The final draft should be finished and from there we will take it into Kinko's, have them print it up, and then we'll frame it and hang it in the living room of our home and in our bedroom."

YES! YES! YES! {raised fist salute} Alhamdulilah! ["Praise God!"] IIRC, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People book also mentioned family vision statements and/or constitutions.

I think it's a great idea that gets everybody (including children) focused on where they ultimately want to go; and who they want to be. All of which drastically increases the odds of success. [Instead of randomly, aimlessly drifting; which is what many of us do. And I'm not exempt from this. There have been points in my life when I drifted.]

I'm so happy for you and your family! Just with this one step, I'm sure that you're all on your way to even bigger and better things. And I'm confident that the money will follow this clarity of purpose.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Karen said...

Here is what we have done/been doing:

1) Minimum of 1-years worth of liquidity in case of job loss (both I am my spouse are self-employed). This is our emergency reserve/cushion.

2) We have a few properties

3) Stock Investments (including overseas)

4) Retirement account which we put aside money every month

5) Per our respective wills, our estate will be liquidated and a trust will be established with certain conditions to exist in perpetuity

6) we have other diverse investments and are now looking in the energy sector (as other forms of energy will need to be developed in the coming decades to replace oil)

What we still need to do:

1) Develop other revenue streams
2) Develop more passive income

All of this is under the radar in that we do not discuss with others our financial activities for obvious reasons.

All of this also did not happen overnight and there have been stops and starts but we always kept the goals in sight:

1) to ensure our retirement,
2) to achieve financial independence
3) to leave a legacy

We are not there yet but we are on the right road

zindzhi said...

Yes Faith always hold it down.
Political clout is so important and The people who wield it will change the face of the country
Please listen to this podcast especially the first part.
Think of Swedish women and how they got all the benefit they did? They did it by branding together to do it, they went on a national strike and now they enjoy the highest standard of living of any country in the world. We need to do the same to get the best.

Please check out this podcast especially the first part.

http://www.racialicious.com/2009/08/16/addicted-to-race-114-statutory-rape-race-and-parenting-mad-men/#comments

zindzhi said...

http://www.antiracistparent.com/2009/08/10/i-wish-i-could-love-all-the-girls-in-the-world-or-at-least-in-my-community/

another article

Khadija said...

Karen,

{deep martial arts bow in salute}

I know that a lot of people are reading this list of what you and your husband have accomplished, and are thinking to themselves "I can't do all of that..."

Ladies and gentlemen, just start with getting some savings together. Having an emergency fund is the FIRST step. If you just do that, you'll be in a much better position to maneuver. And you'll need at least a little bit of money to get supplies or whatever you need for your side hustle.

It doesn't have to be some super-complicated thing. I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. A coworker's mother has a side business selling cookies. Her only expenses are the baking materials and the metal tins that she packages the cookies in.

People loooove home-baked desserts and will pay for them; and that's no joke. She started by bringing the cookies to her job a couple of days each week before she retired. Her daughter brought some of the cookies to my workplace, and people have been placing orders for the cookies ever since.

There's also a "cake lady" that comes to the hair salon I go to and sells warm cake slices.

Another side hustle that I've mentioned before: One friend's daughter is a teacher. However, she was savvy enough to learn how to be a bartender when she was still in college.

She still bartends a little on the side and during summer vacations to earn some extra money. She's currently using this saved extra money to buy a rental property. Taking the bartending classes in the first place was a shrewd move on her part. No matter what's going on, people will always be drinking in restaurants and taverns.

It's not that deep for those people who are determined to make some extra income streams for themselves. But it takes creativity and effort. "Apples" are not going to just drop by themselves into your lap.
________________

Zindzhi,

Thanks for the information; I'll start going through the links today.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Aphrodite said...

Hello Khadija,

Another bomb post.


I was thinking along the lines of Imam Isa Mateen with regards to savings bonds and i am scared of the stock market.

I am wondering though could figuring out the countries with the most growth potential/stability and buying bonds in their country work?


Also could very short term city/state bonds be ok?


Lorraine I am hollering about the Rick E Trust! I am just shocked. And the adult equivalent would be? LOL

sistrunkqueen said...

Why is it that other groups can make money off of blacks except blacks? @ Zindzi I was not suprised about the Syrians in Haiti. In the Caribbean many of the wealthy merchants and business are owned by the foreigners.In Trinidad,it's the Indians. In Haiti,its the Syrians, In Jamaica, it's the Chinese. In America,it's the Koreans. We are a very consumer minded people and for some reason we can't get out of that mode. I was also looking at Arabs in south America too. It seems that Asians/Arabs have this dominance theory down pat. Ooh Khadija if only knew some of my observations in international settings. We have a very long way to go. I am afraid most won't get there.

Karen said...

Khadija,

I should have added how long it has taken us to reach this....well over 10 years.

It did not happen overnight, but I will stress to everyone, each day to set aside money regardless how large or small is a step in the right direction. To do nothing will ensure that you will have nothing at the end.

I have also made it my business to learn from other cultures and to establish productive relationships which has helped us to move forward.

I have recently made acquaintance with a turkish family and am at the early stages of formulating an idea where we could both mutually benefit from a future business venture... I may even attempt to learn the turkish language ;-).

=====================
Karen,

{deep martial arts bow in salute}

I know that a lot of people are reading this list of what you and your husband have accomplished, and are thinking to themselves "I can't do all of that..."


=========================

Felicia said...

Morning All,

One of the best things we can do as BW is make sure our children go to safe, high performing, state of the art schools when at all possible.

My husband and I just dropped off our eldest son in Kindergarten.

What a day!(smile) Ohhh... the years are just passing by and our little guys are growing up to be such fine young men.

Anyway, the school he attends is one of the top elementary schools in Cincinnati. Really, it's more like a private school then a public one. It's located in a safe well to do neighborhood, is state of the art with computer labs, a recording studio, a well stocked library, athletic facility, etc... It's well funded, has great parent participation, and basically all of the bells and whistles.

Plus, it does have some racial/ethnic diversity which I feel is important, and different class levels. From the rich to the poor.

The thing is, it's VERY hard to get your child into this school. Parents braved the cold and camped out overnight in tents in order to guarantee (or try to) a spot on the waiting list.

Everyone obviously didn't make it because there were only so many spots, but for those that did. Their children are going to be receiving an excellent education in a safe environment.

This is priceless.

My husband camped out to guarantee a spot for our son. Now originally, we were planning to stand in line Monday morning because that's what the Principal and school board said to do in an earlier meeting. Those were the "official" rules. BUT, my husband sensed there would be some ruthless folks who would do their own thing.

Sure enough, we drove by Sunday at 6:00 pm and it looked like a TENT CITY.SMH Full of renegade white folks.

So... It was ON.LOL

My husbands best friend assisted us with gear, another one helped with coffee and donuts in the morning, while a watched the boys at home.

Ladies, it was FREEZING cold but the dedicated parents did what they had to do to guarantee a spot for their children. They found babysitters, or the children stayed with relatives. Something.

I came over later in the afternoon the next day to check things out and I noticed it was like 85% white folks and 15% minority. Black, Asian, Indian, hispanic combined.

Cincinnati has a LARGE black population. And most are urban working class to poor. I just thought it was unfortunate that more black folks didn't take this opportunity for their kids.

Because the ghetto schools here excuse my language S*CK. They are over crowded, underfunded, and SERIOUSLY dangerous. They're basically holding cells. There's no learning taking place in them because of all of the behavior problems.

Anyway, this was an opportunity lost to many black kids that would have benefitted from being in a positive learning environment.

Yeah, "Officially" everyone was supposed to line up on Monday morning. BUT, the WISE parents camped out Sunday night just in case and created a list of their own that they hoped would be accepted by the Principal on Monday.

And it was.

It was like a scene from that reality show Survivor on Monday ladies. Some of the folks who followed the rules (and unfortunately many of these folks were black and couldn't get childcare for the camp out or didn't even KNOW about the camp out because they didn't scope out the scene first) didn't get their child in there.

Some folks were we're seriously you know what.

The Principal REWARDED the parents who broke the rules and camped out overnight because they were viewed as being more DEDICATED.

My husband said she even drove by Sunday night smiling and basically gave them the high five.

It may not have been "right", or "fair", but my child is in there (which automatically guarantees future admittance for siblings) and that's all that matters to me.

In the real world life is often NOT fair and you sometimes have to break the rules to get ahead.

ak said...

Before I can even think of having children, I need to save up as much money as I can, and a trust fund or a US Savings Bond is a great idea. Thank you Khadija. I have to come to terms with frittering my cash away all the time myself.

geekgrl said...

What I have done so far:

a) Have a year’s income (approx 2+ years of expenses) in several liquid accounts
b) Max out my Roth IRA account yearly
c) Put a bit extra in a 403b
d) Work a ‘good’ job and a part time job
e) Received an Esthetics license.

Goals for the Year:

a) Buy my first property (hopefully by Oct.)
b) Prepare a will (to make sure the property goes to who I want)
c) Get life and disability insurance (I keep pushing this off)
d) Get a part time job in a spa/salon. Once I know the business, start providing mobile skin care treatment services.

roslynholcomb said...

I think I've mentioned before that I have lots of side hustles and can testify that people will pay an incredible amount of money for baked goods. I usually only do it around the holidays and have regulars who buy my red velvet, Italian cream and German chocolate cakes. I also bake extras of pound cakes. The good thing about baking is that you can do it in advance and freeze them. I have a small deep freezer that cost less than $100 and I start baking right after Thanksgiving.

I also do little girl's hair, which has been quite profitable as well. People are pressed for time and if you can come up with something that will save them time they'll pay a fortune for it.

As for the future, we've made sure we have substantial term life insurance policies. We want to make sure that if we die our son will be taken care of. We've left wills and assigned a guardian for our child. We had to be ruthless in this decision and choose the person we felt would be the best caretaker of our child as well as our money, and yes, feelings were hurt. This is very important because I don't ever want the state to have any say as to what will happen to my child.

We're almost fanatical about saving and investing. We want to be able to leave our son some wealth. I want him to be in a position so that he can make life choices free from the fear that I had to deal with. I knew I was alone with no backup and made choices predicated on that. If at all possible I want him to be independently wealthy, or at least self-sufficient so that he can pursue whatever dreams he might have.

Khadija said...

Aphrodite,

Thank you for your kind words about the post; I truly appreciate it. As I said earlier, I believe the first step for many of us is to get some savings together. What's the point in contemplating more involved strategies when one doesn't even have a personal emergency fund?
___________________

Sistrunkqueen,

Let the (mentally) dead (Negroes) bury their fellow corpses. I don't care anymore about what the idiot masses are doing. I'm more focused on encouraging more of us to build more "colorless" businesses (laundromats, online businesses, etc.) that can get some of everybody's money as customers!
_________________________

Karen,

You said, "It did not happen overnight, but I will stress to everyone, each day to set aside money regardless how large or small is a step in the right direction. To do nothing will ensure that you will have nothing at the end."

Yes, first things first.

You said, "I have also made it my business to learn from other cultures and to establish productive relationships which has helped us to move forward."

YES!
______________________

Felicia,

You said, "One of the best things we can do as BW is make sure our children go to safe, high performing, state of the art schools when at all possible."

That's an excellent opening move. But that's all it is---an opening move to get into the game. "A good education" is NOT enough.

Elijah Muhammad was correct: No matter how seemingly prestigious our educations are, we're NOT well-educated if all we know how to do is depend upon, and BEG, our former slavemasters for a job!

Truth be told, this is exactly what most AAs with "good educations" are doing with our good educations---We're depending upon White people to employ us. Period. This is TOTALLY INSUFFICIENT right now, and for the coming era.

________________________

AK,

Yes, get moving, young lady! LOL!
_________________________

Geekgrl,

{deep martial arts bow in salute}

You said, "Get a part time job in a spa/salon. Once I know the business, start providing mobile skin care treatment services."

This is a critical step that many of us never consider---getting a side job in a field in order to learn the business for ourselves. It's best to get "trained up" and learn how to "do" on somebody else's dime! Get it, Geekgrl!
_________________________

Roslyn,

You said, "We want to be able to leave our son some wealth. I want him to be in a position so that he can make life choices free from the fear that I had to deal with. I knew I was alone with no backup and made choices predicated on that. If at all possible I want him to be independently wealthy, or at least self-sufficient so that he can pursue whatever dreams he might have."

THANK YOU, Roslyn, for explicitly saying what I had in mind with this topic. The harsh reality is that too many AAs (even Black middle class children) have to re-invent wheels, and operate from a position of lack. This is because their parents (some of whom had "good educations" and "good jobs") did not build a solid foundation for their children.

This leads to the madness of many middle class AA college students having to make the same type of FEAR-based choices that their striver parents had to make before they became middle class!

Folks, this sort of thing is NOT progress.


I was waiting for somebody to explicitly mention this, because I didn't want to sound like I was bragging about the blessings that my parents provided for me. I didn't have to work during college and law school. [I worked part-time anyway. But there's a UNIVERSE of difference between working***when you feel like it***to have some extra spending/shopping/drinking money, and working FOR REAL because you HAVE to.]

In order to actually make LASTING, ENDURING progress, we must build SECURE positions for ourselves and our children.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Felicia said...

That's an excellent opening move. But that's all it is---an opening move to get into the game. "A good education" is NOT enough.

That's true. One MUST get into the game to begin with. BUT, one can't rest on their laurels after that. It's certainly not enough these days. Ones goal shouldn't be to merely "get by".

We're depending upon White people to employ us. Period. This is TOTALLY INSUFFICIENT right now, and for the coming era.

Now this is true. Especially in the coming era. Total dependancy from the outside is not a secure place to be.

GREAT discussion.

zindzhi said...

OMGodness you gals are so savvy . i never hear discussion like this. Usually I'm the one giving friends this advice. They came to me for advice ,because I read financial and business news voraciously. I was the best student in my Econ class and business class not in terms of grade but in term of saviness. My teacher encourage me to get street smart As I was already book smart.


I love what you ladies are doing . I have started nothing yet , because right now I'm relying on the kindness of my father to survive. It will end soon because I got a job in a big startup and I can't wait to save enough to start my own business. I have been planning and scheming every details for the last 3 years and now i will have the funds.

I would also like to suggest that you ladies look up into investing into green funds and Gadgets.
The goolge CEO's are doing that and lot's of other people in silicon valley who are some of the wealthiest people around. We have to care about global wrming , because the money won't save us if the planet goes to hell on hand basket.
That is why Green tech is the future.

Green tech is my first business. I want to make it accessible for everyone. like cell phone are ubiquitous around the world so should green tech.

The second is a media conglomerate. I'm really sick of Tyler Perry making movies that is supposed to represent black people. I want a multicultural Media conglomerate. I'm a geek into Scifi and Sf and there is hunger for more diversity in the content created in the media. If Tyler Perry can do ti peddling carp. i can do it peddling gold, quality content.

Also It very good to learn about other cultures , but it is also very important to speak their language . I already speak 4 and I'm adding Portuguese, then Chinese to my roster , because Brazil and China are going to be big. The Indian market is also very good to look into. As they have a rising middle class.

peace

Evia said...

Khadija, I just posted this on Faith's site, but some of your readers may not read both blogs.

Among Nigerians (and MANY other ethnics, including Caribbean blacks, Asians, etc.), there's an invisible custom/practice called an "ESUSU." This is the name for it among Nigerians, but when I researched this practice, it has about hundreds of names since it is practiced worldwide and has been going on for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

It's an informal way of saving money and providing seed money for businesses, projects, pay debts, etc.--practiced a LOT among people who want to get business capital, pay off loans, get money for various expenses. It's a kind of savings and no-interest loan system that operates among a group of people who know each other. This is how it works:

Let's say that you and 9 other women who you know well (relatives, friends, colleagues, etc.) decided to start an Esusu. Y'all (the ten of you) would decide 3 things:

1. how much each of you can afford to put into the esusu each month on a specific date. Let's say $50 is comfortable for each of you.

2. how long it will last. Let's say in this case, it would go on for 10 months.

3. you would then all put your names into the hat and pull out who's going to get the $500 month 1, month 2, month 3, . . . month 10.

I've known plenty of Nigerians who were involved in an esusu and sometimes, they may be involved in 2, 3 or 4 of them at the same time. This is how a lot of Nigerian women get the money to start their hairbraiding shops here. Some folks use their esusu money to pay off credit cards, tuition, and other debts. I've been in several esusus myself, mostly because they're FUN! Aside from the money saving aspect, they're a great way to meet and mingle with other likeminded women because they bring the women together on a frequent basis for socializing AND you REALLY get to know people when you mix people and their and money!!! You find out who is reliable and trustworthy and who's not.

In the U.S., I've been in esusus with Africans and AAs. The way we did it here was that we wrote up a simple contract and had everyone sign it. I don't know whether such a contract is enforceable by U.S. law, but it was better than nothing, and it was another way of letting the AAs (especially) know that this was not "get over" time. We knew that many AAs are not familiar with cultural practices like this and might try to get over on the rest of us. But we never had to even threaten to take anyone to court to get the money because it's mostly an "honor" thing. Also, we screened people before we let them join. If they had bad money management problems or was about to lose their job, we didn't let them join--even if the woman was someone's sister or close friend.

Africans AND other ethnics take esusus seriously because it's the only savings and loan system many of them have or even need. There is no interest charged on the loans and that's a biggie.

The last esusu I was in (years ago), we each put in $100 each per month. I was in another one that ran concurrently where we put in $75 each. There were different people involved in each group, but sometimes some of the same people can be in more than one esusu with you because you can take the money you get from one group and pay your esusu for the other one, if necessary. These groups accomplish their goal, but they have to be well-run or else people will not feel secure.

Evia said...

Part 2

However, among AAs, there's such a low level of social cohesion (no RUCOSS), so it's MUCH harder to do cooperative efforts like this because unfortunately many typical AAs don't trust each other enough. In essence, the blogging experience has confirmed for me that in general, AAs no longer speak the same language, meaning that we haven't had enough similar experiences, don't have the same values, and therefore we don't interpret reality the same way. What I think is "blue," another AA will argue is "yellow." We don't even have the same meanings for common words any more. This is why so many AA women don't agree on what a "good" man is or a DBR man. So of course, it's GUARANTEED there'll be continuous infighting among segments, which is a waste of precious time and energy.

Still, cooperative efforts like the esusu COULD be done among trustworthy AA people that some of y'all know in your area.

I'm sure that many of the ethnic women--reading these sites--know about these informal savings and loan systems, although they may call them by a different name.

There are various African cultural practices that AAs could learn and adopt that would be SO helpful, but many AAs are so arrogant and will say they don't need to learn anything from Africans.

This is one reason why many continental Africans shy away from AAs, in general, and are privately baffled about why AAs even call themselves "AFRICAN Americans" but refuse to learn or practice ANY African culture, don't like dark skin, don't like "natural African" hair, don't study an African language, etc. LOL!

There really is no excuse for this, yet some AAs (not me) wonder why other folks only want to associate with us to get our money. It seems to me that many "new school" AAs ***fight*** to REMAIN undeveloped or under-developed. I agree with Africans. I think AAs, as a group, need another name or just need to split up.

Khadija, I'm so happy that you've outlined the path of the SOJOURNERS. I think LOTS of AA women are looking for an alternative. Info about Sojourner's Path should be made available for any AA woman to adopt. Since there are NO actual freebies in life, AA women must be willing to pay for this lifesaving and life-enhancing info. That way, the AA women who can see the value in getting on the Sojourner's Path (SP) can and should just do that and let other AAs just drift away.

This is why I don't want folks to send me links to craziness. I've rather just focus on the SP related info.

Anonymous said...

Some things I have done in my time to get a little something extra to put away are:

Tutoring, especially English for kids from non-English speaking families. $20-$50 per hour

English conversation partner - usually this was with university students, but I did it with a lot of small business owners too. Generally $10-$20 per hour

Helping small businesses manage their computer systems and/or training them to do so. Wages varied, but generally $30 - $60/hr (with $60 for the one time only help)

I managed to do most of this on the weekends or after work AND had the chance to meet great people I am still friends with

lisa99 said...

Interesting post about the esusus!

Many people don't know this, but Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown Records, got start-up funds for his company through this method (or a similar one). He came from a family of business owners, and the family members put a certain amount of money in an overall pool. When one family member wanted to use the money, he or she had to present a proposal to everyone else detailing the business plan. Everyone voted on the proposal.

Berry presented his to his family, and they voted to give him the amount that was in the pool. The rest is history.

This was in the late 1950s, and the Gordy family was AA -- not Continental African or Caribbean.

I'm sure other AAs had this mentality and did similar "esusus" back then as well. I'm wondering how we totally lost this concept.

palmwater said...

Part 1:
Hi Khadija,
I am a long time lurker, first time commenter. I’m breaking out of lurker Ville since I think I have some thoughts that I can contribute to this conversation. I can not tell you how much I love reading your essays. I’m a fan of some of the black women empowerment bloggers, hats off to you, Evia, Halima, Sara and CW for telling many AA women the unadulterated truth.

Since you like honesty and full disclosure, I’m going to be honest. It’s not my place to say what AA women need to do with their lives. Being that I’m a young Nigerian Canadian, I don’t know what it’s like to be an AA women living in the US. I only know what I read and what I’ve been exposed to and seen while living in the US and visiting. I’m glad that you and other AA women bloggers have been addressing a large variety of subjects. Some of these subjects affect other black communities as well (skin shade racism, sexism, divestment, anti- black women hatred in the media by blacks and non-blacks) and I have been able to talk to some younger girls and women my age about these subjects.

Being that this conversation deals with ways to help AA women secure their future, I think I can give some suggestions and describe some of the things I have been doing since graduating university as well as things that my parents have done as well and hope that some of these suggestions might help AA women and other black women reading this blog. This may apply to younger AA women but I think it may help older AA women as well.


So, what exactly are you doing that's meant to last, and designed to do something concrete for yourself, and for loved ones who come after you? [This was the point of the recent post asking you the question, "What impact will your actions have on life 17 generations from now?" -Khadija


1.Marry and only consider marring a man of Quality (high caliber as I call it)! I am currently in a relationship with a man of high quality (provider, protector, and more). I think that’s been explained here several times. For women this can impact future generations!

2.Provide your offspring with knowledge about finances (how to manage your money,investing, budgeting, saving). I learned these things from my parents, who learned the hard way. They didn’t want my siblings and I to make the same mistakes they made, so they equipped us with financial knowledge.

For example my parents started a “life starting fund” for us when we were young. So that we could use that to pay for school as well as buy a home and other things. They taught us about debt management as well as how to “work the system” or use it to our advantage. I used this knowledge in several ways.

A)When I went to school I choose to have an interest free government loan instead of using the savings my parents set aside for me. I choose to collect large amounts of interest and invest the savings while in school so that I could increase the savings. I paid off my loan when I was finished school and have enough for a down payment on a home. Keep in mind I live in a city where a reasonable down payment is considered significantly over $30K.

B)I have life insurance, and I will be paying little to nothing for the rest of my life. It’s best to get it when you are young because your premium will be less and you won’t have to worry about pre-existing conditions, and paying a high rate. When you are young you can get a half a million dollar life insurance for under $100 a month (significantly less than what most young women my age spend on hair and cosmetics).

palmwater said...

Part 2:

3.Look for extra income (side hustle). I’m looking into home businesses as well as using my talents to produce a product. I’m just trying to come up with a way that the company will be automated. I don’t want to make the same mistakes Tim Ferris made when he started up is herbal medicine company.

4.Invest in property. I’m looking at getting a small unit that I could buy and then rent out to pay the mortgage. Over time I would use the generated income to buy other property and have extra money coming in. I know people whose only income is from rent and they live very well!

5.Learn a skill! I’ve been taking classes on sewing, cosmetics production, as well as natural health products. These skills will be used to build my products.

6.If you have good people that you know and are like minded, think about starting up a business with them. My mom has an Indian friend that started making flower arrangements and wedding bouquets. She’s going to teach my mom how to do that. My mom has also asked her about doing business in India, and they are both working on a business plan together. Take advantage of the information your friends have about their home countries. You can utilize that information for when you are looking to start a business.

7.Take advantage of government programs that give small business loans and tax credits and incentives for starting up a business. I always go onto the government of Canada website and sniff out loads of information (tax credits, investment ideas, you name it). I’m not sure what the US government offers in that sense, but I will be checking out the website, for business purposes.

8.One of the things that I find must be handed down to the next generation is family values (family constitution). Similar to the Kikkoman family motto. This is essential for not just surviving but dominating! Also I have been documenting my parent’s life story as well as several of my family elders. I want my offspring to have a solid foundation in their culture, histories, as well as knowledge about their ancestors. Through these video recordings and written transcripts they can learn lessons that will carry on for generations. This is important to me especially since my offspring will be of two different backgrounds. My children will not be refugees! I see some of these kids videos on youtube, and all I know is that many of them are refugees and I won’t have that for my offspring!

zindzhi said...

@Evia
Thank you for giving it a name esusu
In Haiti we call it solde .

And here is an post from a Mexican blogger I follow same concept

http://theunapologeticmexican.org/elmachete/2009/08/04/in-tough-economic-times-will-a-tanda-work-for-you/

Amazing how these things cross culture

apa said...

Khadija,

I'm a long time lurker, and I truly appreciate the wisdom you offer in your posts.

This post really resonated with me because of my current situation. Recently, one of my parents lost their "good" job, so money has been very tight. My full scholarship is the only reason I wasn't forced to work full-time this semester. I have a part-time job now, which I won't be quitting anytime soon, even if my mother finds another job.

This whole episode made me realize how vulnerable I actually am. The only assets I have in my name are the CDs I opened to save money I earned from various internships. Other than that, I have nothing. If my parents were to die today, the only thing my siblings and me would have is our house and the debt our parents left behind. Keep in mind, both of my parents have doctorates in highly technical fields, and one of them even has an M.D.

I'll definitely be reading your blog and other resources to learn how to become more financially savvy and independent.

Khadija said...

Evia,

You said, "Khadija, I'm so happy that you've outlined the path of the SOJOURNERS. I think LOTS of AA women are looking for an alternative. Info about Sojourner's Path should be made available for any AA woman to adopt. Since there are NO actual freebies in life, AA women must be willing to pay for this lifesaving and life-enhancing info. That way, the AA women who can see the value in getting on the Sojourner's Path (SP) can and should just do that and let other AAs just drift away.

This is why I don't want folks to send me links to craziness. I've rather just focus on the SP related info."


I also don't want to spend time talking about the ever-present & ever-escalating craziness among AAs. Let the dead bury the dead. Those of us who are Sojourners are moving forward.
__________________

Anonymous,

Good for you!
___________________

Lisa99,

You said, "This was in the late 1950s, and the Gordy family was AA -- not Continental African or Caribbean.

I'm sure other AAs had this mentality and did similar "esusus" back then as well. I'm wondering how we totally lost this concept."


I believe that it doesn't matter anymore how the masses of AAs lost this esusu mentality. Let the dead bury the dead. Those of us who will survive and thrive will find ways to bring esusu back into OUR personal circles of trusted people.
_______________________

Palmwater,

Thank you for your kind words about the blog; I truly appreciate it.

Thank you for your input. You've made some excellent suggestions. I'm happy that you de-lurked!
_________________________

Apa,

Thank you for your kind words about the blog; I truly appreciate it.

You said, "This post really resonated with me because of my current situation. Recently, one of my parents lost their "good" job, so money has been very tight. My full scholarship is the only reason I wasn't forced to work full-time this semester. I have a part-time job now, which I won't be quitting anytime soon, even if my mother finds another job.

This whole episode made me realize how vulnerable I actually am."


Understanding "what time it is" and one's TRUE position (vulnerabilities and all) is the first step to working toward security and freedom. You're on your way! Onward and forward!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

rainebeaux said...

Like Roslyn once did, I have to start from scratch. I do have life insurance, but the savings just started.*

*oh, and Khadija, I went through the Peak Oil blog yesterday. I clicked on a link there to find out that...*gulp* the FDIC is bankrupt.(turns out more banks went under when we weren't looking. UGH.)

I'm past the ghettocalypse at this point; I'm a tad obsessed with saving in general and for my escape.

**scrambling to find my copy of Smart Women Finish Rich**

Khadija said...

Rainebeaux,

You said, "*oh, and Khadija, I went through the Peak Oil blog yesterday. I clicked on a link there to find out that...*gulp* the FDIC is bankrupt.(turns out more banks went under when we weren't looking. UGH.)"

Yeah, I saw that. Who knows what's really up with all of that? What I DO know is that these things aren't being discussed in "mainstream" AA circles.

[Hmmm...that reminds me, maybe I'll try to research what Dr. Julianne Malveaux has been saying recently...that's a thought.]

You said, "I'm past the ghettocalypse at this point; I'm a tad obsessed with saving in general and for my escape.

**scrambling to find my copy of Smart Women Finish Rich**"


Yes, that's a good idea. I believe that all of us need to move forward with our own plans as best as possible. Outside help is NOT on the way for us. People have to look to their own survival.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

DeStouet said...

Like Roslyn, it is also my desire to leave my children with wealth. This is something that both me and my husband work fiercely to achieve, and I can assure you, we would have been half-way towards our goals, if I had not blew as much money as I had in the past.

After I had gotten married, I went spent the next five years blowing through our money because it was the very first time in my life, I-had-been-able-to-afford-anything-brand-new.

But, no matter what, it wasn't the way I was raised, so I never really felt comfortable going on shopping sprees--and the phase eventually faded out.

At the moment, we are setting our minds to three different ventures that will bring us in additional money, in addition to my husband's career. They are all pretty promising, especially if we were to remain here in Arizona for the next several years, so...

There is also a new charter school that just opened up, about two miles from my home that I'll be going to go check out tomorrow. One of the things about their curriculum that popped out at me was, the school teaches Latin in grades 2nd-6th, and Singapore Math.

I also made my daughter continue her cello lessons during the summer, when she grew tired of the instrument. (I was forcing her to practice for two hours every day) Because I know it will be beneficial to her future if she does so.

tertiaryanna said...

Khadija,

Thank you for emphasizing the need to really strategize in this area. Your willingnes to ring the alarm bells is helping to save lives.

I've been too long lax and complacent, so I'm in the process of looking for holes and patching them up, as well as making use of under-utilized resources.

Part of this includes agressively growing my emergency fund, as well as taking advantage of training offered in my community that can be used for a side-gig. Finally, I have a small skill that I can use along with the side training to start a little "lemonade stand."

Also, I am being more careful with my health, as one major factor in a personal economic catastrophe is a health crisis. Due to the disproportionate rates of obesity, heart disease and diabetes in the AA community, there is a strong risk for lost wealth due to illness. So it's a small thing, but perhaps more crunches and less cola will help me keep the money I have earned.

Khadija said...

Anna,

You're welcome!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

CW said...

1. Creating & maintaining a network which empowers Black women...i.e., I enjoy finding various resources and putting them all in one place...

2. Moving away from & ceasing support of counterproductive nonsense and dead weight

3. Be an example to young Black girls (including my own if I have one someday)...Letting my lifestyle be a testimony that one can achieve anything...You don't have to settle to be a "lesser than"...And anyone who encourages that isn't a friend indeed...

This isn't all inclusive...Still reading and digesting...

CW said...

I understand what you mean Khadija:

There is a sub-culture that always takes an element of truth and then hides the devil within it...

Here's how I interpret "One Day At A Time"

-Do what you're supposed to do

-Take inventory of what has been done...Seek appropriate counsel and like-minded folks making the necessary adjustments

-Initiate appropriate changes

-Outline a plan for tomorrow and make preparations

The "One Day At A Time" is not hoping and wishing things will get better...It's doing everything within your power during the 24hrs that God has given us...


"There's nothing to be ashamed about! LOL! Long-term planning is NOT part of AAs' modern cultural heritage. In fact, it's frowned upon. [This is yet another reason why I have an aversion to "therapy/12 step meeting talk." "One day at a time" does NOT lead you far in life. "One day at a time" is for: (1) dysfunctional people with severe and permanent deficits such as addictions; and/or (2) other people who are undergoing a TEMPORARY crisis.]"

CW said...

(Please delete if this is a duplicate...My browser was giving me trouble)

Children:


-Begin several levels of savings i.e., investment accounts (check the risk), bonds, cash value life insurance, etc...This money will be used in part to fund their (needless to say) education...My husband and I are committed to saving for some form of private schooling...

-Teach the child fiscal responsibility...Let them "earn themselves" an allowance...No one in the real world gets something for nothing...In addition, have them contribute a share to church/charity, activities and extraneous purchases...Show them how the "World Of Finance" works...Many of us, myself included will need to brush up on that! LOL...But nevertheless, we cannot rest on our laurels...The greatest gift we can give our children is helping them to become productive, functioning adults!

Khadija said...

CW,

You said, "There is a sub-culture that always takes an element of truth and then hides the devil within it..."

Yep. That's why I believe we need to carefully scrutinize the sayings that are popular among us. Most of them are extremely harmful (as used and understood by the masses of AAs).

Peace, blessings and solidarity.