The Mentality and Economic Challenges of Black Men

1. Develop the habit of accumulating debts: The accumulation of debt involves concentrating spending on items that do not appreciate in value. Research conducted a few years ago on the spending habits of Black people in the United States showed a disproportionate number of young African Americans purchasing sneakers and leather jackets.
“Black women spend much more than white women on cosmetics, shoes, and hair care.”

2. Face economic difficulties because they do not invest: Why? African American households have a shorter financial planning horizon; they spend more of their income rather than saving it. They do not invest, and if they do, it’s irregular. And even when they save, it’s in places where they can easily access the money, not in long-term investments.

3.Additional burden for Africans who try to save: They often face pressure from their extended families to finance the education of their brothers, sisters, cousins, nephews, nieces, and sometimes even people who are not related but come from the same geographic area. They don’t practice group economics. “The buying power of Black America” was recently published by Target Market New Inc. TMN, a research group based in Chicago.

The analysis of the buying power of African Americans showed that six hundred and thirty-one billion dollars flow through the hands of Black people. This would have made African Americans the 11th richest nation in the world.
However, the Black community has made no effort to work together, join hands, and practice what Claude Anderson calls PowerNomics in his book of the same title. He argues in his book that in a capitalist society, producers, distributors, and sellers hold power over consumers. And African Americans are exactly where they were in 1860, on the eve of the Civil War.

This is solely due to chronic disunity among Black people, as predicted in Isaiah chapter 19, which also affects their ability to be a people of economic power.

Shaped by colonialism to be job seekers rather than job creators: Claude Anderson, in PowerNomics, claims that “in America, one in ten Asians is employed, one in thirty-five Whites is employed, one in fifty-four Hispanics is employed, and only one in one hundred and four Black people is employed.” On the African continent, people were by nature entrepreneurs, even if on a small scale.

4. However, colonial masters “educated” the natives and trained them to seek office jobs. One of the biggest limitations of formerly colonized nations in the Caribbean and Africa is that people have a job-seeking mentality. Primary, secondary, and tertiary education is geared toward writing impressive resumes and seeking office jobs, and as I often say, “JOB” can be an acronym for “Just Over Broke.”

The economy of this region is heavily dependent on tourism and Caribbean migrants sending money back home. This ties the population to the spending habits of others. In addition to tourism, the Caribbean economy is also fueled by the migration of people who go to other parts of the world, including the United States and Europe, to work and earn enough money to support various islands.

This phenomenon is inherently constraining and also has a direct and indirect impact; it often means that, apart from economic challenges, the entire subcontinent is exposed to other mitigating problems.

Are economically weak due to their mindset: Wealth or poverty has a lot to do with mindset. In a recent documentary on “millionaire mindset” in the UK, the mindset of millionaires sets them apart as people capable of creating and perpetuating wealth, and when they lose their wealth, they can create it again.
On the other hand, the mindset of the poor justifies poverty, sometimes using scripture to do so. The mindset of the poor lacks the discipline needed to create and perpetuate wealth. However, I believe the economic difficulties of Black people are due to the following financial mistakes:

Economically weak people:

  • Quick-get-rich schemes.
  • Ignorance of the biblical covenant of prosperity.
  • Belief in a conspiracy to keep Black people poor.
  • Believe that money is hard to earn.
  • Develop a “fruit eater” mentality rather than a “seed sower” mentality.
  • Believe that a good job is a source of prosperity.
  • Save but not smartly.
  • Use resources irresponsibly.
  • Attempt to get rich quickly.
  • Refuse generosity.
  • Cheat.
  • Refuse to try again due to past failure.
  • Invest downward instead of upward.
  • Belief that only greedy people can be blessed.
  • Attribute poverty to a lack of starting capital.
  • Cling to mythical beliefs.
  • Refuse to take risks and invest.
  • Belief that the big brother, i.e., “the government,” owes something to Black people.
  • Lead a money-centered life.
  • Excessive career engagement.
  • Addiction to investments.
  • Debt often stems from a person’s shopping compulsion, and easy credit available today allows for buying now and paying later, quickly leading to poverty. Being in debt indirectly teaches your children to follow the same path.

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

So, your child watches and sees your actions. Debt is the father of bankruptcy. When debt is not controlled, bankruptcy stares you in the face. Debt is an evil spirit with the ultimate goal of your destruction. Those who provide credit facilities prefer you to borrow because it helps the economy and their own income. The car you were supposed to buy for £25,000 may end up costing you £31,000 after four or five years.

Debtors presume they will have a job tomorrow. In today’s unstable world, this is a significant challenge. Debt makes Christians forget that they are promise keepers, so when they can’t keep their promise, they make excuses, and sometimes lies to cover their tracks. A large percentage of those who take equity from their homes often use it to pay off debts, while those who create wealth will use the equity to start a new business or buy more real estate.

You can’t truly overcome debt if you’re not realistic about your income and what you have. Imagine a man earning £12,000 and paying 25% in taxes, 7% in national insurance, and 17.5% in value-added tax on all his purchases, except for children’s clothing and a few essential items that we buy. In short, out of twelve months of income, only eight months of income remain with you. So, if you earn £12,000, what you truly have is £8,000.

Also, remember that out of the £8,000, £1,200 belongs to the Lord in the form of tithes. So, the believer is left with £6,800. Ignorance of these facts will cause debt to spread faster than any disease; it will make such a person groan every time they want to give to God because they calculate what 10%, the tithe, now means for them, forgetting that the government didn’t ask for permission before deducting its own 32% income tax and social security contributions.

Debt puts a strain on some well-intentioned couples, despite their level of income. Having purchased most of the items in their home on credit, unpaid bills haunt them like a bad dream. They walk on “buy now, pay later” carpets, drive a car under a similar arrangement, their home is mortgaged, the TV they watch is bought on credit, and they peruse catalogs and brochures from commercial companies that allow you to buy and spread the payment over several years. The result: family tensions and ongoing disputes…

This text is from the book “What’s Wrong with Being BLACK ? “written by Matthew Ashimolowo.

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