5 Reasons Why Black People Are Still Broke

5 Reasons Why Black People Are Still Broke

Change needs to come.
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According to statistics from The State of Working America, African Americans made up about 12 percent of the population in the United States in 2015. They are also among the poorest races, with 27.5 percent of them living in poverty.

What's even more disturbing is that 45.6 percent of black children aged 6 and under live in poverty.

Essentially every other black kindergarten student is living in a home where the income is below what the government sees as necessary to live. Unfortunately, this trend continues for generations of black people and I believe that I know five important reasons as to why this race is so impoverished.

1. Black people spend more money than they make.

African Americans over the age of 18 make up 39 percent of Master Card holders. Of that 39 percent, many spend their limit monthly and seldom have the money to pay the balance in full at the end of the month. Essentially black people are spending money that they don't have and won't have at the end of the month. This trend of building never-ending debt is partially why their poverty numbers are so high.

2. Black people don't support black businesses.

Every race with the exception of black people seems to support the businesses of their own. Being an entrepreneur is one of the most popular ways to make high residual income. Black people buy products from brands such as Jordan, Louis Vuitton, and Ralph Lauren at an alarming rate.

The prices of these brands are very expensive, however, those same black people would cringe at the thought of paying $20 for a black-owned clothing product saying, "It's too expensive."

The question here would be is the product too expensive or not "renowned enough?"

3. Black people don't save their money.

As soon as black people get a huge chunk of money or their tax refund it appears that they all flock to the nearest high-end fashion spot to splurge. Seldom do black people save their funds or invest them into things that will last or that could make them more money down the line.

According to The State of Working America, black people spend 4 percent more money annually than any other race despite the fact that they are the least represented race and the race that lives in poverty at the highest rate. There's a clear problem, so read that sentence again and let it marinate.

4. Black people don't know how to invest.

If you ask many black people aged 18-25 it should not come as a surprise that investing in stocks or buying bonds is a foreign concept. Many young black people work and spend their money on items that either decrease in value after being bought or are not sustainable. Cars and sneakers are prime examples of such things.

5. Black people aren't working toward getting out of poverty.

Even after reading this article there are many black people that will not work towards changing their situation. After centuries of slavery, black people must realize that they are behind with regards to having generational wealth.

Black people must fight to create the wealth where they will have trust funds for their children or wealth that can be passed down. Too many black people tend to only worry about themselves and the money that they have in the moment. As a race, black people need to build for the future and get out of that mindset of the now.

Wealth is not everything, however, it has been proven that with it, you get better educational opportunities and a better environment for children to develop and go on to become well-functioning members of society. There are the Jay-Z's and P. Diddy's of the world but they are far and few in comparison with how most black people live.

Change needs to come, black people, this is something we have control over so no more excuses.

Image Credit: Quora

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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7 Basic Essentials For Your First Summer And Fall Term At UF

I definitely wish I brought these things to campus for my first term at the University of Florida.

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Congratulations and welcome to the Swamp! If you haven't heard yet, it is very swampy here, especially in the late summer and early fall months. I thought South Florida was humid, sticky, and rainy; and Gainesville has all of these qualities, but amplified. However, it can also be pretty chilly in the early winter months. Here are a few essentials you will need to avoid looking out of place (like I did) and clueless during your first semester.

1. Rain Jacket

Patagonia

While this may seem obvious, do not forget to bring a rain jacket. What is even more important is that you don't skimp out on a rain coat. While it may seem ridiculous to spend more than $25-$50 on a rain coat, do it. I took the cheap route and ended up having to buy another, more durable, jacket. You also will want one that extends past your torso a bit and has a hood that actually fits your head. You definitely want a hood that stays put when you are running from class to class in the pouring Gainesville summer storms.

2. An Umbrella

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Another obvious pick, but bring an umbrella. I thought my rain coat would be enough, but boy I was mistaken. Also, just like the rain coat, make sure your umbrella is big enough to cover both you and your backpack. My umbrella has been one of my biggest saviors when it comes to hustling across campus in the pouring rain.

3. Water Resistant Backpack

Carhartt

While this one may not seem very important, I assure you that your papers and technology will thank you. Because I live off campus, I have to take the bus to and from school. Of course, there are rainy days when you have to walk from your stop to your apartment, dorm, or class. A water-resistant backpack will keep your tech safe from rain. I don't suggest buying a fully waterproof backpack unless you are planning on throwing your backpack in Lake Alice.

4. Good Walking Shoes

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I wish I spent more of my freshman year walking in proper sneakers rather than in Birkenstocks and socks. Campus is big, and I mean really big. I would often walk about 5 or 6 miles in my first two semesters on campus when I took traditional on-campus classes. Definitely get a nice pair that you can wear for those long days on campus, your feet will thank you years from now.

5. Rain Boots Or Water Resistant Shoes

Madewell

I wish I would have brought some rain boots to campus for my summer term at the University of Florida. It rains almost everyday in the summer at least for 20 minutes. I made the mistake of not investing in a pair of rain boots and ended up ruining my pair of running shoes, at least cosmetically. Shoes are hard to wash, so get some rain boots!

6. Reusable Water Bottle

Hydro Flask

If you haven't gathered this, it is very hot in Gainesville, Florida. I am from South Florida where at least the sea breeze cooled us down a bit. However, Gainesville is landlocked which means the air doesn't move much unless there is a significant breeze in the forecast. The climate is unforgiving for those who aren't properly hydrated. Bring a reusable water bottle to campus because it keeps your water colder and you also have access to refill stations at various locations across campus.

7. Scooter, Bike, Or Skateboard

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As mentioned previously, campus is big. You will most definitely want to bring a quicker mode of transportation to campus. My preferred method is biking because scooters, "scoots" as they are more lovingly called, are dangerous; and campus isn't very skateboard-friendly. Sometimes we get caught up in things and only have a few minutes to trek across campus. Bring something that allows you to travel quickly across campus, your attendance grades will thrive.

Disclaimer: I am not endorsing any of the above products.

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