Thursday, June 14, 2012

Black Wealth, White Wealth

When I was in my twenties, I admit, in my mind,I was a revolutionary. With dreadlocks falling at my shoulders, I was into all the things good revolutionaries were: poetry, 70's movies and good black literature. I also, of course, always looked for an opportunity to support a black business. So when I went into a popular black bookstore in the mall, I couldn't help but pick up a book entitled "Black Wealth, White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Inequality."

Now, that was quite some time ago, but the information I gained from that book has always stayed with me. It was the first time that I realized in order to have the success I envisioned,  I would have to seek greener pastures. Not only did the book discuss the economic policies and practices that isolated the black community from being able to capitalize in an era where America was seeing tremendous growth, but it also notated that with current inflation and other economic traps, such as mortgages and credit cards, blacks would never be financially equal to their white counterparts. Yeah, it was definitely heavy reading. But not only did I absorb it, I took it to heart.

Since moving to Ghana, I can say that I can see myself, for the first time, making steady financial gains, with new opportunities presenting themselves each day.  Living in a place where only cash is accepted and interest rates are high (16%-28%), I no longer have the option to live beyond my means. With my rent paid for the next year and a half, the only bills I have are a water bill and electric bill, which are minimal. I don't have a car note or even a cell phone bill, since cellphones are pre-pay. And, thanks to the bootleggers I can get all of my favorite American shows, so there is no reason for me to get cable. Even more fortunate for me, my cellphone rental company, only takes foreign currency so it increases my standard of living without increasing my debt.

In fact, now I understand the key to financial freedom. Now the only question I have is, "Will you be, won't you be, my neighbor?"

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