According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, two definitions of illiterate are: having little or no education; unable to read or write and showing or marked by a lack of acquaintance with the fundamentals of a particular field of knowledge
To some degree or another, Black Americans are born into a legacy of financial illiteracy. This is due largely to three factors: 1) The legacy of slavery which stripped Blacks of many of its economic traditions from Africa and the Caribbean and which was marked by efforts to keep Blacks from reading 2) Special efforts to keep blacks away from schooling in the fields of business and finance 3) The lack of financial and economic education available in the American public school system, which results in individuals of all colors graduating from high school without knowing how to read the business section of a newspaper, balance a checkbook, pay taxes, or become familiar with financial statements necessary for proper accounting in business and 4) The disproportionate acquaintance of Black Americans with poverty which yields less available role models of financial success – on the individual and institutional level.
The result is a unique form of financial illiteracy not experienced by any other people, but one in which promising signs of progress have materialized in recent years due to educational efforts and successful public and private partnerships.
An individual who is financially illiterate can be deceived by the many get-rich quick and something-for-nothing schemes, as well as the fine print, and numerous traps that await us all disguised as wealth creation programs. Knowledge and the proper understanding of it are the keys to not falling for these pitfalls while engaging the world of financial services. A primary goal of the Black Banking Initiative is to provide access to financial information to our participants. Our sincere hope is that you will use that knowledge to make sound and informed financial decisions. Financial literacy is an absolute if one desires an enhanced quality of life and wealth accumulation. We realize that there will be participants with varying levels of financial knowledge, and we will work diligently to ensure that we present a good balance of information that can be beneficial to all of our visitors.
Please find below a collection of links that will empower you to become financially literate at the highest level. We have developed this list independently in addition to drawing from Kelvin E. Boston’s Financial Success Resource Guide from Who’s Afraid To Be A Millionaire?: Mastering Financial and Emotional Success.
Financial Literacy Links: