CWR Building Wealth – Martin, Marches, Money and More
By Gil Michel, MBA, CPA
As we embark upon Black History Month I think its important to note that the Civil Rights Movement’s most beloved son’s last message was one that focused a great deal on the subject of economics. Indeed, Dr. King was in Memphis to lend support to the unfair conditions that were being face by the city’s trash collectors. In essence, Dr. King saw that the “fight” included a fair economic playing ground if social justice was ever going to be realized.
In many inner cities like Detroit, MI, Gary, IN and others where unemployment is steadily rising, the cry seems to be that of unfairness since joblessness is overwhelmingly higher in the African-American community. Studies of systematic racism, and generational poverty appear to be almost impossible to refute, and if not checked, an attitude of despair can seem justified.
But what would be the sentiment of forerunners like Dr. King, Marcus Garvey, Booker T, Washington, and W.E.B. Dubois? What would be the answer to the financial ails that loom over the Black community? Overwhelmingly, I believe that there would be a unified voice that would encourage the Black community to create their own jobs where there are none currently. Why do I say this? Well, let’s look at the facts:
- College-Educated Blacks Still Have Higher Unemployment Rates
- Black Unemployment Is Double The Rate Of White Unemployment
- Unemployment Statistics Don’t Count The 2.3 Million People In Jail
- In Certain Cities, Minority Unemployment Is Hitting Crisis Levels
When backed into a similar corner, ingenuity was the characteristic that rose to the top. When Blacks found themselves facing substandard conditions right after slavery ended, “Black Wall Street” was formed in Tulsa, OK. That economic thrust created enormous wealth and proved that a thriving model could be used to revitalize areas that were thought to become ghettos.
Within the womb of some the most blighted neighborhoods reside some of the worlds most innovative minds; the most creative entrepreneurs, and the most relentless visionaries. What the Black community must figure, though, is how do we intend to make certain that they get their chance to flourish?
My hope is that we create a space to allow entrepreneurs to become within our communities. It is only then that we will see endless opportunities unfold like “streams in the desert”. So, let’s allow the drum majors for economic reform to lead us into a new era. They may know exactly where to take us.
About Gil Michel: Gil Michel is a CPA and financial planning expert, and is the CEO and President of The Caleb Group, Inc., a small business solutions firm. Gil’s experience has evolved from working in top ten CPA firms to working one-on-one with small business owners in developing realistic budgets to create wealth for their families. Gil’s Caleb Group is the parent company of BlackMoneyMatters.com, an interactive website that seeks to educate, inform, and enlighten the Black community in areas of financial health. Currently Gil is featured on Sheridan Gospel Network’s The Light, which is syndicated in 56 radio stations/48 cities across the United States. In addition, Gil is also featured on The Good Life Radio broadcast financial segment every week in a feature called “Stacking Paper.” Gil’s passion to see urban cities turned around in the next 10 years inspired him to form TACTT, Inc. (www.tactt.org) in 2003 (Teens Achieving Community Through Training). TACTT is a financial literacy program that empowers teens in the five areas of entrepreneurship, real estate, banking/personal finance, investing, and positive life skills.