June 27, 2018 by Administrator
Financial Freedom, Our Only Hope
Hey there dfree® Family,
Welcome back to Tamika Talks!, my monthly check-in where you’ll get my thoughts on free and full living, of course from a dfree® perspective!
It feels like I just finished last month’s message, but the reality is, it’s been a busy 30 or so days. We launched our dfree® Young Money initiative, announced our dfree® Homecoming Conference, and took our talents on the road from cities as near as Washington, DC and as far as Rock Hill, South Carolina. But in all of this busyness, the business of dfree® remains the same…helping to transform lives through values-based principals and basic financial insights – changing hearts, minds, and behaviors in order to achieve financial freedom!
But June is special. It’s Black Music Month. It’s the official start of Summer. And for many students and teachers, some special day in June will mark the last day of school.
However, this year, more so than any other, June hit me in an interesting place. Particularly on the not-so-celebrated (at least nationally, well you get what I’m trying to say) holiday of Juneteenth.
According to Wikipedia, “Juneteenth, an American holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. state of Texas, and more generally the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans throughout the former Confederacy of the southern United States….
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, with an effective date of January 1, 1863. It declared that all enslaved persons in the Confederate States of America in rebellion and not in Union hands were to be freed. This excluded the five states known later as border states, which were the four “slave states” not in rebellion—Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, and Missouri—and those counties of Virginia soon to form the state of West Virginia, and also the three zones under Union occupation: the state of Tennessee, lower Louisiana, and Southeast Virginia.
More isolated geographically, Texas was not a battleground, and thus the people held there as slaves were not affected by the Emancipation Proclamation unless they escaped.” (Source: Wikipedia)
It saddens me to think that while many of us were leaving the fields (or at least working them while dreaming of leaving) in hopes of a better life as newly-freed people, our brothers and sisters in Texas were the last to know.
So when this year’s Juneteenth celebrations (or social media postings) ensued, I couldn’t help but think about my work with dfree®. It reminded me that the more we travel and the further we go, the more often we find that so many of our people are still “the last to know” about even the simplest facets of personal finance, let alone the broader economic and financial systems at play around them.
It pains me to think that in the age of Google, social media, access to education (free, public, and higher ed…Hey Sallie Mae, le sigh), upward mobility, increasing Black spending power, big cars, Mc-mansions, “Travel Noir,” and all that…most of us are still in the dark! We are succumbing to a form of, in many cases, self-selecting slavery that promises to keep us just like the folks in Texas on June 19, 1865…bound.
Through advancements of law, it is no longer legal to enslave or discriminate against us because of our color or race, but exclusionary economic measures and financial ineptitude are doing just as much damage to us today, as chattel slavery did to us in the past. The challenge is, this time, many of us are doing the damage to ourselves. Excessive reliance on credit/debt, poor management of our monthly resources, daily habits of mindless spending, and disregard of wealth generating/legacy building tools combine to put a proverbial noose around our necks, and the bleeding runs from generation to generation. We are dying a fast, financial death and we won’t get any better until we realize that we are truly, “the last to know.”
While it’s rare that I leave you all on a note of doom and gloom, I’m troubled, still. Days after Juneteenth, just days after our last dfree® event, just days away from the next, I’m a bit paralyzed.
Our goal at dfree® is to eventually put ourselves out of business. We want for our people to get better, stronger, and so financially sound that we no longer need to travel the globe training leaders, spend hours creating new content, and committing months to build new digital platforms to help people get out of debt.
But Summer’s here, the credit cards are out, and the Fourth of July outfits are being planned (oh, the irony). In fact, I even saw a woman TODAY buying school clothes for next year. We are preparing to vacation to far off places, luxuriate at the spas, beaches, brunches, day parties, and nightclubs, with new hair, flawless nails, fly kicks, and shiny rides. For what? For how long? Until when?
Jay-Z said it best on 4:44 last year, “Financial Freedom our only hope…[forget] living rich and dying broke.”
With that, my prayer is that we think twice about our moves this summer. May we store up a little for later, plan for the future and not just the weekend, and use the free time and sunshine to envision a brighter future for ourselves and those coming after us.
I love you all for reading. I’ll love you more for taking the next steps on your Journey to Financial Freedom™.
Cheers to a prosperous, purposeful, and positive Summer.
Big hugs and best wishes,
TS…The Free Black Girl (Black Power Fist Up)
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