Tips for Black Financial Empowerment

“The most dangerous of all dependencies is depending on your powerful oppressor to free you and share power with you, because the powerful never train the powerless to take power away.”

John Henrik Clarke


The above quote from one of the giants of Afrocentric thought, the late John Henrik Clarke, speaks to the reality of current power relations between Caucasians and Africans. Let us amend this quote in light of the theme of this document, the financial empowerment of blacks.

“The most dangerous of all dependencies is depending on your rich oppressor to free you and share the wealth with you, because rich people (and nations) never train poor people (and nations) to take away their wealth.”

John Henrik Clarke adapted by Paul Ifayomi Grant

The people of Afrikan need to come out of our ‘waking coma’ in shock and face the harsh realities of the world in which we find ourselves. Nobody but us is going to change our unfortunate economic situation. This is a fiercely competitive world in which different groups compete with each other, while many of us are locked in an individualistic fantasy; thinking that success is a purely individual pursuit. Group identity, solidarity, trust, cooperation and responsibility provide the platform for people to achieve economic success. This is why Africans are at the bottom of the economic pile wherever we live, despite the Oprahs, Bob Johnsons, athletes, artists, etc.


o Buy Black (Where Possible) – Go through your shopping list and see how much spending you can transfer to a black-owned business.

o Learn about the ‘Local Multiplier Effect’ – do a search on the New Economics Foundation website, where you can find out how to fill in the gaps in our economic cube.

o Go shopping with a list: 70% of purchases are spontaneous.

o Create a family budget and review it regularly.

o Stop and count to 20 before making a spontaneous purchase – visualize your bank balance decreasing as money leaves your account.

o Understand the difference between wealth and income: high income and wealth are not necessarily synonymous. A basic definition is that wealth = assets – liabilities

o Learn more about the concept of ‘residual income’

o Change your mortgage provider, utility provider, etc. regularly to get the best deal – most people are more likely to get divorced than to switch mortgage providers

o Save for a hurricane, not just a rainy day

o Balance your investments between high, medium, and low-risk investments: For a 35-year-old, the balance should be approximately 35: 35: 30. As you age, your investment balance should move toward a higher ratio of investments of lower risk.

o Read books, websites, etc. It will teach you about financial literacy and economic relationships between different groups of people.

o Teach your children about financial literacy: open a savings account (with high interest) as soon as they are born. Encourage them to save most of their pocket money. If you can afford it, match what they saved at the end of the year. Discuss your household budget with your children (when they are old enough) so they understand that there is not an unlimited supply of money from the hole in the wall.

o Do not accumulate debt by buying depreciating assets, for example, cars, electronic equipment, designer clothes, etc.

o Participate in some form of collective financial investment, for example, Pardner, ABDF Ltd (, credit union, etc.

o Give money regularly to good causes that empower African people.

o Remember, the economy is as much a game for us as it is for me, meaning groups that invest in their own communities are financially strong.

o Financial charity starts Black at home!

o Think black, buy black, so black gets on the road!

Recommended reading: BluePrint for Black Power by Amos Wilson, Black Economics by Jawanza Kunjufu, Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter, Think and Grow Rich a Black Choice by Dennis Kimbro and Napoleon Hill, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa by Walter Rodney, Claude Anderson’s Powernomics,

6242 (September 2006) Kemetic Calendar

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