In these tough financial times, Black mothers need to remember their strengths.
Kimberly Seals Allers: One of my dearest friends, a new mom of a six-month-old baby, and her husband are severely struggling financially. They relocated thousands of miles for a job offer that disappeared soon after they packed up their life and moved cross-country. She was determined to not go back. They ended up staying with friends and sometimes in separate homes while he struggled to find work, and she tried to stay home with the baby as long as possible.
As we chatted over coffee last week about how this recession is taking its toll, I reminded her and myself that if anyone knows how to make it out of a recession, it's Black people. We are notorious for making a way out of no way. Heck, most of our history has been a downturn, and even when times were good, our people never really fully participated in the upswing. Trickle-down economics never did really trickle all the way down, now did it?
And if there's one hope for pulling our Black families through this depression, it's Black women. It's us as mothers. Years ago, when our men went north to escape Jim Crow and find work, we held it down at home. We taught in schools, tended shops, shared food, and raised other people's kids when we had to. My granny was one of those women.
It's no wonder Black women start their own businesses at a faster rate than any other ethnic group -- we have always held it down for our families. We have always worked to secure our family's financial future. This is one of the things that really struck me while I was interviewing women for my latest book, The Mocha Manual to Turning Your Passion into Profit. The truth is, our men don't always have the same job stability or access to other opportunities that others may have. Historically, economists say Black families suffer worse during recessions. But we do what we gotta do to keep our families afloat. We make it happen.
If you too are struggling with your family or your finances at this time, I'm reminding all Black mothers to remember what we're made of, what our ancestors pulled us out of, and to tap into all of your creative talents and resources to keep your family together.
I say to you, as I told my teary-eyed girlfriend, "You and your husband stick together and have each other's back. This too shall pass. This too shall pass."
|Kimberly Seals Allers is an award-winning business journalist and founder and editor-in-chief of MochaManual.com, a weekly online magazine for moms of color. She is the author of "The Mocha Manual to a Fabulous Pregnancy" and "The Mocha Manual to Turning Your Passion into Profit." Kimberly is a divorcing mother of two and lives on Long Island, NY.|