<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=730207053839709&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Skip to the main content.

2 min read

Breaking the Bank: Unpacking Financial Trauma in the Black Community

Breaking the Bank: Unpacking Financial Trauma in the Black Community

Pearll Warren Headshot-1Guest blog by Pearll Warren, Financial Coaching Manager

 

In a world where money talks, financial trauma in the Black community often shouts the loudest. From systemic inequalities to historical injustices, the piggy bank of Black individuals has taken more than its fair share of hits. The lack of financial literacy has held the greatest impact on the Black dollar. 

 

Piggy bank on a table with coins scattered around it.Picture this: a family tree with more knots than a tangled set of earphones. Where is the generational wealth? It’s more like generational stealth, as it seems to vanish quicker than you can say "compound interest." The cycle of financial trauma can be extremely hard to break. 

 

This has not always been epidemic amongst Black Americans. We can look back on the establishment of Black Wall Street, as the Tulsa, Oklahoma Black business district was called. This development of cooperative economics existed in other states throughout the U.S. However, Tulsa received the greatest publicity around its destruction in 1921, a little over a century ago.

 

Black Wall Street_Tulsa OklahomaBlack Wall Street, Tulsa, OK

The bitter sludge from this destruction traumatized the Black community, which suffered dire consequences for building self-sufficiency. It has left a stain on the membrane of Black America. Once you have a plague of violence that spreads amongst a generation of people, the fear of rebuilding for fear of further destruction lives out loud. 

 

At the intersection of race and finance, the road is bumpier than a pothole-ridden street. Redlining, predatory lending, and wage gaps play a game of Monopoly where the rules are rigged, and the odds are never in favor of Black Americans. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Recognizing the systemic patterns around the disenfranchisement of Black Americans is the first step to breaking the cycle. At Twin Cities Habitat, we're turning the tables, flipping the script, and showing the community that "financial literacy" is not just a buzzword—it's a lifeline.

 

Face behind a fan of dollar bills.

We work to undo these disenfranchisement patterns, recognize cultural disparities, and close the homeownership gap. Our Special Purpose Credit program places a great deal of emphasis on culturally specific financial education to dismantle these barriers of underachievement due to the lack of financial knowledge. And we know that the work doesn’t stop there; this is just the beginning, and all parties can add their pieces to this puzzle. Collective efficacy is the key to sustaining programs that will increase the results and disrupt generational deficits. 

 

When it comes to financial trauma in the Black community, it's time to rebalance the books. So, grab your calculators, sharpen your pencils, and rewrite the narrative with us because we know this is something that can definitely be accomplished.  Support the financial literacy and education that will remove the stain of financial trauma and disrupt this unnecessary cycle—for good.

Answering the Call to Build Community

Answering the Call to Build Community

"Habitat needs to show up differently in community." That’s what Shereese Turner said when she joined Twin Cities Habitat to lead Programs & Services...

Read More
Creating Multigenerational Homeownership

Creating Multigenerational Homeownership

Homeownership has long been considered a foundation for success, and for good reason.

Read More
The Path to Homeownership: Employment Requirements for A Mortgage

The Path to Homeownership: Employment Requirements for A Mortgage

If you're beginning the journey of buying your first home, it is critical to have an understanding of employment requirements to be eligible for a...

Read More