An Open Letter To The Black Community…
RE: Where Did All the Money Go?
Have you as a Black Parent ever wondered where all the household funds are going? Do you often have the sinking feeling that your children are just there to act as a vacuum cleaner [s] for Five Dollar Bills and One Dollar Bills?
This short article is designed to let you know where some of the money you give your children goes ad how it is spent. If you read onward, you will also learn how to stem some of the flow of money and turn that might financial river around and put some of those dollars back into the household and back into your pocket.
If you are a typical Low to Middle-income household in the inner city—Black family with either 2.3 children and either one parent, two parents or a guardian watching the children such as a grandparent—the children probably goes to the corner store or the neighborhood store about two or three times a week.
The typical things they might buy will include: A 16 Oz. Pepsi soda [$1.50.]; Herrs BBQ Potato Chips [Large Bag for $4.29 each]; A cheese and turkey Hoagie—[$7.49 each]; three cream-filled cupcakes from Tasty cake or Drake [one pack of 3 is $1.69]; A small bag of powered-sugar donuts [$4.78 a bag]; Tasty Cake Pie [$1.]on special.
That sounds like a lot of food for one setting, but taken over a week, a month, or a year and you get to relate to just how much this food, often called junk food, is costing the average American Black Family. If you have two or three children you can multiply some of these amounts by two or three [I will do this for you.]
An average male or female in the 8th, 9th, 10th, or 11th grade has plenty of money for snacks before and especially after school. [Now some of that money they get hold of themselves and make it honestly at a job or by doing work around the house and getting an allowance. This is where the family discussion of good and proper values comes in. One value we all need to teach our children, nieces, nephews, young cousins and grandchildren, etc., is NOT to eat so much junk food!!! But we need to come to them with facts and statistics about high blood pressure when they get older; about heart ailments when they get older; and about obesity they may be dealing with right now or when they get a bit older. This is crucial and we have to explain to our young ones the importance of listening. We also need to take the time to listen to them as well and write a hand written or typed letter to our pastors about good and better foods and nutrition and how we think our churches can help in this process. This is important and can be worked into the day late at night before you go to bed or really early in the morning before you go to work. If you don’t think this is important, just read some of the facts and figures on nutrition in the Black community and you will see what I’m talking about.
``On the Flip side, fat in the midsection is usually quite responsive to diet and exercise, and losing weight reverses the health risks,’’ from Ebony Magazine, January 1990.
I have literally seen at least one youngster with a $50. Bill and I have seen plenty of $20. Bills; $10. Bills and $5. Bills. A typical male or female child or youth might buy a hoagie, two bags of chips, or one large bag, and a soda at least twice a week. Each trip to the corner store for those three items Will cost about $13.28!! Twice a week, That’s $26,56 a week. Over a month That’s $106.24 if your child goes and gets those items… Twice a week for a month, over a year time that’s $1,274.88—One Thousand, Two Hundred and Seventy Four Dollars and Eighty Eight cents a year!! That is just for one child or youth over one year. [If You have two children or young people around the house, that’s $2,549.76.]
Money shortages in Poor or even Middle-income Black households is at the apex of the reasons for arguments, conflicts and disagreements between parents, guardians and grandparents and children, teen or young adults. There just never seems to be enough money, especially during the hard times of high unemployment and the flood of foreign-made goods [including large and expensive items such as cars] coming into the U.S. economy that we are currently faced with.
Many heads of Poor Black Families think if they could just win the lottery or get that windfall or make a big gain in some other way, such as a stock option, they would really be living the high life. Everything would be fine.
But the control is actually in the parents and the children’s hands each week or every other week or every month when the get paid and the money comes in.
The Parent—with a little knowledge and community or church education—can make some badly-needed change that can have a significant, lasting, and positive impact on Black families and eventually whole Black Communities!!!
If a parent; grandparent or guardian sits down with the children He or She has responsibility for the parent can take the positive opportunity to take Positive action and change the situation. Parents can put the fattening hoagies, chips and sodas down and make other choices. Such foods as sodas, cakes and hoagies are not healthy at all and have real and present links to diabetes, obesity heart disease and high blood pressure. They contain a high level of unhealthy saturated fat, salt, sugar and corn syrup—all foods and chemicals linked to health difficulties. Coupled with a sedentary lifestyle and a lack of positive physical activity such as exercise, this becomes a great danger to our Black Families.
A grandparent, Mom or Dad can help the child or youngster by instructing them to take slices of cucumber, celery, radishes and carrots to school in a plastic container. The child can take a small container of hummus or Balsamic vinegar to school with the fresh vegetables and have a really healthy snack instead of all that fat, salt and sugar that can threaten life lines, especially later in life. The child can take a bottle of Spring Water pre-bought from the super market or just cool tap water. This will save more than half that $1,274.99 a year!!