Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Black in America Special - Almighty Debt tonight on CNN


CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien’s latest Black in America special Almighty Debt is premiering Thursday, October 21st at 9p ET & PT.  I had borderline been ignoring this until the publicity department of CNN sent me a reminder and clips in case I wanted to post on it. A part of me is leaning towards irritated that the debt show has to be a Black in America special. There are no other races in debt? Unemployed? Underemployed? And based on the last two Black in America specials - will this one offer solutions or just a lot of "woe is me, what is I gonna do, we so sad" stories? I hope not. Anyway, these debt stories are centered around the role that the Black Church plays. 


A brief synopsis:

Every leading indicator – unemployment, income, wealth, educational attainment, homeownership and foreclosures – demonstrates that the African-American financial foundation is crumbling at rates that are comparatively worse than other segments of the U.S. population. Reported by anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien, and told through experiences of members of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in New Jersey, this special explores how one church is helping its 7,000 parishioners survive the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Rev. Dr. DeForest Soaries believes ‘debt is the new slavery’. 

His church’s community development corporation struggles to help desperate homeowners save their homes from foreclosure. The youth ministry helps a high school student struggling to get into college, but also towards student loan debt. Another church member is a former Vice President at a large insurance brokerage firm who was laid off four days before his 58th birthday. Today he is competing with a sea of younger men and women to find employment. See inside one church as the pastor and his members worship together, and struggle to meet new challenges. Following the documentary, a dynamic town hall discussion moderated by O’Brien will feature Rev. Soaries, the Chief Pastor of The Potter's House Rev. T.D. Jakes, clinical social worker and public relations executive Terrie Williams, syndicated columnist Michelle Singletary and political pollster Cornell Belcher.

Who is going to watch? What do we think about debt as "slavery"? How has the economic downturn affected you? 

71 comments:

michaeldavis said...

Not trying to lecture here, but this touched a nerve with me. Especially after seeing the clips. It mostly sounds like a bunch of tales of woe, that we already know since we have experienced it personally or through a friend/relative/etc.

I will pass. What we need in our communities (of all colors) is action. I can't even watch CNN in my place because I don't have cable. Savings : $100 per month. I got the highest-speed DSL service and watch what I want on stream, netflix is $10 per month. All cable does is make you sit on the couch, and I do that too much already.

This is a cliche, but those folks that focus solely on history and don't evolve will find themselves in the same jacked-up place. What I have done is focused my new networking and relationships with good mentors and advice. In addition I'm linking up with people who are fiscally responsible and we share info. Example: An FB friend and I shared an interest about stocks, investing etc. He showed me a Dave Ramsey YouTube video which basically showed that if you save $400-500/month you can make yourself a millionaire with conservative mutual fund investing. I knew that already, but the video reminded me what I need to be doing.

In 14 glorious months, I will be debt-free (never thought I would be able to say that)! I don't feel like I need a house, but if (and it's a big IF) I buy one I am putting at least 1/2 down or buying outright.

I messed up a lot. I wish I never bought brand new luxury cars in my 20s (TWICE! SMH). But I'm on the right track now - and I'm not going back.

The_A said...

I did not and do not plan to watch. The last two specials were total disappointments. Soledad & CNN do not seem to be clear on who their audience is for this series. Is the purpose to educate and enlighten those who are not black or to prompt a discussion among blacks?

It seems marketed to blacks but the stories are told as if educating people who are unfamiliar with black people. The basic discussion for blacks is yes, that might true but 1. who didn't know that and 2. that isn't just a black thing

I haven't seen or heard of any other group paying any attention to this series.

CaliGirlED said...

AMEN and thank you!!!

Uglyblackjohn said...

Damn... I wish I had read this post earlier - I would have caught the show.
I have a cousin who works on the inside for one of the pastors on the panel.
Judging by his spending habits and his "Name it and Claim it" teachings, I would say that the Black churches which teach this philosphy are as much to blame as anyone else.
Far too many Black churches focus on the message of receiving blessings but too few preach about being a blessing to others.

CorettaJG said...

I probably won't watch. I don't think it is a uniquely AA problem, it's an American problem and everybody could stand to get educated and learn solutions. I hope CNN/Soledad makes that point. However, I applaud churches and any other organization helping people get a financial education. We generally don't do that enough and the church certainly should do its part to help. And, while I believe we should be prosperous, I don’t think a ministry that focuses on people getting more money and material things is the answer, especially when people need help with Christian-living. I had to leave a church where the pastor was doing all these messages on getting more stuff while I sat there with my marriage crumbling around me.

While my parents taught me about balancing a check book and saving, I really did not learn about investing, buying a home, starting a business until much later. I have a large amount of debt from law school. I pay my bills and live within my means and I give my tithes and offerings cheerfully to ministries that are bearing good fruit. For example, my home church in Baton Rouge is in the 'hood and reaches the people where they need it whether it's the food bank, clothing, substance abuse counseling, family counseling, Christian-living, summer camps, missions etc. I'm not giving because a pastor told me to, I do it because I believe what the Word says about tithing. I know I’m planting my seed in good ground and know I have been blessed as a direct result. I don't believe that most pastors out there are getting rich on their flock. There are certainly some who give ministers a bad name and they will (and should) be held accountable, but there are few pastors in a position to do this outlandish spending thing even if they wanted to.

Evansaw said...

That saying is not from the bible, and it is most misreferenced quote I know of. It is widely attributed to Benjamin Franklin, but I have also heard it came from Algernon Sidney and Aesop. Not to distract from the topic, I thought people should know so they will stop saying this is in the bible. It is not.

Evansaw said...

Preach. Debt is relative in that everyone is struggling right now, regardless of color. It is a form of slavery, but it is slavery that affects everyone right now, regardless of race or economic background. The problem is, we learn how to spend money from a young age, but no one is really educating kids on how to manage that money, and as a consequence, we have 21 year olds 20, 30, 40, thousand in debt by graduation from college. We have to think of this as a universal problem, or this country is never going to bounce back from this economic crisis.

michaeldavis said...

^^^ THIS!!!

Puchimoochi said...

Here CNN goes again with this Black in America mess again. Thanks for pointing us out to masses and letting them know our lives suck.

I wont be watching. Its not that we are the only race who is suffering from financial problems.

OneChele said...

It's going to be on a few more times this weekend.

GammasWorld said...

Part Two - I didn't watch but my timeline on Twitter was 95% fail -- let me rephrase that -- big azz fail.

GammasWorld said...

I'll be DVRing the show (gots to watch Project Runway and all). I'm torn on the focus on Black America. Like Nadette wrote, this recession has hit Black America H-A-R-D but for every Black friend that's been hit hard I have the same amount of not more White friends who are suffering just as bad. From a personal standpoint, my recession started with a layoff in '07 - found work after 7 months but at significantly reduced income. That position was eliminated after a year and I was fortunate enough to find the job from hell for 8 months then landed current position. Salary is no where near what it was and I don't expect it to be until I can figure out a side gig.

Yes, I do think debt is slavery -- now that's it harder for me to pay :). That 15 year mortgage I signed with previous salary made all the sense in the world at the time but if I'd known my salary was going to be cut as much I sure as hell would've gone on with that 30. I wasn't exactly living above my means, I was comfortable but comfortable with x amount of dollars becomes struggle with the quickness when x is divided almost in half :(.

A lot of those laid off with me were in that 40+ category (lots in that 50-55 range) so ageism is an added obstacle we're dealing with. I still have people that got laid off with me asking me to keep them in mind. They've held on by temping and PT gigs to eat after severance and savings were run through.

I've become a lot less judgmental about folk with this recession. It's affected my MBA buddies just as much as my high school grads or GED people. Y'all younguns who have managed to eliminate or not have any debt -- props to you. But a lot of us have debt not because we were careless or bad money managers. Some of if has just happened as a result of circumstances due to no fault of ours. I don't know a lot of people that have 2-3 years of living expenses in reserve and that's unfortunately been the reality in my neck of the woods. Outsourcing has hurt our community really bad and we're just now beginning to see a turn.

Imma leave now.

p.s. I'm all up in the Dave now -- I don't want to owe no got dam body again -- EVER.

maureen palmer said...

Here is what makes sad, everysingle time I look at our company's 10k our CEO is making over $2.5 million before his stock option, after stock options he is above the $5M mark. Yet, a doctor is making $ 45k and working 100 hours, you can best believe my boss will be at some golf enjoying the perks. He works hard to move the company in the right direction, but @ $2.5M seriously.
If the republican do not reverse the financial reform the adminstration passed, I believe relief is on the way. from the part i read, these loans will be at a much lower rate b/c they eliminated the middle man.

maureen palmer said...

I wish the approach to the show would have been a little different, debt will slave black, brown and white. Granted, unemployment is higher in the AA community, but this recession left a lot of people in the dark. Not to change topic, but this is why we need folk to come out and vote on 11/2. Wall street has to be reformed b/c what those guys did with morgages was despicable and now Fanny and Freddy are left hanging on the hook at the tax payers mercy.

Circling back to the topic, I believe CNN is doing their best to shed light on the communities that are underserved, but this is not going to reach and make the changes it ought to make. I have alway said , we need to start teaching our kids money mgmt in high school, as matter of fact grade school. I have heard people call on Michael Baisden and confess on having on over $10k debt and this not school fees related.

maureen palmer said...

I was at community event ( all hands on deck) in the D.C area and that time the likes of Pastor Long were coming for a hearing at the Congress; violating their tax exempt status. A lady in the audience stood up and said why do we question the likes of Long and T.D Jakes who are actually doing good in their communities but we don't question the drug dealers around the block in their 20 inch high? I say this to say, we have all the power within us to make the change we want to see instead of pointing fingers. I have a friend in baltimore who could not afford lights at her place but tithed religiously. I referred to that section in the Bible that says God help those who help themselve.

sunshine97 said...

I hear a lot of people saying things like "stop doing that which got you into debt"..it's not just credit card and bad money management that put people in debt. A lot of Americans(not just African Americans) are up to their ears in medical debt...it just takes one illness,one major surgery or serious diagnosis to find yourself deep in debt.

MariSol said...

I saw the writing on the wall as heads started rolling at work. I paid off my car and my credit cards and moved to a smaller rental. Sure enough, they made it around to my department and I had the option to job share (take a 50% pay cut) or a lay-off package. I took the pay cut. It's been tight and I had to cut a lot of extras but last week they restored those of us that stayed to full pay. Many that took the package are still looking.

So there's my story. Not sure I'm going to watch this though.

thinklikeRiley said...

What de eff is CNN gonna tell me that I don't know. Folks iz po. Times iz hard. Jobs iz scarce. Church gonna pray about it. And black folks on dat struggle. I know. I'm living it. Come interview me and I'll tell it to you straight.
Riley out.

mojitochica said...

I'm not watching. I'm not interested in what CNN has to say about black folks. As for debt as slavery, WTF? Seeing as bankruptcy is an option to continually escape debt, no. On the economic downturn, I was unemployed last year for 6 months. I am an student of Suze Orman that took it to the next level. I've made sure we could pay all our bills on half of my husband's salary since 2007 with the rest going to savings, so we were fine. We are also debt free save for the mortgage. We also don't have kids which admittedly makes things a lot easier.

Only the Tall said...

Exactly! I'm tired of all the bashing. Debt knows no color. I read books about money management and follow a lot of the advice that I read. I still have debt to pay, not a lot, but I know for sure that how I spend money is more important that how I make money. To me it's about what you deem important in your life.

MidWestDominicana said...

The point I was making was that CNN is choosing to generalize the entire community with their "Black in America" series. Too much of the media has ran along with the idea that "all us po black folk are justa strugglin and scratchin to make it thru".
There is not enough representation (outside of entertainment) of the other side of life in this community. We are a vibrant people just like any other group that has something to offer.
The dynamic is that they are targeting the sensational side of the story to get viewers. Media isn't about telling the truth, it's about viewership and ratings.
My comments were not a suggestion to ignore the issues that we face, but why have the last two series been about the ills without offering solutions or the view of the other side of what life is like within our community?
I feel like what my mother says..if you're going to talk about me, then at least tell the truth. If CNN is going to feature "us" then they could at least make an effort to cover all the ground. What about the happily married black couples who are raising healthy, well-adapted, well-behaved children? What about the happy single black women who are thriving in life and don't "need" to get married yesterday? What about the hard working black men who are intellectually stellar and are active in their communities and aren't fitting the statistics of prision or drop outs, etc? Plenty of them exist, they're just not that interesting to talk about, so they resort to what's going to get butts in seats and people tuned in.
This is a game I'm not willing to contribute my time and energy to as a media consumer.

MotownMs said...

Co-sign!

Penny said...

As a rule, I am not a fan of CNN-rarely ever watch it. However, I think I will watch-because I want to see if Soledad addresses the issues of "prosperity gospel" and if she questions how ministers that are making six and seven figure incomes (plus a bunch of other tax-free benefits) can tell other folk that are making less than $25K/annually how they should not be in debt. Will she ask what role did some of these ministers play in helping to increase the debt debt load of their congregations by reinforcing the idea that it was acceptable to have every material thing they wanted, but did not stress the importance of having the income to support the purchase of those material things (even going into debt to get those things.) How many of these ministers emphasize tithing to their congregations that have members that barely have enough money to pay the rent and buy food every month-even with a job? Disclaimer: I am a Christian (specifically Baptist) and I don't mean to offend anyone or their faith (yes, I know the Bible mentions the 10% tithe.) But if it comes to paying my mortgage or paying a tithe, I will make my check out to the bank every time.

Penny said...

I really don't think God wants us to be stupid. I personally have seen many faithful hardworking church attending people contribute heavily to the church, while they are suffering personally. And no, these behaviors are not restricted to Black people-I recently relocated to the "Bible Belt" and it amazes me how many of the people in this area give major amounts of money and time to the church, and I have to say, I am not clear on the benefits to "our" community.

While I am not sure if I am in agreement on the premise that "debt is the new slavery" (hey, I have been in debt, and it ain't no fun) but in today's Wall St. Journal, on the increasing number of employers doing credit checks on employees (prior to hiring) and not hiring employees that have poor credit histories. Well, if you had a job, and you lost it, it is highly likely that your credit took a turn for the worst. Even if you were a diligent person, and accumulated savings, how long will that last if you are out of work for more than a year? Don't have a job, and can't get a job due to poor credit. Talk about the new slavery...I would rather have seen CNN do a story on something like this. These practices impact everyone, not just Black people, although the numbers indicate that Black and Latino families have worse credit than Whites. The link to the WSJ article is at the end of the post.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304741404575564502442371086.html?mod=WSJ_Careers_CareerJournal_4

rocheejeffrey said...

I will just respond to part of what you said and say that a lot of people who are criticizing the series either forgot that they have featured may of the positives aspects of the community, or they haven't actually watched the series. Because I have seen both sides represented and solutions offered. Also, the man featured in the clip posted is a former VICE PRESIDENT of a company standing in his fancy kitchen in a presumably fancy house.

Joy Andrews said...

Don't get me started on this economy. No one has a magic wand to fix it so I don't need to watch a two hour special and a town hall to tell me that. All I can do is live within my means and put a little something on the side for when I have to hang up my dancing shoes.

Brneyed1 said...

I had no idea this was coming on until this post. I'm torn. It'll be like a train wreck: I won't want to watch, but I'm intrigued by the morbidity of it all.

Brneyed1 said...

Thanks to Penny and nubianqueenbeez for saying this. I catch heat from many of my family and friends who hold firm to the "speak it into being" mentality when I point out the irrationality of this. They go to church, give Pastor 10%, and then go home and worry that the lights are gonna be turned off. Anybody remember Rev. Ike's radio show, where he asked if you wanted a "$10 prayer, or a $100 prayer?"

Pure Choco said...

Debt sucks for everybody, why make it a black thing?

Pure Choco said...

My brother just finished his residency and is over $200k in debt so I hear you.

Pure Choco said...

So true!

Queen of Me said...

I need to concentrate on happy endings right now. Since I doubt this show will provide that, I'm skipping.

Jason P said...

I was laid off for 9 months. I had 6 months of salary saved plus the layoff package. I learned how to cook, change my oil, set up the home gym and dated women a little less high maintenance. (not a bad idea over all)
Finally got a new job but I think I'll keep the belt tight for a little while longer.

OneChele said...

Let's just quantify with "SOME black people are impossible to please"
'Cause we are not a monolith ;-)
No shade though. Just hate generalizations.

Gods_Man said...

Definitely do it. The class is great and the small group discussions encourage everyone to keep going. In the 3 years that we have taught the class we have had 3 families get out of debt completely and across the 40 people who have been through they have paid off about $30K in debt.

rozb said...

You said the truth! More focus on Blacks and their various plights in the last two years, than in the entire last two decades.

nubianqueenbeez said...

YES, YES, YES !!! I am so glad you posted this! I am a Christian and a church member myself, but I have been very, very disturbed by this prosperity gospel, 'name it and claim it', 'blab it and grab it' message that has been going on for years. The only ones that seem to prosper are the church leaders, while the congregants are afraid not to tithe because if they don't give to the 'man of gawd' they can't get blessed. I give what I can, it is not based on any percentage or formula, because I believe that Jesus came and died to set us free from the law and to focus on our motivations, what is really in our hearts.

CaliGirlED said...

The church that I just joined did the Dave Ramsey's University, but unfortunately I wasn't attending then. Now they're doing kind of a synopsis of what he taught, and intend to do the complete class again in the near future. I won't miss it. I'm learning from the synopsis, so I can just imagine what I will get out of the entire teaching.

Gods_Man said...

Who is going to watch?
We will not be watching since our TV is rarely on anyway. I caught the other 2 BIA pieces online and neither of them spoke to us.

What do we think about debt as "slavery"?
The bible is clear that that borrower is slave to the lender. Being in debt puts someone else in control of your decisions until you pay them back. We teach Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University class at our church and have been helping folks to get out of debt. It is very hard to live/give/serve when you are being overwhelmed by debt. It literally holds you hostage.

How has the economic downturn affected you?
God's grace and my bride's good sense has helped us to manage during this. We reduced our expenses drasticlly by renting a much smaller house before the market went south and began attacking our debt. For us this downturn has increased our desire to teach others to manage their finances.

CaliGirlED said...

Are there 100 hours in a week? Bless your heart! (I'm just kidding, but seriously, much respect for your hustle). I just recently heard the same interesting fact about how long it takes for doctors to actually live the "doctor life" that we all think happens right away.

OneChele said...

Clearly Grey's takes precedence. I will DVR the CNN special though and decide whether to watch later.

BB Waite said...

I wish the 20 black ministers who are out raping, robbing, cheating, creeping, pimping and molesting weren't giving the whole group a bad name. I grew up in the Church, it remains my foundation and I help out in the Financial Counseling ministry.

We are seeing people genuinely struggle with over two years of unemployment and when I say they have tried everything, I mean everything. It's a nightmare for some people right now. These are good honest folks who just need a break and a chance, not a hand out.

I'm going to give it a chance but as you said, Chele - I hope it isn't just sad tragic tales with no hope of solution.

CaliGirlED said...

Yeah that's what's so sad about it. And those who see her stories and don't understand that get the wrong message. Le Sigh

CaliGirlED said...

LOL! Hey TuPac was a great mind, most people just couldn't get passed the "gangsta".

OneChele said...

"I caught the other 2 BIA pieces online and neither of them spoke to us." <~~ This right here.
Excellent commentary, thanks!

OneChele said...

Interesting. Thanks for the insight!

OneChele said...

You may not be their target audience Dr. Martin ;-)

The Real Curvy Jones said...

Nah. I can't really handle any more stories of how Black People are having the Worst Week Ever. AND I'm an educated black woman? Chile, please.

*set self on fire, leaps from first floor window.*

As for the economic downturn, I'm a faithful Dave Ramsey listener. His guidance has helped me to be able to hunker down, cut expenses, live on what I make and not my daydreams. I get what they're saying about debt being akin to slavery but uhm........yeah............nooooooo... Let's not start saying that black folks who get into debt choose to become slaves. Let's just not go there, CNN.

Can we pick on someone else?

OneChele said...

Amen B, amen.

OneChele said...

Soledad does approach these things with the best of intentions but bless her heart, these always leave me thinking that she missed the mark (by a mile or more)

OneChele said...

Girl, they love some Soledad.

MidWestDominicana said...

I agree with both Ms. Jay and Inkognegro. CNN has repeatedly failed and continues to perpetuate the most negative stereotypes of the AA/Black community. Unfortuntely, no one is making any noticable strides to right these wrongs.
I would love to see Soledad get shown the door and for a journalist with genuine positive intent put together a better piece of work than this Chicken George garbage.
Me thinks I smell the Tea Party behind this nonsense.

Ms. Jay said...

Nope , wont be watching.

David Parrish, Jr.(Inkognegro) said...

No.

I have NO faith in CNN to do this correctly.

I.will.not.

Only the Tall said...

I'm so glad that I'm not even in the country to hear any of this mess. Soledad O'.needs to focus on other things because quite frankly, I do not care for her "reporting" at all. If you have debt, stop doing that which got you into debt. Pay your bills, get creative with perhaps creating your own company and basically work your butt off. Get educated about money (something that we should teach in our schools) and be money smart. I don't need CNN or Ms. O'Brien to tell me anything about my people and money.

Hidi said...

No, I will not be watching. I have moved on from CNN a looooooooong time ago.

Debt as slavery...hmmmm... I don't know.

As far as the economic downturn, I am indifferent to it. Life goes on, we are going to have "thunderstorms", you know. I look at it this way: I have no control over how my neighbor spends his money but I know how I spend mine. If you get laid off from a job you hate, then why be sad; You hate the job. Like someone said: "You either pick up all the pieces on the floor or leave them there and say f#@k it and move the hell on". :)

CaliGirlED said...

Don't know that I'll be watching, mainly because I have a lot of reading to do. I don't much about Soledad O'Brien and I don't watch CNN. I did however catch one of those stories she did on Black America, sometime after they were actually aired. I didn't watch the entire piece because it was presented, as Chele made reference to, as "problems with no solutions". It was too dark for me. But hearing the interviews of Soledad it seems as though she has good intentions, maybe it's just the way it was put together.

As for the recession and Black people, I'm sure there will be a lot of truth in this piece about our over spending, under saving and little investing. And there will probably be some valuable information that some people are not aware of that can help them get there finances together. But as with anything, it's not what you say it's how you say it. So while these pastors may have good content, if it's conveyed with finger pointing, no bueno. They are rich, some at the expense of their paritioners, don't need those slicksters publicly parading our shame. But some are rich because of smart business ethics. And you definitely can't learn from a poor person about becoming rich, or even managing your money. So hopefully there presentation will be solution-based and not condescending-based.

William Martin said...

Well I went over $100k in debt for my education, I currently work 100 hours a week and make $45k a year. According to the older doctors here, it will be another 10 - 20 years before I repay those student loans and that if I land in a top tier practice with the best salary and don't pick up any dependents (wife kids) or expenses (car house) along the way. What does CNN have to say about that?

Jesse said...

I actually know more unemployed, out of their homes, praying for a break white people than black people right now. I'm a little tart that they focused this investigation on AA and AA in the church at that.

U Don't Know Me said...

I don't know about that debt as slavery thing. Slavery was institutional - no one of color escaped it. We don't need an emancipation proclamation from debt, it's survivable.

SingLikeSassy said...

"You either pick up all the pieces on the floor or leave them there and say f#@k it and move the hell on". <--TuPac said that. Don't know why I know that. LOL!

OneChele said...

I think this is the crux of the matter right here. We've given CNN several chances to get it right. (And they haven't come close) How many more?

OneChele said...

I have this argument all the time. I understand we are supposed to make sacrifices as Christians but I refuse to believe that God meant for us to get put out of our homes because we've given the mortgage money to the church. I know "Let go and let God" but pay your mortgage!

OneChele said...

You were smart. A lot of people take the package not realizing after the lump sum tax, they are not getting as much as they could. And overestimating when they will get another job at the same (or better) salary. This is no market to be unemployed in.

rocheejeffrey said...

Wow, I see a lot of harsh responses to this and it kind of amuses me. Black people are impossible to please. We want to be featured more and to have our issues addressed, but yet we take issue with someone, particularly a woman who shares our heritage, attempting to affect change by inspiring dialogue and highlighting these issues. Perhaps other churches will see this piece and make an attempt to improve the financial situation of their church members. And frankly, our community has a lot of issues and pretending that they don't exist or that by highlighting them we are perpetuating stereotypes is niave at best. White people know we have issues. We know we have issues.

Sometimes it's not about, "Hey look we have issues." Sometimes it is a reminder that for some people it is not as simple as, "Oh manage your money better and start a business." I have a degree and I have been unemployed for close to a year and a half. I attempted to start a business, but that takes time to grow. Like the man featured in the piece, I am struggling to find work because I am either under-qualified for positions because I graduated 3 years ago, or I am overqualified because they are looking for very recent graduates. I have submitted hundreds of resumes as well. I have been creative in the presentation of my materials (built a website), and yet I am unemployed. I can't even get menial jobs, because they want teenagers or college kids for those positions. My parents can't support me, despite the fact that they are both extremely well-educated and live on a golf course, because like a lot of black people who came from nothing, they didn't have a soft cushion and it took them a while to get their careers of the ground and on steady footing. And my mother has been out of work for close to a year. So this is germane to me.

Nadette said...

"Every leading indicator – unemployment, income, wealth, educational attainment, homeownership and foreclosures – demonstrates that the African-American financial foundation is crumbling at rates that are comparatively worse than other segments of the U.S. population." And that's why this is more of a black issue than anyone else. I'm more than a little irritated by the lack of support I'm seeing in the comments, when I think Soledad is doing exactly what she should be doing as one of few highly recognizable black female journalists out there. While I can understand not wanting to be berrated with "woa is me" stories about the black community, um this one is kind of really really important, and impossible to ignore. The wealth gap between the races is staggering and growing, and the recession most certainly hit the black community harder than it did the white. So I don't know about y'all, but I'll be watching, maybe learing a thing or two, and definitely be taking notes, rather than indignantly burying my head in the sand. And as far the debt is the new slavery metaphor. I think it's dead on. Ask anybody in a mountain of debt. Your creditors can garnish your wages, take your home, your vehicle, ruin your credit. If that's not modern slavery, then I don't know what is.
*walks off in a huff*

CaliGirlED said...

"What I have done is focused my new networking and relationships with good mentors and advice. In addition I'm linking up with people who are fiscally responsible and we share info."

There's a saying, "If you are the smartest or richest person you know, then you need to get some more friends."

Randomrambler Thebrightside said...

I actually went to the pre-screening in Houston. Although they didn't show the entire special (so that we would still tune in to watch), I did think that it helped to start the conversation on debt and the difference between middle income and middle class.


www.madnessatitsbest.blogspot.com

Sasha said...

This is the same reason why I'm not going to watch either. I rather watch Grey's Anatomy then see our race put on blast like we're the only group broke!

Liselle said...

I've been burned by CNN before. I would like to think they are going to do an insightful look and provide access to real avenues for assistance but history tells me no. Besides, Grey's Anatomy is on.

GrownAzzMan said...

CNN. Really? An the answer to this crisis is what?

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