How is financial literacy for minorities presented in the media?

Photo: “Money & Finance” by investmentzen is licensed under CC BY 2.0

How is financial literacy for minorities presented in the media?

I’d like to explore how the topic of financial literacy for minorities is presented in the media.

This gives me the ability to observe how the media covers personal finance, economic mobility, generational wealth, education, retirement, and many other topics as they relate to members of marginalized communities.

From an arching perspective, I think this is important when we’re hearing discussions about socialism, reparations, universal basic income, welfare reform, poverty, the 1%, income equality, and so on in our political environment.

The need for such discussions is created by the condition of minority communities, but it’s as if the news media is talking about us like we’re not here. Media presentations of minority financial literacy appear to be about us, but not for us. Perhaps that’s why champions of financial literacy for minorities are so fiercely supported by their audience and rarely promoted by mainstream media.

A search for financial literacy + minorities returned an article by Black Enterprise: Bloomberg’s Multibillion-Dollar Plan for Black Economic Justice and Empowerment and the Minority Mindset website providing financial news and education.

Black Wealth RenaissanceDana Chanel , and Dr. Claud Anderson are three creators whom I follow on this topic. They provide more educational content and some news. One thing they all have in common is matter-of-fact communication. The information they have for their communities is urgent.

And that message seems to be that poor people have to shift their mindset and change their actions if they want to change their financial situation as individuals or as a collective.

A message I have rarely seen presented in mainstream media. Watch below as Dr. Claud Anderson Discusses America’s Race Based Society, PowerNomics + More.

At one point in time, I felt that members of minority communities were only victims. In many ways that is the picture painted by media.

However, with the right information, I was empowered to change my circumstances. Today, I am watching our family’s transition from poverty realizing that so many others (many, not all) just need an increase in financial literacy to improve their quality of life.

It’s like drowning in a kiddie pool. Sometimes all you need is someone with a different perspective to suggest that you, well, stand up. I often wonder why the news media doesn’t encourage us to stand up, shift the narrative, and direct our attention to the tools that might help us help ourselves.

I see a lot of judgment and pity in the media regarding lower class and poor Americans; not only in news but in entertainment as well.

What kind of message does media like Queen and Slim or Queen of the South send about minority economics? Is the only way to become wealthy to traffic drugs or turn your neighbors in for a reward?

When individuals do attempt to shift the narrative, they are often met with resistance as Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke was when he told Morehouse students that a lack of financial literacy was the true cause of the financial gap between Caucasian-Americans and African-Americans back in 2009.

All that said, I believe I can benefit from paying attention to the media’s presentation of financial literacy for minorities while delving into a topic that is of immense importance to me. I’ll look forward to writing more about this.