I grew up in Langley Park, Maryland, where families struggled to make ends meet. We were foreigners who came to America with just a book bag and a dream - a dream of obtaining a better education, finding good jobs, and being able to provide for our children. It's ironic that children from Guyana, Jamaica, and Africa, who came chasing the American dream, would find themselves behind bars. Who would have thought we'd leave our beautiful countries only to end up in the ghettos of America?
I often tell my white friends that I had to experience poverty twice, whereas they lived through it once and moved away. In the ghetto, we glamorized the lives depicted in movies like Scarface, The Godfather, and American Gangster. We didn't realize that these were just movies, not real life. In the ghetto, after making it big selling drugs, you find yourself spending your earnings on attorneys you can't afford. You have to use your money to either bury friends or bail them out of prison because you're loyal to the game. Growing up watching television, we believed it was reality. We didn't know about the laws designed to incarcerate us and tear us away from our families and communities.
In our quest for success, it's crucial to never allow our egos to impede job-seeking and hard work. The leaders in industries such as music, fashion, film, and entertainment wield substantial influence, boasting powerful connections and access to immense resources. What sets them apart is their ability to set aside egos in favor of collective wealth creation, a principle at the core of their remarkable success.
But what about individuals hailing from disadvantaged neighborhoods and communities, not only in America but worldwide? To make a tangible economic impact, we must unite our financial efforts. In the world of business, financial strength speaks volumes. Therefore, we should persistently work until we can accumulate savings, make strategic investments, and embark on substantial ventures.
Frequently, we hear affluent individuals caution against becoming solely dependent on a paycheck. Yet, they often overlook the fact that they possess educational advantages, influential networks, and the power of teamwork. They hold a wealth of knowledge on how to effectively manage, lead, and influence others. We are now beginning to decipher this intricate system, a journey that may take years to master.
These words serve as a poignant reminder of the importance of determination, collaboration, and financial literacy on our path to success. They underscore the value of unity and knowledge in surmounting obstacles and achieving financial stability. Embracing these principles can be a wellspring of inspiration as we strive for personal and collective growth.
Written By Kendesi Mohammed