Today, I finally got around to watching CNN’s Black in America: The Almighty Debt. This is the third installment of their Black in America series. I have watched them all, and up until now I enjoyed most of these series. I don’t know what it was about this particular special, maybe its the fact that I am in debt thanks to student loans (as one student in the special was), or maybe it is the fact that being in debt is not a African-American problem its an American problem, or maybe, just maybe its the religious undertone that the special had. I am not afraid of “our” reality, however I don’t like being depicted as the victim every time, one special we are uneducated, next special we are without fathers, and in prison, and now we don’t know how to manage our money. The problem is our financial history is not this black and white. They showed a family who spent way beyond their means and couldn’t afford to pay their bills. They were 24 months behind, that’s 2 years, in that time they could have been cut down on expensive and saved their house. That’s not my issue with this however, my issue is that I doubt most people will make it 2 years in their house before they are threatened to be evicted. The only story that I liked because it painted a true picture, was the story of a man who lost his high-powered job and spent a year and a half unemployed, applying for jobs. This is our reality, people who are qualified, hard-working, without criminal records, job experience, and education African-Americans still can not find a job. The misconception is because jobs are not available, they are just not for us.
In college, I was the president of an organization, involved in several others, on an academic team, worked, interned, volunteered, all while making good grades and I still could not find a job after college. More recently I just found my first post-grad job, that is part-time, low pay but I am not complaining. After watching this special however I am motivated to spend less, save more, and invest in stocks. I am taking a pay cut from my retail job (I know) so I have less money. I have gone credit card crazy in my mind. I think everyone should watch this special because as I stated before this is not just an African-American problem its an American problem, and more important us young people, and recent grad do not want to be in debt, living beyond our means and out of work down the line with out a back up plan both financially and figuratively. The special re-airs this Sunday evening on CNN, check your local listings.