National Urban League Report Finds Blacks Continue to Lag - Page 2 of 2

National Urban League Report Finds Blacks Continue to Lag

The organization also is urging lawmakers to pass a homebuyers’ bill of rights that will include funding for homeownership education and counseling, financial literacy workshops, credit counseling and foreclosure prevention efforts, particularly for minority communities. According to Morial, those who receive counseling are less likely to receive a subprime loan or end up in foreclosure.

In addition, the Urban League wants Obama to use the full weight of his presidency to close the educational funding gap that Morial says makes it more likely for a white child in a suburban school to have access to a chemistry lab while an inner-city black child is lucky to have a decent chemistry book.

But Morial also acknowledged the importance of self-reliance and accountability in black communities. “This report is a call to action not only to the president and Congress, but to us. I believe that if each of us takes personal and collective responsibility for ourselves, our children and our communities, if we become civically engaged and work together for the common good, we can transform the state of black America from a tale of two cities to a story of one America,” said Morial.

Essay on the “State of Black America”

By Earl G. Graves, Jr.
Black Enterprise Magazine

Racial barriers and attitudes traditionally have complicated African Americans’ path toward financial empowerment, with the ramifications reaching well beyond our earning power. However, if we are able to close the wealth gap–the stubborn imbalance in the net worth of African Americans versus that of white Americans–then we can finally begin to bridge those other persistent disparities and cure the ills that plague our community.

If we ever hope to strengthen our families, communities and institutions, then we must adopt and apply principles to build, keep and transfer wealth. The following 10 principles are designed as a set of guidelines for creating wealth in the midst of the day’s economic challenges–wealth that can be maintained and passed on for the benefit of future generations.

1. Live within your means;
2. Maximize your income potential through education and training;
3. Effectively manage your budget, credit, debt and tax obligations;
4. Save at least 10% of your income;
5. Use homeownership as a foundation for building wealth;
6. Devise an investment plan for retirement needs and children’s education;
7. Ensure that your entire family adheres to sensible money-management principles;
8. Support the creation and growth of minority-owned businesses;
9. Guarantee that your wealth is passed on to future generations through proper insurance and estate planning;

10. Strengthen your community through philanthropy.

See more essays from the report