Sunday, May 29, 2022

Are Black People Broke By Design?

Cropped shot of three young people taking a selfie after yoga class / Getty

The founder of the Black Math Genius program explains why Black people are broke by design and what we can do to combat this.

The program, created by Assata Moore and Freddie Taylor of Urban Intellectuals, puts “Black children at the center of their learning, teaching the true origins of mathematics and making sure that the lessons are meaningful,” per Black Enterprise

When unpacking why Black students are performing at the bottom of every mathematical metric, Assata noted that “Black people have been broke for a very long time, and we’re getting broker! This is not by accident, it’s by design. And please believe that the designers have no desire to help dismantle this fortress of despair and disenfranchisement they have built,” she said. 

She continued, “We need only to review history and look at our present conditions to know there will be no help in saving our future from outsiders. Look at the drug industry. To criminalize Black people, cannabis was made illegal even though the government was encouraging farmers to grow more. After WWII, white veterans were given the GI bill and homeownership; Black veterans were given denials and the projects.”

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kids in class
Kids in class

“Lenders and insurance providers redlined our communities to deny the biggest wealth driver for families — homeownership. Today, after spending decades demonizing Black people for selling cannabis, white establishments own over 98 percent of all cannabis businesses,” Assata explained, as reported by Black Enterprise. “Of course, our governors helped to orchestrate both the criminalization of Black people and then turned around and wrote legislation to make sure the wealth landed in white hands. Since the 1960s, the Black homeownership rate has been stagnant, and the wealth gap is growing.”

“There will be no one coming to save us. We had a Black president; we’ve had Democrats; we’ve had Republicans; we’ve broken records with voting. In many areas, Black people outvote others. Politicians aren’t going to save us. It’s not because we don’t vote and it’s certainly not that we don’t care. It’s because money is power and power commands respect, and we don’t have either. The solution is simple — prepare our children to build wealth that will in turn give them the tools they need to control politics and politicians. This is not a problem that we can fix tomorrow, but it is a problem that we can fix over the next decade in smaller pieces — one family at a time. So, how do you prepare your children to be free from the shackles of perpetual poverty?”

“More than 20 percent of Black students choose majors that will keep them impoverished for the rest of their loves,” Assata said. “Are we putting them in a position to break generational poverty or to continue to enrich others?”

“The best thing you can do for your children is to make sure they know who they are and that they understand math. It’s as precise and simple as that. If you look at the data, our inability to create wealth is directly tied to our inability to do math. Mathematics is the gateway to the careers most in demand. Across the country, Black students are performing at the bottom of every mathematical metric,” she explained.

“It’s been over two decades since the No Child Left Behind legislation and our children are still behind. Billions have been spent on teacher training, curriculum, test prep and remediation programs without any significant impact on student performance or quality of life for Black people. Is it because our children are stupid or is it because the programs aren’t working? We know the answer — the programs aren’t working because they aren’t designed to work. Our educational system does not respect our families and they don’t expect our children to be great. We don’t have an “achievement gap,” we have a Belief Gap. People do not believe in the genius of Black Children. This is where the Black Math Genius program is different from all other programs.”

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Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.




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