After researching the differences between the wealthy and rich for so long, I discovered my arch-nemesis, Generational Poverty. It wasn't until I gave my first talk that I realized that it wasn't a household term and very well educated people weren't familiar with the concept. Many are familiar with situational poverty, which includes people who are temporarily experiencing economic challenge due to circumstance, i.e. job loss, sudden homelessness, death or illness. These type of people have hope, because it is or was not their normal situation. However, families victim to battling generational poverty can be defined as a family with at least two consecutive generations born into poverty.
When I rewind to 1985, in Columbus, OH, opening this door that led to a tall stairwell of a bricked apartment, I didn't know I was in the "projects." (Today I learned Poindexter Village was one of the first housing projects erected in America!) Fast forward to my teenage days where I transferred into a high school that had upwards of five housing projects feeding into it. One thing my mama made clear, we were not allowed to go into the projects. Now, as an adult reflecting, connecting the dots, I knew why. It wasn't just because of the stigma, it was her own personal history that she wanted nothing to do with. So, we never lived in the projects... we just lived with different men, moving several times a year, or not having anywhere to live at all.
What I choose to accept and believe is that my mother was doing the best she knew to do with the information she was working with. Or as it is formerly called, adult-ing. How do I know? Because I have been attempting to get this right for 20 years, with minimal success. I did not spend time in the projects, not until I moved into one in college, it was $25 a month. Who could argue with that? Except, now I know that these needs-based "assistance" programs are a psychological trap. The government has masterminded a plan to keep minorities on the "plantation." Convince them they need us to survive, and they won't go anywhere..... except the few of us slaves who has figured out, or is determined to find, another way of living.
My maternal family is perfect example of what generational poverty looks like, while my father revealed lesser recognized version. I am proud to say my father is member of middle-class America. He lives in a beautiful home, decked out, with a pool in the back, but he shares a modest SUV with his wife, and I have read emails saying "we don't even have food in the refrigerator." WTF? In my father's defense, he is the product of a pimp and his bottom-bitch, raised in foster care since the age of maybe 5. Hell, he deserves a round of applause for getting thus far. Unfortunately, all that doesn't take away from the effects of generational poverty. It hasn't prevented him from repeating the cycle of being an absent grandfather.
So the question posed, does generational poverty cause sketchy parenting? I vote yes. And these are the experiences that have led me to forming The Minority Mastermind. The Minority Mastermind will be an opportunity and resource for black professionals and other people of color who desire to build generational wealth, community wealth and transform the status quo for people of color at-large. The group will meet on a monthly basis to discuss books, philosophy, finances, strategies and personal challenges and successes to develop members, creating a lasting effect for generations to come. The Minority Mastermind will be broken into three entities of membership with coinciding programs, benefits and requirements. The three part model allows for inclusion, diversification, and meets the needs presented within the first phase of this project.
Want to get involved? PLEASE connect with me ASAP! Especially those of you in the Tampa Bay Area. If it takes a village to raise a child, what will it require to raise a nation of Black and Brown families?
In the meantime, and in between time, listen to today's episode of Get High On Motivation: Entrepreneurship, Serenity Healing, and Sketchy Parents w/Latosha Kessell. Ms Kessell is a mental health therapist, licensed professional counselor, yoga instructor and Expert Reiki Practitioner. She shares her experience as an entrepreneur and gives advice to a serial-online-dating mom. Do you have a situation to sort through. Become a member and send it in to get answers.
If you have questions for or would like to connect with Latosha Kessell, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 719.445.1665 to get your questions answered and to book a session.