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How To Break The Generational Curse of Poverty in 5 steps

“Change starts with us”. It’s a small phrase, but holds so much power when it comes to many facets of life. It’s even more powerful when we speak of breaking generational curses. But what are these ‘curses’ that we speak of? Do they refer to some type of “hoodoo voodoo” handed down upon us because of some long forgotten evil done by our ancestors? Is it something taboo? According to The Gospel Coalition, a “generational curse describes the cumulative effect on a person of things that their ancestors did, believed, or practiced in the past, and a consequence of an ancestor’s actions, beliefs, and sins being passed down.” An example of a generational curse is divorce”. This may all be true, but for our purposes here, let’s focus on actions and beliefs.

We see it over and over in every day life. The constant negative patterns in families that seem almost inescapable. They seem to imprison some or all members of the same blood line from the day they were conceived until the day they die. Drug addiction, failed marriages and relationships, abuse, mental illness and poverty are some of the major evils that have contaminated the lives of the families around us. For some of us, these are evident within our own families. Many might argue that poverty itself can cause a domino effect to most of the other social ills, so therein lies our focus.

Although slavery was abolished decades ago, in many black communities the effects of poverty are still very much evident. It is time to unlearn some of the negative beliefs and actions that may have become a part of us before we perpetuate them to the next generation. The steps below are not 100% failsafe, but they are certainly approved to set the pace for healing and renewal.

A. WITH THE HELP OF AN ELDER IN YOUR FAMILY, DRAW A GENOGRAM.
An example of a financial genogram

genogram (pronounced: jen-uh-gram) is a graphic representation of a family tree that displays detailed data on relationships among individuals. In the example shown above, the illustration focuses on the habits of each person in your family tree.

Here are some questions you may ask:

  • Were there any wealthy people in our family?
  • Were there any persons who were in continuous debt?
  • Who in our family got a divorce?
  • Who had several children they couldn’t take care of financially?
  • What type of jobs did everyone end up settling for?
  • Was there any history of a family feud/enmity in our family?

Once you have a list of questions, start by filling out the answers you know. There is not a right or wrong way to do this, so choose a method that makes the most sense for you. Once you’ve written down the information you already know, call your relatives to ask for answers to the remaining questions.

It isn’t necessary to speak with everyone on the tree, but talk to as many people as possible so you can better understand who they are and their behavior patterns. The more information you have, the more you’ll understand trends and generational curses that have impacted you.

2. TALK WITH YOUR LOVED ONES.

This may be one of the toughest things to do, but without communication, there can be no healing! There are some secrets so hidden within families that they’re inevitably taken to the grave, and the struggle continues. The only way to start the healing process is to lay the cards out on the table. Though the cards may be bitter, our children deserve to know what they may need to work on and what habits they need to unlearn. The keys to breaking generational curses reside in Truth. Without truth, there can be no change.

3. SEEK SUPPORT.

If there are secrets and habits within your family that need immediate attention, seek help! There has always been a stigma within the black community when it comes to counselling, but a counselor can help you process your thoughts and emotions in a healthy way and help you identify generational curses manifesting in your family. Thankfully, there are professionals available to fit every person, budget, and schedule. If you are religious, you can seek the help of a pastor. The right pastor can incorporate what is both divine and practical and organize an effective intervention for your family. Many of the answers we need are one consultation away, but fear of judgment has crippled many. It is this very fear that can end up keeping us in the same downward spiral throughout generations. If you find it impossible to overcome this fear of one on one counseling, there are many qualified online counselors to choose from.

4. EDUCATE.

Education can come in the form of periodical family meetings, talks over dinner or you can take the next step and talk to your children specifically about finances. If you are not sure that you are equipped enough to educate them, there are many online resources that can help you. We took the time to highlight a few exceptional publications that you can take advantage of:

These insightful and age appropriate finance books are just a few of the many volumes written by Dr. Boyce D. Watkins. He is is an American author, economist, political analyst, and social commentator. During his academic career, Boyce Watkins was a visiting scholar with the Barbara Jordan – Mickey Leland School Of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University.

As an adult, if you are excited to start this learning journey yourself, there are many audio books and paper backs to choose from. We recommend these for starters:

5. CELEBRATE!

The final step we recommend is that you celebrate! Celebrate those wins, no matter how small. As you transition away from the generational curse of poverty, do one small thing to celebrate your victory. You have now positioned yourself to break financial barriers within your own lineage. May your name be written in history as the one who broke the mold, and led your bloodline to generational wealth!

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B.L.A.C.K Honors African American Top Hitters

BY TARYN ST.LOUIS, AUGUST 18th, 2020

African Americans have always been talented, brave warriors, and the best of us deserved their rise to fame. In many cases however, this was frowned upon and our Kings were pushed back into the shadows. Facing segregation and invisible racial barriers that kept them from advancing to stardom, our top hitters had to evoke the spiritual strength of their ancestors if they were to ever claim their right to be recognized among the best.

In 1998, Kim Greene unwittingly inspired her partner to re-engage his passion for creating authentic memorabilia to honor African Americans in the sporting arena who made us proud. She had purchased Negro League baseball items from a company in New York, only to find out later that the logos had been designed by the very person she was purchasing them for. Her partner, Anthony Robinson. This was all the motivation he needed. I mean, seeing your work being bought and sold in any market can definitely strengthen your vision.

Kim and Anthony started their campaign to ensure that only high quality products were presented to represent such a rich and dynamic history as that of the Negro League.  It was easy to find Negro League gear, but it would often be presented on low quality material. They both wasted no time in becoming a part of the solution. BWM visited their online boutique at B.L.A.C.K and noticed immediately that their items featured only authentic logos and designs. It wasn’t hard to tell that they were committed to the vision that their company stands for: B.L.A.C.K (Bases Loaded Authentic Clothing and Kaps) “Empowering our Future by Honoring and Preserving our Past.” 

“We saw an opportunity to change that. And we were blessed to be able to spend a lot of time with Negro League players which helped drive that determination to make sure that the history that they helped to create was well represented and accurate.”

Kim Greene

Honoring the Negro League

The National Negro League was formed on February 13, 1920 under the guidance of Andrew “Rube” Foster.

Around the 19th century and before, blacks were prohibited from playing professional baseball in the predominately white major leagues and also the minor leagues. Those who were committed to the sport were left with no other alternative but to form their own leagues.

In 1920, Rube Foster had predicted that if the Negro Leagues maintained a high caliber of performance on the field, the players would be prepared to answer the call when the major leagues were ready to open their doors. By 1947, despite the fact that most of the major-league teams were not ready to accept blacks, Jackie Robinson made his historic walk onto the Dodgers’ Ebbets Field, breaking the color line for good. (via history.net)

Since that historic day, 35 of our top players in baseball have been inducted into the hall of fame, including names that you know;

  • Satchel Paige (1971)
  • Josh Gibson (1972)
  • Buck Leonard (1972)
  • Monte Irvin (1973)

See a full list here

B.L.A.C.K honors their legacy by providing the best quality authentic outerwear featuring the logos and designs that preserve their memory.

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Honoring the Tuskeegee Airmen

The Tuskeegee Airmen

Around the 1920s and 1930s, racial segregation was rampant in the US, and filtered into all segments including the armed forces. Much of the military establishment believed that blacks were inferior to whites and would therefore perform poorly in combat. In many cases they were thought to lack the physical and mental ability to even assist their white counterparts in battle. Young African Americans who aspired to become pilots were facing an uphill climb that seemed insurmountable. How did they overcome these obstacles?

When the US Air Corps (AAC) began ramping up its training program in preparation for looming wars, black newspaper publications joined the NAACP in a campaign to fight for the rights of our young black men to join the armed forces. In September 1940, the then President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, announced that the AAC would soon begin to include black pilots in their training programs. The war department chose the Tuskeegee Army airfield in Tuskeegee Alabama. This is pretty much how our black war heroes got their name.

In 2007, over 300 of the original Tuskeegee airmen received congressional gold medals from George W. Bush. In 2009, the surviving pilots and support crew were specially invited to the inauguration ceremony of the first African American President, Barack Obama.

“My career in public service was made possible by the path heroes like the Tuskegee Airmen trail-blazed.”

Barack Obama

Authentic, quality clothing and other items to celebrate and honor the legacy of these warriors of the skies can be found in store.


Honoring the Buffalo Soldiers

Buffalo Soldiers

Following the Civil War of 1865, African American Soldiers were enlisted to serve on the Western Frontier. They were put in place to control Native Americans, capture cattle thieves and protect settlers. The 9th and 10th cavalry regiments were dubbed “buffalo soldiers” by Native Americans. No one knows the reason for this, but you can take a wild guess. It could have had something to do with their appearance, or perhaps their aggression on the battle field. Whatever the cause, the name has transcended time to this day.

The 9th and 10th cavalry were stationed in both Kansas and Texas respectively, and participated in many Indian Wars as America became obsessed with westward expansion. About 20% of US troops that participated in these wars were buffalo soldiers. After having the Indians in check, they were stationed in Florida, during the Spanish American War. They faced blatant racism from their counterparts and superiors and endured brutal weather conditions, but still they endured and were found to be the most courageous in battle.

Today, a museum can be found in their honor, in Houston Texas. Bob Marley and the Wailers also immortalized them in the well-known reggae song “Buffalo Soldier.”

Get official Buffalo Soldier merchandise on B.L.A.C.K

BWM is inspired by the commitment of this black owned business in honoring our fighters in both the sporting arena and on the battlefield. Not only does the store offer apparel and memorabilia in honor of these men, Kim Greene also produces black baby dolls that are quite unique and lifelike and make wonderful collectors items. What’s not to like about this store?

How B.L.A.C.K gives back

Although Kim and Anthony have encountered their fair share of obstacles, including finding highly qualified manufacturers who share their level of commitment, they press on. They are now seeking to expand their line to include other elements of black military history (Montford Point Marines, Harlem Hellfighters, RedBall Express and Golden 13, to name a few. They endeavor to continue educating the masses on these pieces of history that are not often discussed. Spending time with the people who have actually created this history has been an honor for them and has cemented their goal to educate and uplift as they sell.

The apparel and memorabilia sold in store helps to promote black history and raises funds for and awareness of black historical museums across the USA. They also raise funds for the surviving black history makers.

Their plans are to expand so that they can be an actual funding source for a young entrepreneurial training center and youth scholarship fund for an HBCU. They also hope to open their line to include other black historical organizations that deserve recognition. Did we say we are totally inspired? This definitely looks like a black owned superstore to support!

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“NEVER take criticism from someone that you would never go to for advice.”

Kim Greene
Kim Greene with the late Rep John Lewis at an event in DC this past December

Related: Black History Milestones – A Timeline