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A Letter To Young Black Chicks

Dear Young Black Chicks,group of female college friends

The New Black Chick is all about building health and wealth among Black women. The primary focus of this movement is to reverse the negative trends impacting Black women while bolstering positive trends and perpetuating positive images. The word “new” implies that we are addressing a certain segment of the population. And we are. The trends are primarily impacting women from 30 to 55+. As such the majority of our content is geared toward that audience. But it’s also for you. To help you plan.

I had a fantastic education. I attended good schools and had parents who were involved not only in my schooling but my extra-curricular activities. I played sports and musical instruments. The high school I attended had classes where I learned to type, write checks and how the stock market works. The majority of today’s public schools don’t even have arts and physical education as part of their curriculum. Despite my great education there are plenty of things I didn’t learn; that many of us didn’t learn. As such Black women are at a tipping point of health, wealth and happiness in this country. There is a Black EVElolution underway that is shifting the role Black women play in the success of this country. While we have some of the worst health and least wealth in this country we are actually poised  to turn this around in a major way. The difference will be made by you, the Millennials and Generation Z.

Who are you? The Millennials are those born between 1982 and 2004. Generation Z, as they are temporarily being called, follows the Millennials were born starting in 2005. Chances are there aren’t any Generation Zs reading this post. But you as their parents are. Millennials find themselves in some trying times. The economic down turn has probably hit you the hardest. You have graduated from college and if you could find a job most of your salary is probably going to your student loans and you are generally misunderstood by your older co-workers. You are often seen as lazy or complacent. You grew up with technology in some form or fashion and likely don’t understand why your Gen X and Baby Boomer counterparts do things the hard way versus the efficient way. Your loyalty to an employer is much lower not because you lack the loyalty gene it’s because you see a job as a job. You want to create your own reality and a job is a training ground.

As a Gen X person I am in between you and the Baby Boomers. We’re seen as the peace-making generation similar to the middle child in a family. While we understand the work ethic of the Baby Boomer’s we love and benefit from the ingenuity of the Millennials.

You have the ability to start with the end in mind. You already know that Black women have the worst health and you can start your life off with the intention of maintaining your health well into your 80’s or longer. Black women are the fastest growing demographic of entrepreneurs. You are positioned to learn about starting your own business because you have more role models than ever before. The Baby Boomers and Generation X have paved the way and knocked down a lot of barriers you won’t have to overcome. However, we may have taught you some bad habits that you need to ditch and/or avoid.

What can you be doing to contribute in a positive way to the Black EVEolution?

Take care of your health – while your generation is expected to have a shorter lifespan than your parents you can still turn that around. Obesity is the scourge of the 21st century.  It’s estimated that we spend more on obesity-related diseases than on military defense. That’s amazing given the number of conflicts the United States is currently engaged in around the world. Black women are leading the way in this statistic. One in three Black women are obese or overweight. The leading cause of death among Black women is heart disease. These conditions are mostly preventable. It’s not about your dress size, it’s about knowing your numbers.

Build wealth – we live in an instant-gratification world. However, wealth does not now nor has it ever been instant. Understand the difference between having money and having wealth. Do what you have to do today so you can do what you want to tomorrow. Anyone of any generation who has accumulated wealth will tell you this. Forgo the $200 jeans, weaves or having the latest smart phone now for having wealth later. Get financial education. You can have treats or special splurges for sure, just plan for them.

Always be learning – check out our reading room to get some ideas on books to read. A formal education is great in terms of teaching you how to learn but you need to get outside of your comfort zone to keep your brain growing. Just because you finished high school or college doesn’t mean you should stop learning. Attend seminars or classes about topics you specifically want to learn about. Explore starting your own business. Ask me about Peak Potentials, one of the largest self-development organizations in the world.

Boys aren’t men – the male half of the species will always be there. Unless there is a catastrophic event where all of the men are wiped off the face of the Earth, don’t worry about them. Date, responsibly. 73% of Black children are born outside of marriage. Higher than any other demographic. Choose a man over a boy! A man will take care of his responsibilities and treat you with respect. A boy is interested in playing games. One of the primary contributors to Black women’s health and wealth status is due to how many Black women are living in or near poverty. Many don’t have the emotional and financial support of their children’s father thus they are at higher risk of stress-related health complications including obesity and heart disease; and lack access to healthy foods. Men are taking care of their families whether those families are under the same roof or not.

Ladies, choose wisely. You should want a man to share a life with not need a man to pay your bills. A man should compliment your life not complicate it.

Know your worth – you should know your worth emotionally and monetarily. You were born to be unique, be yourself and don’t be a copy. Have faith in who you are and be that. Black women are more impacted by the gender wage gap than White women. So you should know what your skill set is worth and negotiate your job offers for that. As the Baby Boomers retire and Gen X is reaching the pinnacle of their employer-paid earnings, you have the power to ask for what you’re worth. Continue to raise the bar.

I know as Millennials you continually hear about what’s wrong about you. Focus on what’s right about you. You are needed and valued, especially in this age of the Black EVEolution. You  make the difference in which way we tip.

 

Best,

Nile Harris
Head Chick & Founder, The New Black Chick

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