Build up your bank account, not wardrobe

I hate the mall, yet every time I look up I seem to be there.

To shop?

No, shopping requires money, but rather to sit, talk and dream of clothes that would look great on me.

Despite my definite disdain for the mall, I recently had a radical revelation while in the Governor’s Square. I have found the primary reason as to why blacks are financially beneath white America: Blacks are a step or two behind because we buy everything and own nothing.

The percentage of black households with zero or negative net worth stands at 31.3 percent, which is double that of our white counterparts.

I know that this may be lost on some of you, so I will take a step back for clarification.

Look down at your outfit: fresh button-down shirt, pressed Sean Jean jeans and, of course, the whitest pair of Air Force Ones.

I know I was once one of you, but brothers and sisters I have seen the light! If you follow my message you will, too.

We work hard for our money just to obtain and waste it on something we will not have a need for in 6 months.

Be it at our part-time jobs, or on the phone begging our parents. Shoes, white T-shirts, jeans and skirts take our money faster and more frequently than FICA.

But, oddly enough, it really is not your fault, and I think you would be surprised to know whom I blame.

The media convinces you that you must have the latest clothes to be hip. It is only human nature to desire the finer things in life. Especially, when they are paraded in front of you by music videos, one of the media’s many tools of destruction.

I used to watch these videos, and think something was wrong with me because I didn’t have lovely ladies hanging all over me while I wore Gucci.

Then I had to take a step back and re-assess what is really important in life.

This is the task that I implore all black folk to complete: Perhaps we can trade being fashionable for financial freedom, perhaps we can build black businesses instead, and perhaps we can begin to think on our own, as opposed to following the media like mindless drones.

In the end wouldn’t we all be better as a people, as a race?

Money is power and it is time we begin to empower ourselves.

James Scarborough is a junior English student from Atlanta. Contact him at