Nomalanga: Why Black People Are Poor, Broke and Experiencing Lack


moneyBy Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about how much the Obama administration cares about Black people; whether it be here in the US or in the country of his father’s birth and it’s surrounding countries, in Africa. It’s hard to deny that when a sitting President makes decisions about policy, what he does affects his country and it’s also hard to deny that when a sitting U.S. president makes decisions, those decisions not only affect his country but also many countries across the world.

The small rumbling that has now turned into a very significant voice argues that President Obama does not care about Black people when he sits at his “decision making chair”, but instead seems to only care about them when it could benefit him, like at election time. While many perceive this as a negative thing, which is certainly understandable, I see it as an opportunity to get a very clear message across to, not just Black people, but anyone who is listening. The message is that in order to have financial freedom, each man and woman has to stand up and do something…anything.

Does the Obama administration have to be held accountable for the reversal of the many systems, that have been strategically put in place over the course of hundreds of years, and are now negatively affecting minorities, women and other vulnerable groups? Of course! That having been said though, it is important to recognize that holding any administration accountable has to be done along with other actions that people take by themselves, for themselves.

There are many ways to overcome, poverty and lack and one place that we can all start is with our mindsets. It’s important to speak up and hold the powers that be to what they said they would do and what they are supposed to do but we also have to stop thinking that is all we have to do. A mindset of blaming others for our circumstances puts us in a state of victim-hood that then encourages us to do nothing but complain about what should be happening but is not. It is more important to take charge of ourselves and our mindsets.

Think about it, how many times have you heard(or said) the following phrases?

Money doesn’t grow on trees.

Rich people are crooks.

I don’t want to have money and be a snob or think that I’m better than everyone else.

Rich people are greedy

Money goes out faster than it comes in

Money is evil (*For those that quote the scriptures, it is actually the LOVE of money that is evil, not the money.)

How we experience riches is very closely tied to what we think of ourselves. If you believe that you do not deserve money (usually tied to a low self esteem), you will continue to experience lack, no matter how much money you make. If you think about it, there are many people who have a modest income and yet seem to have everything that they need and are joyful and living peaceful lives. Then there are those who have a lot of money and eventually end up up to their eyeballs  in debt or have the money but still feel like it is not enough; they still experience lack. It still comes back to mindset.

If, at this moment in time, you feel broke, poor or are experiencing lack, you have to ask yourself what you believe about yourself and what you believe about money. Unless and until you change your thinking; your mindset, President Obama could change all the policies to favor you and what ever group you most identify with but that won’t help you as long as your mindset is set at “broke, poor and lacking” or “I’m a victim”.

Not everyone has the right to hold their leaders accountable or responsible; you can not ask someone to do something for you that you are not willing to do for yourself. If you really want to change your life and your financial well-being, start with your mindset. What have YOU done, today, to move your life and your finances forward? Unless you can have a favorable answer to this question on a consistent basis, you need to sit down and be quiet. If you’re feeling offended, you are probably the very person that needs to sit down and be quiet.

Nomalanga helps Black Women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , Assistant Professor of Professional Studies and the reigning Mrs Botswana. Visit Nomalanga’s blog at



  1. Blacks are broke because they’re ignorant and wish remain ignornat about economics, finace and power. Despite all the hell blacks catch from white folks we still should be better off. Just look at whats been going on, black women handed over black hair businesses to Koreans-thats a multi billion dollar per year business, Yes they just gave it away. Black men piss away all their money on bling and other stupid shit. Black preachers steal millions if not billions from black churches each year and don’t do anything at all for the communities they ripped off. As long as black folk remain stuck on stupid and being ignorant this will go on for ever.

    • I totally agree with you! I like most of what I’ve read that Nomalanga authored, but this one is faulty. I dare say that Nomalanga hasn’t experienced much of what most Black Americans have. Shame on her for this mostly substanceless article.

  2. Pingback: Nomalanga: Why Black People Are Poor, Broke and Experiencing Lack | Healthy Black Woman | HARD TRUTHS & bubble gum!

  3. I agree with the fact that we should and need to change our mindset; that applies to any and everybody, not just black people. I ran across this quote not long ago (can’t remember who quoted it): “I am so happy and grateful now that money comes to me in increasing quantities, through multiple sources, on a continuous basis”. I have been repeating it over and over on a daily basis, along with some other affirmations and surely things are slowly improving. Saying it actually makes me want to be proactive in the process; to get up and do something about my situation.

    Let’s give each other tools to work with when we make bold statements about what should be done to improve our lives. Change happens to a lot of us gently; with a lot of love, encouragement and patience.

    Also, President Obama is a wise and intelligent man, with a number of equally intelligent advisers-spiritual and otherwise in his camp. Oh, and don’t forget about Michelle Obama! Just because he’s not calling for a press conference, it doesn’t mean he’s asleep about the situation in Chicago. I’m sure he probably talks with Rahm Emanuel and others about solutions more often than we realize. We that pray, should lift that city up daily before God. Make a positive difference by falling on your faces before Him and watch in faith the change that will take place in all our lives.

    Love and blessings to all of you!

  4. blacks are selfish towards their own,and very giveing toward none blacks.
    the majority of blacks show no financial respect,or honor to their people as
    a whole unless whites validate them.The majority of blacks believe in the
    white man more than they believe in god.if you gave the majority of blacks
    millions not to serve the god that they profess to serve,they will not serve him.
    the majority of blacks are religious hypocrites professing that they love god
    but hate themselves,their brother,and break the main commandment
    ” you should not have no other gods before me”).blacks stay in this violation
    because whitemen have the money,so the majority would sell their soul for
    some millions. the majority of blacks expect another race to do for them that
    they would not do for themselves.there are so many degress of betrayal of
    trust loyalty,respect,love,care,and their refusal to be human to each other.
    the majority of blacks are still for sale to the highest bidder,so with the above
    sentiments still in effect,we will continue to be poor and broke,until we as an
    individual and as a nation change,we will continue to be in this predicament.

    • You realize of course that the GOD you’re talking about was given to black people by white people. It’s their GOD that they imparted on to us during slavery. So one could argue that too is just another “white control”. Bottom line people of all races need to stop blaming others for the ills of the world, handle their business and help others do the same if they are in a position to or are so inclined.

    • @TELLEM why are you so sad? you are talking about yourself you hate your black brothers/sisters, because you don’t know about any blacks only yourself. You love the white man you will give to the white-boy before you would give to your own black mother. Only you know that because you don’t know anything about other blacks.

  5. I agree with this article. Many blacks have been programmed to believed that they are inferior, so they do not strive to have or do anything exceptional or reach their full potential. Many who have the intellect or gift to make a substantial amount of money only buy material things with it to impress those who don’t have. Most of the time when their career is over, they are broke. There is enough black wealth today for us to invest in our communities and build residual income for ourselves. There is also enough knowledge available on how we can achieve this. Yes, if we don’t change our mindset, we will create our own dimise. If that happens, we can only blame ourselves.

  6. Pingback: Nomalanga: Why Black People Are Poor, Broke and Experiencing Lack | Healthy Black Woman « Habari Gani, America!

  7. All the comments that u read were all abt how blacks are this and blacks are that…so much hate and negativity geared to the black race. If u think that you’re negative comment will help the situation ….IT WON’T!!! also the author mentioned changing your attitude about money I think that will help but that only wont do anything. I was looking for some advice on how to save and invest not a whole article on black people and low self esteem. We as a community need to quit blaming ourselves and start making changes!

  8. The author hit the nail on the head when he mentioned the change of attitude/mentality about money! We all know the typical mentality of blacks are to party, get a drink, get some weed, get some hair/nails, rims—BUT at the same time what have you done to prepare your children for life? what have you done to move your circumstances from where you are to where you want to be?? the average not a darn thing!….but want to BLAME others for their circumstances and stagnated life they created for themselves by the decisions they made? like another comment was that we can only blame ourselves!

  9. As black people we need to quit blinding throwing all our weight and support to the Democrat party. You guys are hurting our communties by doing that. We need to make the democrats or any party make promises and commitments to our community. Voting Independent or even not voting at all when there are no candidates around that are concerned about our needs will make our community more relevant.

    The economy is collapsing. The politicians in Washington are trying there best to run this county into the ground. You better start investing in physical gold and silver now while you can. When the economy collapses your Federal Reserve notes will be worthless.

  10. Well done. I completely agree. The state you find yourself in is the state you placed yourself in. Enough said.

  11. WE BLACKS ARE NOT LACKING BROKE OR POOR–_GREEDY WOULD BE A BETTER WORD—-AFRICA IS A POOR /HUNGRY COUNTRY!—GET up and help somebody out–and stop feeling guilty for your extravagant life styles–Be CREATIVE for whatever situation/season you THINK you’re in—stop buying the BULL CRAP.MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS and MOVE ON!!!….PEACE and LOVE—-TO ALL YOU BLACK GENIUSES


  13. I'mNotThatBrainwashedBitchTheyTalkAbout on

    There’s some truth to this article. Not saying that is article is ignorant but some are:

    When ignorant folks post negative articles and comments about the plight of black folks, smart black folks tune out! Smart black folks don’t have time for self-hating black ignorance. The only thing they want to hear is uplifting each other. If one continues to bash the majority of the black race with negative words to get the black race engaged to do something positive, it doesn’t work; it’s counterproductive. If one continues to uplift the majority of the black race with positive words to get the black race engaged to do something positive, then overwhelmingly positive things will happen multiplied thousands of times; that’s productive. Here are the basics: a negative time a positive equals a negative; a positive times a positive equals a positive. Please understand this. Spare me with your negative connotations because I’m not trying to hear your rants, I’m trying to move forward and take as many positive black folks with me. Some of you can start by doing the same. Start your own businesses, that way, you won’t have to worry about who’s going to take care of you. Autonomy will be yours.

    Black have been attacks much to long with negative stereotypes by other races including their own. It’s no wonder why brainwashing continues. Some folks cannot give a simple complement to uplift their own and then wonder why sh*t is like it is. Time and time again, people see the positive in the black race but can only comprehend the negative bullsh*t that is said about them. If one is so misguided to think that they aren’t sh*t, then they’ll never be sh*t because they cannot see themselves as being better than sh*t.

    No matter how much negativity that goes on in this world, people need to understand that you’re not the only race that has issues. No matter what you do in life, stay positive, get what is rightfully yours and learn to be a better person for everyone including yourself. You are better than any stereotype that was ever lied about you. It’s obvious what one should be doing but speaking negatively about it isn’t going to accomplish anything. Remember that!

    Now, for those of you who do not know: The reasons why white folks are so rich and fortunate is because they were given a wealth of land, they create the jobs for their own and everything under the sun, i.e., they control most of everything. All this wealth was passed down throughout their generation in the form inheritance, slave labor and any other way the controlled people’s minds (brainwashing). Wealth begets wealth; you have to have money to make money. Put two and two together minus black folks and you will get poor people. They don’t want you in their establishments so get your own businesses. You can figure out the rest. Research the history. You’re smart enough.

    Okay, here’s a link: http:***

    If some of you are still not convinced, see a Historian.

    I love my black people and only want what’s best for all of us.

  14. The problem is there is no one teaching financial stability in the black communities. So because of the ignorance, we spend our money on dumb **** like rims, jewelry, clothes and hair. Still thats no excuse cuz if we can look up the latest rap song or fights online, than we can look up ways to invest and how to become financially independent.

  15. When are we getting our 40 acres and a mule? When will there be legislation to compensate the many African American decendants for the many many years of vitimization?

    “Legislation to Compensate Iran Hostage Crisis Victims–presented by Georgia Republican Senator Johnny Isakson.

    On Wednesday, I introduced legislation that would properly compensate the 52 victims of the Iran hostage crisis for the 444 days they were held captive. The compensation would come from fees collected from violations of Iran sanctions.

    I am also proud to announce that Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., has signed on as the lead Democratic co-sponsor, making this legislation a bipartisan effort.

    The 52 Americans who were held hostage for 444 days when Iranian radicals seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran, in 1979 deserve more than the small compensation they received upon their release more than 30 years ago. Many of the hostages were terrorized and subjected to torture while held captive. In 1981, the hostages were freed by the Algiers Accords—an agreement between the U.S. and Iran that settled the crisis—that barred hostages from seeking damages for their imprisonment.

    A group of 45 former hostages have sought to collect damages in court challenges over the years, but their efforts have been halted by the Algiers Accords, which was the deal brokered between the United States and Iran to release the hostages and prohibits the hostages from suing Iran. This legislation provides an alternative avenue for the victims to collect compensation without violating the Algiers Accords. Five of the former hostages live in Georgia.

    Currently, the Department of Treasury enforces U.S. sanctions on Iran. This legislation would direct the secretary of the Treasury to establish a fund that would be used to pay the claims to the hostages. The fund would be financed from a surcharge added to fines and penalties assessed on any business or person that does business with Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions. My bill would allow hostages or their family members to collect damages amounting to about $4.4 million each, or $10,000 for each day they were held captive. Five years after their release from Iran after being held for 444 days, the hostages received approximately $22,000 each, or $50 for each day held captive, from the U.S. government.

    It is unacceptable that the 52 men and women victimized by the Iran hostage crisis have not received meaningful compensation for what they went through. The Oscar-winning film Argo has reminded us all of the sacrifices and risks that members of the Foreign Service make to serve our country overseas in some dangerous places. The Iran hostages sacrificed mightily for our country, and I urge Congress to pass this legislation to demonstrate our support the brave men and women represent our country abroad.”

    • Anne, unfortunately most people have your mindset. You complain in one sentence about blacks receiving reparations for slavery. Then write 30 sentences about Iranian hostages receiving reparations. Until you believe you won’t convince Congress or the UN to pay for slavery. Case Closed.

  16. It’s not the government.
    It’s mind set.

    We know that if you don’t graduate from High School. You will have a 90% chance of
    Staying where you are economically.

    So why do we have over a 50% drop out rate?

    The mentality of “make money and get mine” has turned into ROB others to get it.
    Which leads folks to having a criminal record a Felony.

    Then jobs. They are out there, but most of these companies DRUG TEST, and most young folks cant pass a DRUG TEST.

    And have you seen what folks show up looking like – trying to get a job.
    A doo rag, baseball hat, and sagging jeans WILL NOT get a job.

    WHERE are the Grandma’s and Mama’s that used to tell you to wear your SUNDAY BEST.

    Lastly, if its not about getting a job, how about CREATE your own job?

    Being a Rapper is not a job and for 90% of the people in the game; they arent making money.

    • Paul Harris on

      Well said. I knew a chef who was a good soul and TRIED to employ black youth. He ended up in despair saying they made themselves unemployable. Really people, Getting a job is about earning money. It’s not about shoving blackness down the throats of potential employers. Drop the funny costumes. Put on your Sunday best. Create a better life for yourself.
      I have been poor and I have had jobs that pay nicely. I can tell you for sure it is MUCH harder to be poor than it is to perform well at a job you like. Plus, when you walk out of the job at 5pm, you have some money in your pocket. Overall, working is better.

  17. WE are NOT getting any reparations.
    We need to stop shopping at Barney’s and create our own, high end luxury stores.
    Stop thinking that JayZ represents Black Folks.
    He represents HIMSELF.

    He is a “BUSINESS” – Man

    • We, speak for yourself playa. Hell why you think the Jews, Japs or Native Americans are complaining? They got paid. White’s got a free ride in 33 and been riding the back of free labor every since. What do you think prisons are for? Rehabilitation? Why is the prison system a stock on the stock exchange. When did it become a stock? Who benefits’ from prison labor? And I’m from TX, and WE were in Slavery for an extra 2.5 years. And you say forget about it. I say F you and the horse you rode in on. If you are Black and your grandparents were born in the U.S and you don’t want Reparations, you’re speaking for your damn self.. My bad, maybe you are a descendent of a slave owner, after-all, all blacks were not enslaved for 500 yrs. Some just had 12 years. Looks like illegal Mexicans are even being paid.

  18. It’s sad to see over and over again, black websites, supposedly owned and run by black people, for the “benefit” of black people, repeatedly posting these types of headlines. I would expect this on any other site but this is supposed to be blacks talking to blacks. Every black person, regardless of what you are being told by mainstream media, is not broke, busted , and disgusted. I’m so tired of the way these headlines read on these “black” websites. How, as a race, are we supposed to move forward when we can’t even give each other the proper respect. “Why black people are poor” is an all inclusive statement! It is not true! All black people are not poor and I’m so sick of hearing it! Give our people more respect in these stupid headlines!!!! Stop talking down to the whole race and stop thinking that we can write in such an irresponsible manner and not have some repercussions as a whole!

  19. Paul Harris on

    Wonderful article. Really, no one is going to take care of us, but us. As you say, get up, do anything! I don’t understand why more poor people don’t use junior colleges. They are Soooo cheap. Anyone can afford them. Even if you work at McDonald’s (I hope not) one can afford a junior college.
    My research shows me that anyone here in my home town of Dallas, Texas who has an Associate’s degree can get an annual salary of $32,000 to $35,000. Certainly that is a lot better than wallowing in helplessness, poverty and despair. Pay attention to your work, learn, be positive, learn more and in time your salary will double. That’s how reality works. We can’t change the way the world works, but we can work with it to maximize our personal results. Learn to read, go to school, get a first job, be constructive and helpful, get a better second job. Presto! You are not poor anymore. It doesn’t matter at all if you are black, white, green, or yellow. This is how our reality works. When I meet someone new, I don’t look at their skin color. I check them out to see if they are what I call ‘a person of achievement.’ If they are, I respect them and like them. Problem solved.

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