Just as Wendy Williams, always ask “can we talk,” I find myself wondering the same thing.  I was homeschooled which I’m very happy about because of the fact that I was overweight, and a nerd so I knew that I would have gotten into fights every day. But the one thing that I hated I missed out on was homecoming and prom seasons. I would have love to gotten the chance to dress up, and go dance the night away with a boy who I thought was the man of my dream. But I chose to let my wedding day make up for me missing my prom however this prom season was the most-talked about on record because of the outrageous spending that left many people wondering where did the money come for.

As we know this generation is very different from our generation. They have more access to money, and social media then we did. We had to make the best of what we could afford and make it work for us. Getting picked up in a regular car, or limo was doing it big back in our day during, our prom season but this year prom season is off the hook and yes, again we got to talk.

When we all finished having kids, I’m sure that we would want to give our children the best that the world has got to offer however, from what I seen this prom season makes me wonder what do these children have planned for after graduation? I didn’t want to touch this topic because I didn’t want to sound like a “hater” as people are called after they ask questions about the children’s academic, and financial knowledge. But when I saw a mother shelled out 25k, just so her son could have an Arabian night prom sendoff I could no longer bite my tongue.

Last year, U.S. News wrote about the academic achievement gap between the United States compared to other countries but what was very notable was the low results from black children which was referred to as a”national embarrassment.” We know that the system is set up for us to fail as much as possible as a people, but as I come to learn it’s only so much of blaming the system that we can do as a people. Like I said before, we want our children to have the best but the money that these parents spent on one night of partying could have been used for their children’s future. That funding could have been productively spent to make sure that they could go to a great college so that they can come back and help their community. Furthermore, spending over $20,000 for one night just to apply for financial aid the next day is pure stupidity to me.

We are not teaching these children the value of saving, or how to develop good spending habits, thus instead they are heading out into the world thinking that everything will be handed to them. You will say that I’m a “hater” or trying to make a big deal out of nothing however, seeing these young women in $3,000 dresses, that they will only wear once when they could have saved that money for their college fund deeply saddens me. Yes, I don’t know if these kids don’t already have a savings account for college and they could all be going to the best lvy league colleges in the U.S., however, if they are investing so much into a prom night they must not be that financially fit. If we do not get our kids knowledgable and disciplined about savings and sound investments early, then we would all be leading them down a road of poor decision making and crippling, financial hardship.

The reason why I touch on this topic is because I hear so many of my closet friends talk about how they wish that they had better financial teaching in the past. It’s best to teach the children early about financial literacy so, that they will have the ability to use that knowledge and skill to make effective money management decisions in later adulthood.

I hear that prom is usually a once in the lifetime experience that has to be grand enough to have enough memories to share with your friends and children in later years but maybe I had to go to prom to understand what all the fuss was about. Personally I believe, the night could still be an epic memory but in a cost effective and sensible manner.

If we do not teach our children about academic, and financial generational wealth, they will always remain in the dark and in a less than favorable position. Blacks being at a disadvantage economically should be of no secret to anyone. It was shown that, in the next 20 years black wealth will only rise by $750, while other’s wealth will rise by over $19,000. As a whole we have to do better so that our children will have the chance that so many of us were not blessed to have. Responsibility to carry the torch further.

 

~Judaea Payne

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Good Article. Personally I think we can take this one mom’s choice to spend $20K of HER money the way she wants to and use it as an example about privilege, inheritance, wage/education gaps, and poor money management. The son has a 3.8 GPA and is a star athlete so maybe his tuition will be free. Most importantly, the mom is a successful entrepreneur and cancer survivor who didn’t think she would leave to see the day. Black people should be able to floss like White people without being deemed as irresponsible. All the comments I’ve seen online assumes that the mom couldn’t afford it and is irresponsible.

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