Friday, May 20 2022

Photo credit: Mena Darré

The first thing you notice about Dasha Kennedy PageInstagram probably isn’t its robust 181k+ sequel. Or even the beautiful images of her striking face. This is the handle: @TheBrokeBlackGirl.

As you can imagine there is a story behind the name. A truly inspiring.

The Georgia native, 34, grew up like most middle-class black people, in households that prioritized food on the table and a roof over their heads, but rarely talked about financial literacy.

“These conversations weren’t happening at my house,” Kennedy shared with Essence. “And now that I’m older, I wish they were. But one of the things I’ve realized is that talking about finances can be very emotional, especially in our community.

Kennedy said that because her parents kept their financial behaviors highly confidential, she made unnecessary missteps along the way to early adulthood, including dropping more than $20,000 in debt after her divorce there. is seven years old. Used to living in a two-income household and not making her own finances a priority, she began to be overwhelmed with bills. This, she says, was a turning point in her financial literacy journey.

“My experience with money has been interesting because despite years of working in the financial industry, I’m still in debt,” she said, referring to her time as a relationship manager at US Bank. and at Kemper as an accountant. “I abused credit cards and took out payday loans, which I never thought I would have to do. It wasn’t until life really started happening that I realized that what I thought I knew about money was very minimal compared to actually experiencing different financial difficulties. It was an eye-opening experience.

She said her divorce taught her to always put her personal financial health first, even in a life partnership, and advised women, especially Black women to do the same.

“When I think about black women in relationships with black men, discussions about money get lost in the details,” she says. “We hear so many conversations about who pays the bills, the 50-50, and all these expectations of black women not only in the job market, but also to come home to cook and clean, which is a job not self-paid. So when I think about black women, relationships, and money, one of the things I encourage is to never take your finances to heart, no matter what type of relationship you’re in. I always allow women, especially black women, to stay involved, ask questions and not fall under the trope of, “Oh, if you ask too many questions about finances, you’ll come across as a ‘gold digger’ or someone who only cares about money.”

She also rightly points out that the financial security of black women is key to not only our survival, but also that of our family.

Research shows that nearly 80% of black mothers are the sole breadwinners in their families, meaning their households depend on their wages to make ends meet and get ahead. Nearly four million black families are headed by black women and more than one in four households live below the poverty line.

These sobering numbers strongly underscore Kennedy’s mission to empower black women on their journey to financial well-being.

“We have every right to ask the right questions in our relationships, to inquire about debt, to inquire about credit, to inquire about income – because on the other side of that, when we have to go out in this world we get paid less, struggle to pay off our debts and deal with other factors that affect us just because we are black women.

After finalizing her divorce in 2015, Kennedy said it took her about three years to pay it all back. While organizing her own finances, she decided to share her learnings with other women along the way. His personal and authentic way of articulating difficult financial concepts has spread like wildfire. Now she teaches people across the country how to make their money mean more to them. One of its partners in this process is National debt relief, an organization dedicated to helping millions of Americans achieve financial independence.

“National Debt Relief reached out to me after seeing some of my content and the authentic way I discuss debt on my platform,” she shared. “My goal is really to present financial conversations in a way that humanizes the impact of debt. National Debt Relief is equipped with debt specialists who are there to help and guide you through this journey, because you are going to feel so bad about even being in debt that you won’t want to deal with it alone.

In addition to regularly posting in-depth financial advice on her social platforms, she hosts classes, workshops, and courses attended by thousands of attendees. It’s especially gratifying because Kennedy says she sees herself in the people she helps.

“When I was going through stressful financial situations, I named my platform Broke Black Girl because that was who I was at the time,” she explained. “I kept the name because so many women resonate with it and now see it as a safe space. That’s what it’s about for me.”

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