We Can’t Divorce Privilege from the Journey


I had a moment to listen to one of my favorite podcasts this morning. Now, if y’all know me, you realize exactly how much I love my podcasts–  I take time to listen to, deconstruct, evaluate the content of each one and relate it not only to my experience but to folks who may have alternative viewpoints. Many of these podcasters are great in their fiscal astuteness, but a few stand out as having a pulse on some of the most critical issues at the root of overcoming asset inequity and establishing a legacy of wealth.

Anyway, the podcast I was listening to featured a young WW who took the time to not only highlight the difficulty of achieving the first $100k savings/investment benchmark, but who also acknowledged some of the critical themes in doing so. Now we all have a critical understanding of intersectionality, but this beautiful young WW actually incorporated it into her money process.  That is, in a very public, coherent, and central part of her public platform, she took the time to break down the significance of her privilege.

THIS! We need more of THIS!

This young woman took the time to point out each of the ways she was privileged, and discuss the ways it influenced her experience in obtaining, retaining and investing wealth, and when faced with push-back on her acknowledgment, she remained unapologetic about (and doubled down on) the importance of recognizing this in her work.

While I still strongly believe that there aren’t enough othered voices discussing the critical aspects of wealth and assets, I also believe that the ones who ARE there really should take time to acknowledge the ways in which struggle impacts those who may subscribe to their conceptual frameworks.

As an equity scholar, I get really excited about this kind of milestone. As a brown woman married to a non-brown man, I realize this is where it starts. And as a child of struggle, this is absolutely the beginning of honest, tough discussions that lead everyone forward.

Everyone has some form of privilege, be it educational, gender, sexuality, racial, ethnic, linguistic, nativity, age, or experience (ie, DINKs have privilege). We won’t begin to really hear the voices of people who are like us, though—to find the most effective and conscious ways of overcoming disadvantage—until we can really sit in that privilege and incorporate it into the ways we think about, set, and pursue our goals.

So in the same spirit, I think it’s important to acknowledge mine. The Thicker Grits comes from a cis, straight-partnered, dark brown woman whose first language was not English, but who quickly retained it. I didn’t come from wealth or a two-parent household, but I have the privilege of education that lines my path—from attending a top private school through the obtainment of a Ph.D.—and have tried to use that privilege to evaluate and highlight the paths out of the struggle experiences in its pursuit. I have learned along my own educational journey, and have gathered additional information from my husband’s experiences and teachings—a straight, white man who comes from wealth and cultural teachings specific to gaining and expanding personal financial well-being.

So while my family and community has not done poorly (and has passed forward some amazing teachings related to pursuits of success), as an adult, I have gained additional wisdom that I wish someone would’ve shared with me at an earlier juncture.  

What do you think? How do you think your privilege has played a role in your fiscal journey? What about your educational journey?

What piece of your story do you find most important to the way you frame things?

Read on...


Thicker Grits

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