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Are you ready for 21% unemployment? How about 40%?

As a mother, I am concerned for my children. As a mother of young African American children, I am concerned in a particular way for my children. Why?

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Because as the industrial revolution breathes its last breaths, the unemployment rate in America is 9.1%. But as reported recently in the Wall Street Journal, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-MO) says that the unemployment rate for black people in this country is 21%, and even as high as 40% in some urban areas.

Say what? Close your eyes for a minute. Can you imagine for 60 seconds what it would be like to grow up in a community where nearly half of the adults you meet do not have a job? Now imagine further that they don’t have much prospect of getting a job …

I’m not trying to be a downer on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, but this bothers me. The traditional job market is changing forever. Some people, including me, think that’s a good and exciting thing. After all, I left a traditional job to start a business of my own. Yet, so many millions of people are obviously unprepared to create a job of their own.

Question: How do you prepare for the un-preparable, even when you can see it coming straight at you like a freight train? If you’re a parent (or anyone with responsibility for a child), how are you preparing the next generation to succeed in a world where a full quarter or more of the black people they encounter won’t have a job?

Views: 60

Tags: black, economy, jobs, people, rep., unemployment


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Comment by Kara Knox on September 16, 2011 at 11:42am

The day after I returned from maternity leave in February of 2009 I was told that my position in corporate America was being eliminated due to down-sizing. Like most people who are a 'product of the economy' I never anticipated that I would have to be concerned with my children’s future well-being in regards to financial stability, lose a very good salary or have to worry about losing the home that I just purchased two years earlier. Thankfully I had savings in the bank to pay bills and to try and maintain some sense of 'normalcy' but that eventually dwindled down.


It has not been an easy ride but one thing that I have made sure of with my business is that I actually set time aside to build my brand, work on my website, polish out the rough edges and redefine what I wanted my business to mean for myself and what it would convey to others. This hasn't always been an easy task particularly with an extremely boisterous almost 3 year old running around the house. Since 2009 off I've only been able to find one job and that was a very humbling 5 month contractual position. Having no choice but to allocate money for things of necessity as opposed to being able to purchase tons of supplies without thought brings an interesting perspective to the overall picture.


Although this is not what I envisioned on 'how things would go/be' I do l know that my goals and working towards a bigger picture will eventually come to fruition. Much sooner than later. 

Comment by Scarlett Rocourt on September 16, 2011 at 10:03am
I started working on Wonder Curl when I was unemployed. I had the extra time and knew that I wanted to have my own business. I've since found a job, but haven't stopped moving forward with my vision of becoming my own boss.

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