As February, Black History Momth, comes to a close and we transition into March, Women's History Month, we want to recognize a few Black women who have impacted personal finance education throughout history. When it comes to personal finance and wealth building, there are many Black women who have made a big impact. Despite facing discrimination and challenges, these women have worked hard to manage their money and build wealth. Let's take a look at three amazing women who made history in the world of personal finance, and what we can learn from them.
1. Maggie Lena Walker: Maggie Lena Walker was born in 1864, and she was the first Black woman in the United States to start a bank. In 1903, she founded the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank to help Black Americans who couldn't access traditional banks. Her bank offered savings accounts, loans, and even life insurance policies. Under her leadership, the bank became very successful.
Application: Maggie Lena Walker's determination and resourcefulness show us that it's important to work hard and create opportunities for ourselves and others. If we face obstacles, we can think creatively and come up with new solutions to help us achieve our goals.
2. Madam C.J. Walker: Madam C.J. Walker was born in 1867 and became one of the most successful businesswomen of her time. She started out as a laundress and cook, but then she created hair care products for Black women. She started the Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company in 1906, which became one of the most successful Black-owned businesses in America. Her success allowed her to help other Black women improve their financial situations.
Application: Madam C.J. Walker's story shows us the power of entrepreneurship and taking risks. If we have an idea, we can work hard to turn it into a successful business that can benefit ourselves and others.
3. Maya Angelou: Maya Angelou is famous for being a poet and author, but she also made important contributions to personal finance. In the 1970s, she worked as a market analyst for a stock brokerage firm. She was one of the few Black women in the industry at that time. Later on, she taught women, especially Black women, about managing their finances and building wealth.
Application: Maya Angelou's journey shows us that we should always be learning and expanding our knowledge. If we want to improve our financial situation, we can read books, attend classes, and seek out experts who can help us learn and grow.
These women are just a few examples of the many Black women who have made significant contributions to personal finance and wealth building throughout history. Their legacies continue to inspire and empower women to take control of their finances and build a more secure financial future.
Affirm: I can create impact for my last name and #ForOurLastNames.
Written by Ray'Chel Wilson, CFEI®, a Toledo native, is the author of the Black Wealth Freedom series and CEO of Raise the Bar Investments, all things minority-friendly personal finance, #ForOurLastNames. Ray’Chel is an advisory board member of the Phe’Be Foundation, a Cleveland-based nonprofit fighting financial illiteracy across age ranges.