The Modern-day Sharecropping Dilemma
“A sharecropper just picked at the crusted rim of freedom, and could never enjoy its sweet center. No way to earn enough to buy anything of real value, let alone a decent spread of land. No way to see a time of ease and rest in his old age. No way to have something to leave to his own children, should he have them.”
I recently read that passage in a novel of Rosalyn Story’s and it stuck with me. It was so profound to me as every word of it is still very much so relevant to this day. It was nearly midnight when I called my dad stressing to him that, for the most part, I felt that black folk were still sharecropping.
As synchronicity would have it, I stumbled across the book, 10 Things Every Woman Should Keep in Her Purse by Shani Curry-St.Vil. Each one of the concerns raised by the concept of present-day sharecropping was addressed in this phenomenal, financial guide designed for the modern woman.
I consider the book a read-for-all because it made that connection between financial bondage and emotional bondage, and provides the knowledge we need to overcome the fears and doubts that often leave us feeling overwhelmed. No more sharecropping; it’s the 21st century. We deserve to be financially liberated so that we can live fully and freely.
Knowledge is power and this read right here is powerful; it’s better known as Purse Empowerment.
I connected with Shani and she agreed to chat for a bit. Here’s what she had to say:
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m Shani Curry-St. Vil. I hold onto my maiden name as it, too, is a reflection of my heritage. I am a 30-year-old wife and mother of two. I was born and bred in Miami, Florida. I am a Personal Finance expert that has compiled a decade of knowledge that I obtained while working as a banker in real estate and investment firms.
2. I’ll be honest with you. I read the cover and thought, “She’s about to tell me to cut off my cable, sell my wedding ring, and start riding the bus.” It was nothing like that however. By page 5, I’d already highlighted about six passages. The question that sticks out most for me is: Why did you decide to write this book? What was your motivation?
I wrote this book to empower women beyond what the media regards them as. I want to empower them to think beyond luxuries and instead think, “How can I build my legacy?”
3. On the back of the book, it mentions that you speak to us in our language. Elaborate on that.
We young sophisticates have a way with words. We require realness with a side of intellect. We require comedic relief coupled with honesty and transparency infused with motivation. That’s me, that’s Shani-speak.
4. You referred to a few of your friends and/or mentors as either “Pursepreneurs” or “Purse Partners.” Tell us more about that. What is the difference between the two?
“Pursepreneurs” are female business owners that are striving to empower or have already acquired wealth. “Purse Partners” are the people that are in your Fab Five. They are the people that inspire you, encourage you, and hold you accountable.
5. Another thing I loved was your complete honesty. You shared your upbringing and how it affected you. One of my favorite highlights of the books stated that: “Unfortunately, if we do not wise up to wealth wisdoms, our daughters will inherit the same purse poverty.” What do you suggest to those of us who are mothers?
If we as women continue to expose our daughters to the superficial reality that is projected on TV then we only perpetuate the idea that women are only good for shopping, bashing, and did I say shopping? We can prevent passing on the “purse of poverty” by monitoring what our daughters watch on TV, by being cautious of what makes our must-have list, by providing reward based gifting, by implementing chores attached to allowances, coupled by opening them up a savings account, and requiring that they save 10% of every cash gift that they receive. We arm them with our actions. We have to stop giving in to every tantrum they have as a tot or teen so that they learn that crying only gets them tears and a means of releasing frustration. Teach them that if you don’t work you don’t eat. Become watchful of them so that you can begin introducing them to people and programs that will further develop their talents. This way, they will see themselves beyond what their hair is like, what’s on their back, or in their drive way. You gotta train them up!
6. Many of our readers are what we call “Execumamas“–young mothers on the move. What would you recommend to such women who are transitioning (or considering doing so) into entrepreneurship?
Three things: Number one, find a mentor in their area of interest; number two, write a plan; and number three, get started!
8. If readers only remembered one thing about this book, what you would you want that one thing to be?
You are fabulous, even if you do not buy another thing! If it’s on your ass, it is not an asset.
9. How can readers connect with you?
I can be reached by email: email@example.com, on Facebook: Purse Empowerment, and on Twitter: @Pursempowerment.
Posted by Trelani Duncan
Trelani Duncan is a reader, writer, blogger, and author of the critically acclaimed novel, “What the Devil Meant for Bad.” She writes to not only entertain, but to encourage. Be sure to follow her unremitting size 7.5s on Twitter @So_Fundamental.