Northside Business Spotlight

Paper Maker of the Northside

What is financial trauma?

“Financial trauma is caused by devastating experiences that harms and detours one’s financial capabilities and aspirations. The financial trauma is passed down through generations and creates internal financial barriers that is based on the fear of not wanting to relive the traumatic experiences. There’s a long history of White violence towards Black economic prosperity in this country. Ida B. Wells was very instrumental in outlining some of it by highlighting the lynchings of Black men in the South which were tied to their entrepreneurship. White men feared losing revenue from their Black customers to Black owned businesses, so they would lynch the Black male business owners to instill fear, detour entrepreneurship and regain their Black customers. Through her writings about the lynchings, she encouraged Black folks to move to the Midwest and North to avoid massive lynchings and for economic opportunity.”

“There’s also the situation with Black Wall Street where a wide variety of Black owned businesses existed successfully along with residential properties that we owned and lived in. Black Wall Street was bombed and destroyed by the U.S. government and several local law enforcement agencies, and groups took part of the mass murdering of hundreds of Black people including children on top of stealing our family jewels and money. That along with redlining, mortgage scams, assassinations of our economic leaders and countless instances of financial abuse and violence against Black people sent strong discouragement throughout some parts of the Black community across the United States, especially to the cities and movements who modeled themselves after Black Wall Street or what was also called “Little Africa.” This same reality is true today in very similar forms: we see it happening right before our eyes right here on the Northside.”