Around Christmastime last year, I had a great hour-long chat with Pulitzer-prize winning author and journalist, Karen Hunter of Karen Hunter Publishing. If you watch the video below, the same way she’s talking there is the same way she talked to me: straight up.
She didn’t know me from Adam but was not hesitant to take the time to answer my questions about getting started as a freelance writer, the business of writing and publishing for Blacks in particular. She shared her background and wisdom with me, and many of the things she imparted to me then were also mentioned in this book (which was then unreleased), Stop Being Niggardly: And Nine Other Things Black People Need to Stop Doing. In this post I’ll give you some of the highlights, but in short, this book is a must-read, and more importantly, a must-DO.
If You Can’t Get In Their Door, Start Your Own
When Karen started her own publishing house, she reached out to her contacts for support, but didn’t get it. I was surprised when she mentioned
Earl Graves as one of those people (he is the founder and publisher of Black Enterprise magazine). She talked about how Blacks can be so niggardly (definition: stingy—watch the video above or look it up) and try to hold each other back from progress and success.
Divide and Conquer—It’s the American Way
Karen gives us a brief history lesson in explaining the racial categories we give ourselves here in America. The perceived origins of Latinos, Dominicans, Haitians, Blacks, and Jews have more in common than you might think (certainly more than I knew).
Digging Out of Debt
I can relate all too well to Karen’s story about going broke and having to downsize (for her she had to move back home; for me it was moving from a house to an apartment). The key is the recognize when you’re going too deep in debt and to Stop Digging.
People First, Then Money
How many of you are familiar with Suze Orman’s mantra, “People first, then money, then things”? It’s not just a saying that she closes her show with, it should be a way of life.
In the book, Karen says, “ How you handle your money indicates how your life is going. If you have chaos on your job and in your life, your money is guaranteed to be a mess…. Money is an outward display of the discipline and standards of your life.”
Unfortunately personal finance is not taught in school. The only examples we have to go on as children are what we learn at home and see in our neighborhoods. We have to learn to respect our money if we’re going to be successful in life. Continue reading