Commentary Jamaica Magazine

Ponder This During Black History Month

Cold days, dark mornings, early nights, winter blah – that’s what February is about. It is the month for final contribution to your RSP, claimable for the fiscal year. In addition to all this, it is Black History Month. I have a burning question. Whose bright idea was it to select the coldest month in the year to celebrate Black History? Did they forget we are hot-blooded people!

On a more serious note, February is an important time for the black community. We are fortunate to have a whole month designated as a time to celebrate, reminisce and reflect on our history. We should also use the time to educate others and ourselves about our history. In other words, Black History Month is not just for Black people, it is for the other cultures to learn about us and our powerful contribution to the world.

There are numerous activities taking place during this month and I hope we will try to participate in as many as possible.

But while we are reflecting and enjoying the fun events, let us not forget one thing, “We ain’t going back there!” We are not going back to the old days, old ways and old ideas. We must equip ourselves with whatever it takes to move us forward which brings me back to my pet peeve. WE MUST LEARN TO INVEST, INVEST WISELY AND DO IT NOW. To quote Brian Tracy, “It’s not how much you make but how much you keep that counts.”

I visited the Ontario Black History Society on Adelaide Street last week and found it quite interesting as I flipped through pages of information. I scrutinized the list of Blacks who have received The Order of Canada and I wondered how many of the recipients could be regarded as wealthy.

Don’t misunderstand that statement. It is wonderful to see recognition given for the good works that many of them did but in the final analysis, how many of them paid attention to the economic side of life? How many of them amassed a legacy to show our younger generation that we can do good and still live comfortably? You will note that the Gates and Cosby’s of this world are able to do a lot more for the less fortunate because they have wealth. Something to ponder, I am sure.

History has shown that despite the inherent fluctuations in the stock markets, no other investment – no real estate or gold – has outperformed the stock market over a long term period.

I suggest everyone go on out there and educate yourselves on investments, do whatever you have to do but do not miss the boat. You will not accumulate wealth by investing in piddly savings accounts and GIC’s at today’s rates.

Let’s hope that ten years from now when we celebrate Black History Month, we can list some proud, wealthy Jamaicans among our famous heroes.

About the author

Marcia "Ackeegiel" Davidson