In the 60’s the watchword for African Americans was Black Power. The meaning behind the term meant political, social and economic power for many disenfranchised African Americans.
Over 40 years later a new modern day movement has taken place, and this movement is working to uplift a host of communities across America. Many have coined it the modern day Black Power movement. Unlike the movement in the 1960’s and early 70’s this movement required no protest, fist clenching or even slogans to empower African Americans.
This movement is homeownership. The African American home has long been the seat of economic power and wealth for people since the beginning of time. Now African American home ownership continues as the tool of economic empowerment for thousands of African Americans.
African American home ownership continues to rise. According the U.S Census Bureau, African-American home ownership continues to reach record levels. According to the 2004 Census Bureau report African-American home purchases reached 49.1 percent, up strongly from 42.3 percent 10 years ago.
With more African Americans realizing the importance of home ownership, money management and education the numbers are expected to rise. The biggest obstacles to the African American home continue to be discrimination.
African Americans still sit at the top of the list when it comes to discrimination, according to the U.S Housing and Urban Development. Discrimination in home loans, home sales, predatory lending practices, home improvement schemes and other categories continue to stifle African American home growth.
Despite the obstacles more African American home purchases have closed in the past 10 years than ever before. Thanks to the many first time home buyer programs many African American home purchases have closed.
The legacy and long-term wealth of millions of African American families can sprout from the power of homeownership. Homeownership has long proved to be the key to long-term economic development and growth of communities.
African Americans continue to find ways to overcome the residue of racism to purchase what to many is the true American Dream. The thought of paying rent burns in the minds of more and more African Americans more now than ever before.
This reflects itself in the risky African American home financing you see many stuck with. Predatory loans with high fees, interest only loans as well as negative option loans dot many African American communities. Many African Americans take these risky loans for the chance to own a piece of the American Dream.
The dream of not only establishing roots, but having a legacy to pass down to their children and grandchildren, pride of homeownership is helping to build and rebuild communities across America from large urban centers to rural communities.
Now the challenge is to educate more African Americans on home financing and home management. The challenge is finding help for those African American homes threatened with foreclosure because of predatory lending practices.
Congress and other Federal and State agencies continue to examine solutions, ideas and policies. Meanwhile, African American homeowners must take it upon themselves to seek help and to educate themselves to keep their homeownership dream alive. Yes, the African American home is good for a community and good for America.