Why We Exist
Freshly Minted serves the Black community by helping to address the racial wealth gap in the United States. We are responding to the many years of stolen wages from the Black community, a cry that resembles James 5:4, in an attempt to restore what has been lost financially over the course of history. We believe that increased wealth building in the Black community will bring about greater prosperity for America as a whole.
Freshly Minted Finance is dedicated to righting a historical wrong, namely, the repetitive and wrongful appropriation of Black resources through the unjust treatment of African-Americans. Many people do not think of injustice in America as a form of robbery, yet forces of white supremacy and Black inferiority have throughout our history resulted in a protracted siphoning of resources out of African-American communities. Indeed, it is not just Black lives that have been lost, but Black livelihoods.
This siphoning of resources out of African-American communities has taken many forms. From 1619 to 1865, it took the form of stolen wages, or more accurately, wages never paid. During this period of time, slaves were expected to work up to 24 hours a day with no paid holidays (1). At today’s federal minimum wage, this should have resulted in the equivalent of $444,570 in wages per year (this does not consider the brutal emotional toll of life as a slave, especially those less fortunate) (1). A 2018 study on the wealth implications of slavery revealed estimates of about US$12 trillion to US$13 trillion of lost wages during the period of slavery in the United States. Consider the results of this protracted denial of wealth to African-Americans throughout slavery’s 250 year history, and you have just a taste of the devastating effects of racism on the wealth of African-Americans.
Add the effects of predatory lending practices, discriminatory wage and housing policies, and continued denial of job opportunities that persisted after slavery, and you get a slightly more accurate picture. These events have contributed to the racial wealth gap in the United States. The resulting disparities are not necessarily self-made but more so a product of many years of systemic injustice and lack of access to financial education. In 2018, the median household income for Black families was $41,511, which is $26,426 less than the median household income of a white family ($65,902). In 2016, the median net-worth of a Black family was $12,920, while the median net worth of a white family was almost 10 times more ($114,700). Although these disparities indicate that historical events described above made a long-term impact on the Black community, the truth is we may never know the full extent of the devastating effects of racism on the finances of African-Americans. But we do know one thing--it deserves our attention.
Calculation based on today’s federal minimum wage ($7.25/hr) multiplied by the hours worked by slaves (24/day). This 24 hour a day estimate is based on research conducted by Dr. William Darity who stated: "At times, the assumptions we make may appear less than conservative, for example, when we count as billable all 24 hours of an enslaved person’s day in our wage-based estimation method (explained below) rather than just the average 12 daylight working hours. This is another aspect of comprehensiveness; we take great care to ensure that our assumptions faithfully reflect the underlying economic theory. Nonworking hours were not negotiated between free agents, they were determined based on the owner’s self-interest alone and for the owner’s exclusive benefit. We will, therefore, argue that they do not represent 'spare time' in the free market sense of the word and should not be subtracted from the outstanding bill.”
Scriptural Mission Statements
[But] look! [Here are] the wages that you have withheld by fraud from the laborers who have reaped your fields, crying out [for vengeance]; and the cries of the harvesters have come to the ears of the Lord of hosts.
But as the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. The Greek-speaking believers complained about the Hebrew-speaking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food.
In the rest of Acts 6, leaders are chosen from the congregation of believers to specifically serve the needs of the Greek-speaking widows. The leaders of the church recognized that an injustice was occurring against the Greek-speaking widows and they immediately took deliberate action to right the wrong against this specific group. In a similar way, Freshly Minted feels the need to serve the Black community, a specific demographic of the United States population that has suffered injustices for hundreds of years and is still living with the repercussions today.