The following article reports the preliminary research findings of a phenomenological assessment of the experiences of African American women ages 35 to 64, providing individual and collective advocacy supports for elder family members besieged by the contemporary forms of economic terrorism that include community redlining, predatory lending, financial fraud, housing piracy, and home foreclosure. The impetus and precedents for the actions of our African American women clients who have experienced economic terrorism are discussed through the lenses of African American womanist leadership theory, black feminist thought, and adult development theory. This mid-life generation saga traverses the underworld of institutionalized legal and financial discrimination aimed at disabling personal agency and obstructing the restoration of these African American women's elder family members' financial credit, home equity, and home sites. Provided is a discussion of: (1) the macro and micro implications of predatory lending and financial discrimination in the context of patriarchy; (2) the issues of co-victimization for the African American women serving as elder advocates; (3) the process of regaining voice and reclaiming purpose; and (4) the actualizing phases of leadership as evidenced by sustained social action.


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pp. 148-169
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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