Commentary- Black History: A conversation with Ja’Net Adams

Commentary- Black History: A conversation with Ja’Net Adams
February 08
03:00 2018

By Algenon Cash

Widely known historian Carter G. Woodson created “Negro History Week,” which was the precursor to Black History Month, and celebrated annually during the second week of February.

Woodson eventually convinced the Department of Education in North Carolina to participate along with a handful of other states agreeing to teach the history of African-Americans during the week of celebration.  Black History Month, as we know it today, was introduced in 1970 by black educators and a student association at Kent State University.

Throughout February, I’ll highlight local and regional African-Americans, all who have significant achievements in their fields.  I hope you enjoy these conversations, gain knowledge, and leverage their experiences to generate opportunities.

Growing up, Ja’Net Adams never knew she would be a recognized author, national speaker, and regular guest on WFMY. 

With two hard-working parents, she grew up middle class, but she always desired to do and become more.  Adams’ mom worked at Wachovia, so she would intern in the mailroom, a grueling task designed to teach real hard work.  “You can work a lot for a little money or work a little for a lot of money,” a constant reminder from “mom.”

Adams is no stranger to sweating – she was one of the only female tennis players at Reynolds High School to win a state championship.  She went on to attend South Carolina State University (SCSU) with a full athletic scholarship and a concentration on business.

It was during her time at SCSU where she would encounter a pharmaceutical sales recruiter hosting an information session.  Adams observed the recruiter handing out $50 to any student able to answer questions about the Orangeburg Massacre – a tragic shooting of protesters by South Carolina Highway Patrol officers on the SCSU campus on the evening of Feb. 8, 1968.  The recruiter’s largess immediately prompted Adams to pursue a career with Pfizer.

Adams moved on to work over eight years in the pharmaceutical industry, advising doctors on innovative prescription drugs, while generating $10 million in sales for the company annually.  However, it was the Great Recession in 2008 that would fundamentally alter the course of her life forever.  Adams was fired.

Accustomed to making large sums of money during her successful career, Adams found herself $50,000 in debt, with no source of income.  It was during this period in her life that she made a decision to become financially free and help others to discover how to do the same.

Eventually Adams regained employment in 2009 – but this time she remained focused on her goals.  Working hard to pay off debt and build her own business was a struggle for the married mom of two – family needs can be demanding.

Nevertheless, in 2010, Adams checked off one of her biggest goals when she paid the last payment on a car loan, fully retiring all $50,000 of debt.

In 2012, Adams had saved enough money to quit her daily grind of pushing drugs to various doctors, and pursue full time her goal to help others achieve financial peace.  She believed the most effective way to share her experience was to focus on speaking at college campuses, so she targeted school administrators and student groups to secure engagements.

Adams has spoken to over 15,000 students in the past six years.  Not to mention she released her first book titled “Debt Sucks University” in 2013 and provided students with a comprehensive guide on how she paid off $50,000 in debt.  An important topic for most college students – an average graduate may have $37,000 in student loan debt.

In 2014, Adams released an updated version of the book for adults, and just a day before our conversation she had released her third book – “Money Attractor” – all of her amazing work is available online at her website or through Amazon.

The climax of all her dedicated work happened in 2016 when Adams was invited to the White House to speak at the HBCU Summit.  Adams subsequently took focus on public policy and has been a frequent visitor to Capitol Hill.  Huffington Post, Black Enterprise, Forbes, and CNBC have all featured Adams’ incredible story.

You can watch Adams every other Wednesday on WFMY at 6:15 a.m. or download her weekly podcast to receive helpful money tips – learn how to save, pay off debt, or where to catch the deals happening around town.

“People always supported me and helped to shape my life, so I want to invest in others,” stated Adams.

Algenon Cash is a nationally recognized speaker and the managing director of Wharton Gladden & Company, an investment banking firm. Reach him at

About Author

WS Chronicle

WS Chronicle

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors