The fight for equal pay for women is still ongoing. But for black women, the pay gap is even larger — black women make about 66 cents for every dollar a white man makes. That means that a black woman would have to work six months into 2017 to earn what an average white man earned in 2016 alone according to Valerie Jarrett, a former adviser to President Barack Obama, in a piece written for Refinery29 on July 31, Black Women’s Equal Pay Day.
“And what particularly rankles me is that this pay gap continues even though Black women are doing everything that we associate with economic success,” Jarrett wrote. “At a skyrocketing rate, Black women are pursuing higher education (in fact we’re the most educated group in the United States). We are participating in the labor workforce, and starting businesses. Just consider that in the last decade, the number of businesses owned by Black women increased 178% — the largest spike among any racial and ethnic group of women or men. Yet, pay inequality costs Black women with Bachelor’s degrees an average of $10,000 their first year out of college.”
Jarrett continued, “I know these women. They are my family. They are my neighbors. They are my fellow citizens.”
Jarrett isn’t the only celebrity or influencer speaking out on the importance of today. Here’s what others are saying to shed light on the importance of pay equality for black women.
1. Orange Is the New Black actress Laverne Cox
2. Tennis superstar Serena Williams
July 31 is Black Women's Equal Pay Day. Black women are the cornerstone of our communities, they are phenomenal, and they deserve equal pay. pic.twitter.com/XOHyIdbYPc
3. Rapper Remy Ma
— Remy Ma (@RealRemyMa) July 31, 2017
4. Actress, model and daughter of Diana Ross, Tracee Ellis Ross
— Tracee Ellis Ross (@TraceeEllisRoss) July 31, 2017
5. How to Get Away With Murder star Viola Davis
6. Insecure star Issa Rae
It’s unacceptable that black women still have to fight for equal pay. Support these women and others who are fighting for equality.