The data doesn't lie: Black women are awesome.
When it comes to black women, there is so much to celebrate. I should know, I spent the past few weeks getting in and out of formation.
But you don't hear about these cases of black excellence nearly enough. And since March is Women's History Month, what better time to celebrate some of the many positive achievements, advancements, and accomplishments of black women?
With the help of some amazing (but alarmingly underreported) statistics and GIFs of my favorite black celebs, I bring you 10 things you may not know about black women but definitely should.
You ready, Oprah?
1. 43 out of 50 black women graduate from high school.
That's 86% if fractions aren't your bag, a figure that's on the rise and definitely worth dancing about.
2. And the percentage of black women in college (9.7%) surpasses ALL OTHER GROUPS in the United States.
You heard me. All other groups. And if you break it down by age, it gets even better: More than 50% of black women between the ages of 18 to 24 are pursuing higher education.
3. When it comes to starting our own businesses, black women are totally killing it.
Between 1997 and 2013, the number of businesses started by African-American women grew more than 250%.
4. And those businesses black women start? They're serious job creators and moneymakers.
As of 2013, the estimated 1,119,400 companies owned by African-American women employed 272,000 people and generated $44.9 billion in revenue.
Want to create opportunity? Keep putting black women in charge. We've got this on lock.
5. Black women serve in 82% of state legislatures.
In 2016, 259 black women serve in 41 of the 50 state legislatures. And in Georgia and Maryland, black women hold more than 10% of the seats. Go head on, ladies!
6. And black women are getting the job done at the national level too.
Of the 32 women of color currently serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, 18 (55%) are African-American.
7. Who can you count on to show up at the polls? Stop guessing; it's black women.
In the past two presidential elections, black women led the nation in voter turnout. And a whopping 70% of African-American women voted in 2012, even with some serious disenfranchisement efforts in place.
But what about health and wellness?
Excellent question people of the Internet. There's great news there too.
8. New HIV diagnoses among black women are falling.
While HIV and AIDS remain a concern, between 2008 and 2010, new HIV incidence among black women declined 21%.
9. Also falling is the birthrate for African-American teenagers.
From 2007-2014, the birthrate for African-American teenagers declined 44%. Interesting semi-related data point: Black women report higher levels of consistent condom use than white women. Nice work, ladies.
10. Oh, and get this: Black women are living longer than ever before.
We're living longer so we can share our magic, talent, and intelligence with the world. Also to see a black James Bond.
So this Women's History Month, be sure to celebrate and explore the achievements and accomplishments of African-American women.
Because we're more than strong, beautiful, powerful, talented women with flawless hair. We're legislators, engineers, artists, city workers, teachers, business owners, ghostbusters, and a multitude of other things that make this country great. We've come a long way, and as the numbers show, we're just getting started.
Now drive home the point, please, Michelle Obama.
- A Black flight attendant shared an unexpectedly uplifting exchange with a white Fortune 500 CEO - Upworthy ›
- Women business leaders aren't taken seriously, study finds - Upworthy ›
- Delilah Antionette, founder of Black Girl's Healing House, knows the value of sisterhood ›
- From Kitt to Kravitz–how actresses of color are claiming Catwoman for Black feminism - Upworthy ›
- Interview from 1974 shows how weird it was for women in bars - Upworthy ›