10 things you may not know about black women but definitely should.

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?

GIF via "Watch What Happens Live."

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.

GIF via "The Queen Latifah Show."

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.

GIF via J.J. Fad's "Supersonic."

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!

GIF via En Vogue's "Hold On."

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.

GIF via this Apple Music commercial.

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.

GIF via "Dreamgirls."

But what about health and wellness?

Excellent question people of the Internet. There's great news there too.

GIF via Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé's "Feelin' Myself."

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%.

GIF via TLC's "Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg."

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.

GIF via Janelle Monae's "Tightrope."

10. Oh, and get this: Black women are living longer than ever before.

In 1960, the life expectancy for a black woman was 68. By 2010 it was 78.

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.


GIF via "Black Girls Rock."

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
True

Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.