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Black women are now America's most educated group.

They're the most educated group in America, but they're still grossly underpaid.

Black women are now America's most educated group.

This month, there was some pretty great news for black women.

Celebrate with Michelle Obama!


Black women are now the most educated group in America, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

A higher percentage of black women — 9.7% to be exact — are enrolled in college than any other racial or gender group, including white men, white women, and Asian women.

It's the first time in American history that black women are leading the way in education.

And it's kind of incredible for a multitude of reasons, including the fact that education reduces poverty, promotes gender equality, and helps to lessen the spread of various health issues.

So just what are these educated black women doing?

The number of degrees conferred to black students has steadily been on the rise for two decades. And in the U.S. between 2009 and 2010, black women specifically earned 68% of associate’s degrees awarded to African-American students.

Of black students, also earned 66% of bachelor’s degrees, 71% of master’s degrees, and 65% of all doctorate degrees, too.

So yeah, black women are killing it.

#BlackGirlMagic is totally real. GIF from Apple.

But here's a kicker: While black women are the most educated group in America, they're still making substantially less than their white male counterparts.

About $20,000 less per year, to be exact — a ridiculously large gap.


Oprah says, "Not on my watch." GIF via "Oprah."

Unfortunately, this isn't super surprising. Every other demographic in America makes less than white men, too, but black women are on the significantly lower end of the wage bar.

What does this wage gap look like?

On average, an American woman earns about $39,000 per year compared with the $50,000 an average man earns.

If a woman were to work for 40 years, this would add up to a lifetime of around $430,000 of wages lost. For black women, that number jumps to almost $878,000 in wages lost overtime a lifetime.


Absolutely not.

When any demographic is underpaid or understaffed, the effects are pervasive, and we can see that firsthand with black women.

While the numbers of black women in higher-paying jobs are steadily increasing, black women are still largely underrepresented at the top of top-paying industries like engineering and computing. Of the estimated 24% of women in the STEM workforce, a mere 2% of black women are represented in that group.

Black women not having a seat at the high-wage table can be particularly damaging for their families, too.

More than 50% of black women with children are either the sole or primary breadwinners of families, compared with 40% of all of women.

But currently, 38% of black children live below the poverty line, a rate that has remained steady over the past few years while other groups have decreased.

Equalizing wages could make a huge difference in the lives of African-American children by giving them access to better schools, healthier lives, and increased opportunities.

As Viola Davis stated in her historic Emmy’s speech:

"The only thing that separates women of color from everyone else is opportunity."

Viola Davis teaching us all how to live at the 67th annual Primetime Emmy Awards. Image by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images.

The good news is, black women don’t back down from a challenge.

Right now, black women are voting at higher rates than the rest of the population, starting more businesses than any other groups of women, and creating opportunities for other black women to achieve even more.

They have been doing to work to improve minority lives for years.


Yes, girl. GIF from "Sister Act 2."

And when minorities are given a seat at the table of opportunity, we create a society that is strong, more understanding, and increasingly innovative.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Wil Wheaton speaking to an audience at 2019 Wondercon.

In an era of debates over cancel culture and increased accountability for people with horrendous views and behaviors, the question of art vs. artist is a tricky one. When you find out an actor whose work you enjoy is blatantly racist and anti-semitic in real life, does that realization ruin every movie they've been a part of? What about an author who has expressed harmful opinions about a marginalized group? What about a smart, witty comedian who turns out to be a serial sexual assaulter? Where do you draw the line between a creator and their creation?

As someone with his feet in both worlds, actor Wil Wheaton weighed in on that question and offered a refreshingly reasonable perspective.

A reader who goes by @avinlander asked Wheaton on Tumblr:

"Question: I have more of an opinion question for you. When fans of things hear about misconduct happening on sets/behind-the-scenes are they allowed to still enjoy the thing? Or should it be boycotted completely? Example: I've been a major fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer since I was a teenager and it was currently airing. I really nerded out on it and when I lost my Dad at age 16 'The Body' episode had me in such cathartic tears. Now we know about Joss Whedon. I haven't rewatched a single episode since his behavior came to light. As a fan, do I respectfully have to just box that away? Is it disrespectful of the actors that went through it to knowingly keep watching?"

And Wheaton offered this response, which he shared on Facebook:

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."