More

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.

via Anthony Crider / Flickr

Dozens of "White Lives Matter" rallies were scheduled to take place across America on Sunday. The events were scheduled in semi-private, encrypted chats on the Telegram app between Nazis, Proud Boys, and other right-wing extremists.

The organizers said the rallies would make "the whole world tremble."

However, the good news is that hardly any white supremacists showed up. In fact, the vast majority of people who did show up were counter-protesters.

Keep Reading Show less
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less