The African American Policy Forum is excited about the second week of our series, The Facts to Know About the Status of Black Women As We Enter the Biden Years. This week we take a look at the current economic status of Black women in America. Our research team has compiled data produced by a range of organizations working towards economic justice in the United States, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for American Progress, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the National Women’s Law Center, and the American Association for University Women. In the coming days we will share their insights with you through infographics, interactive polls, videos, and audios from experts in the field. Much of what we have found—incredible disparities in wages, wealth, and eviction rates—is chilling, especially in the context of an ongoing pandemic.
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc across most sectors of the economy. All workers, however, have not been affected equally. Black women are overrepresented in low-wage jobs that leave them not only disproportionately vulnerable to being laid off, but also to contracting the virus. COVID-19 has amplified the employment discrimination, pay disparity, and intergenerational economic disenfranchisement they are forced to navigate. We believe the Biden administration must act now to address their concerns if we are to “build back better.” We must refuse to let economic disparity and deepening patterns of inequality undermine the advancement of Black women’s leadership.
Despite the sobering statistics, Black women across the U.S. continue to lead organizations, create businesses, and support their communities and families while dealing with countless systemic barriers. The challenges they face are not insurmountable, but we cannot fix a problem we fail to recognize. It is imperative that we throw light upon the intersectional barriers faced by Black women and girls. Thus, we are collecting data on the economic disparities they experience. Please join AAPF and the Black Women’s Wealth Alliance in centering Black women’s lived experiences and demanding a robust economic justice agenda from the Biden administration on their behalf. If you are open to participating in our study, we invite you to share your stories with us below.