August 22 Was Black Women’s Equal Pay Day

Photo: Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo

August 22 was Black Women’s Equal Pay Day and celebrities spoke out on the issue on Twitter.

August 22 marks the approximate day that Black women must work into the new year to earn what white, non-Hispanic men made at the end of the previous year. According to the American Community Survey (ACS) census data, the 2019 wage gap for Black women and men is $.61.

According to equalpaytoday.org, 84.4% of Black women are the sole or primary breadwinners for their households, which highlights how serious this problem is for Black women and their families. Many celebrities including Serena Williams, Ava DuVernay, and Kerry Washington are using Twitter to speak out on the issue.

Black women, and women in general, often fall victim to discrimination from their employers, who tend to rely on gender stereotypes. Black women often fall victim to both gender and racial discrimination. Women have often been steered away from “traditionally male” occupations, and industries where women outnumber men are undervalued compared to their male-dominated counterparts.

This practice is unacceptable in 2019 and women, especially Black women are fighting back. But they can’t fight alone, it is also up to our leaders and Congress to set and enforce legislation that prevents this discriminatory practice in the first place. Civil liberty groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) work continuously to help make sure practices like this don’t happen, but it is also up to us to stand together and speak out for our fellow women. It’s important for women to lift each other up because we are all in this together.