One thing I know for sure is that Black women are magical. There’s no doubt about it. From showing up and showing out at the 2016 Olympics, being the most educated demographic in the United States and creating the blueprint in sectors such as politics, art, fashion and music, we break records, create trends, build and sustain movements and lead in our fields. Black women have continuously gifted the world with our magic, brilliance and ingenuity time and time again. And yet, despite our magic, we are still paid only 48 to 60 cents to every dollar made by a white man. Today marks the end of a black woman’s work year-Black women must work 238 days, or 8 months, more than our white counterparts in order to earn what they did last year.
Pay equity is a huge issue, but we still have to remember that while pay inequity effects all women, women of color and black women in particular are hit the hardest when it comes to pay gaps. Our contributions to the workplace often go unnoticed and unappreciated, which is clearly evidenced in how much we are paid less for similar work. We are disproportionately represented in low wage work such as service industry jobs, housekeeping, and care work. Often, work such as this includes heavy amounts of emotional labor that are not compensated, but are rather expected from black women. Indeed, while we snatch medals, degrees and wigs, paycheck fairness has still not reached our grasp.
So I bet you’re wondering, “How can I support black women today?”. There’s many ways you can support black women on Black Women’s Equal Pay Day and beyond! Today, join the conversation online about Black women’s contributions to society and why we need equal pay now. Amplify facts and figures about black women in the workforce-what industries we’re concentrated in, how much we make in comparison to our white counterparts, and what the pay gap means for us in terms of upward mobility, family stability and economic justice. And the biggest way you can support Black women? Pay us for our work! Patronize our stores, donate to our campaigns to get our businesses off the ground, share our stores and our stories with your friends and family! Too often, the work we do goes unseen, unappreciated and expected as something we will freely give. Paying black women for our work in a world that tells us at every turn our contributions are worth nothing is a revolutionary act. Moving our resources to uplift the most marginalized folks in our community is a revolutionary act. Investing in black women, our work, our lives and our futures is a revolutionary act. Today (and everyday!) we must celebrate, uplift and invest into black women, because when black women are free, we are all free.
Fanm Djanm was founded by Paola Mathe in 2014, who sold the initial collection of six headwraps out of her Harlem apartment. Fanm Djanm has grown into a full collection of headwraps, jewelry, clothing and makeup that is bold, beautiful, and eco friendly due to Paola’s no waste policy!
Lost Queens Jewelry was founded by Eboni Merriman. The boutique offers bold statement jewelry that’s perfect for all your adornment needs. The best part? All the jewelry in the collection is named for bold black women, such as the FLOTUS necklace and the FloJo earrings.
Foxie Bombs was founded by Kayla Phillips, 25 year old self described “boss bitch” and front woman for the punk band Bleed the Pigs. The vegan friendly cosmetics store is currently closed in order to prepare for the first ever Foxie Bombs pop up in New York City, but keep your eyes peeled for their re-opening!
Venus in Leo Body Care began with a humble experiment in making a homemade deodorant balm, and has grown and grown from there! Founded by Bimbola Akinbola, the line is rapidly expanding, featuring its debut deodorant balms, as well as a joint and muscle salve and a Mercury in Retrograde care package!
Good Thoughts Tea Company was founded by Ebone’ McCloud in 2014 and currently operates in Washington, D.C. Good Thoughts Tea Company describes itself as an ” all natural loose leaf tea company centered around the healing properties of herbs.” With delicious flavors such as Black Mango, Orange Chai Spice and Tea-Cake and affordable prices, who needs Teavana?
Gregarious Ali Creates is a online store owned and operated by Alexandria Gregory in Winston-Salem, NC. Alexandria paints, shoots photos, creates stickers, dishware and apparel! All of Alexandria’s art focuses on Blackness and celebrates its complexity, beauty and nuance.