Today marks Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, which is the day that Black women would have to work into 2021 in order to make the same amount of money that non-Hispanic white men made in 2020.
Black women are paid $0.63 for every $1.00 a non-Hispanic white man makes, according to the ACS Census data. As August 2 is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day for 2021, this means that Black women would have to work 214 days more than white men to make the same as them in 2020.
According to the National Women’s Law Center, the wage gap between Black women and non-Hispanic white men “has only closed by 3 cents over the last thirty years.” 2130 is the year that Black women are projected to make equal pay.
“Black women would have to work till they are 83 years old to be paid what a white non-Hispanic man is paid by the time he reaches the age of 60,” Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of National Women’s Law Center, said in the ERA Coalition’s Black Women’s Equal Pay Day talk. “So those multiple decades of work, of labor, and that hardship on them and their families, it must be corrected. And that is going to require us shifting the culture that surrounds us, it’s going to require our institutions changing, but it’s also going to require a major shift in our laws and policies that govern it.”
“A key part of that shift,” Goss Graves continued, “is finally, finally, finally, having the ERA as a part of our foundational documents in our constitution that guide our laws, that guide our policy, and that send a signal that Black women in this country, that all women in this country, are truly equal.”
The ERA Coalition’s Black Women’s Equal Pay Day talk featured other influential speakers, such as Founder and President of She the People, Aimee Allison, President and CEO of National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Melanie Campbell, and Monifa Bandele, Chief Operating Officer of TIME’S UP.
“Black women have been on the front lines, not only as essential workers during this time of a global health crisis, but also … on the forefront of saving democracy, on the forefront of saving our education systems, on the forefront going all the way back to abolition,” Monifa Bandele said. “We refuse to continue to be paid less for what’s actually more work … We’re running twice as fast and fighting twice as hard.”
“It’s not just an economic hit when Black women are paid less for the same work,” she continued. “It impacts our health, it impacts the health and safety of our families, it impacts the abilities that we have for our educational aspirations as well as the aspirations of our children.”
“On this Black Women’s Equal Pay Day,” Goss Graves added, “I hope that you will demand from all of your leaders a law and a constitution that matches not just the reality of our lives, but the dignity of all of us in this country.”
“We’re not going to let anyone off the hook,” Bandele said. “We will not go back.”
Sources: NBC News 8/2/21; National Women’s Law Center 7/26/21; ERA Coalition 8/3/21