By Christina Burgess
July 31st is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. Yes, it’s exactly how it sounds. This day is the day that black women have to work extra days in order to earn what white men earn alone in a year. The National Women’s Law Center says that black women with a full-time job make 63 cents for every dollar earned by their white male.
While this day is seen on social media with the hashtag #BlackWomensEqualPay around the nation, celebrities like Gabrielle Union, Tracee Ellis Ross, Yara Shahidi and many others spoke out about this day. They all spoke on how black women are vital to have in the workplace; yet they still aren’t treated equally. Some of these women used their platform to make this very informative message known to the world. This then created a ripple-effect making other people use the hashtag in efforts to spread knowledge to their followers too.
TV shows also produced scenes to focus on this day. HBO’s Insecure, produced by Issa Rae, had a whole episode about black women not receiving the same pay as her coworker. In the second episode of season two, “Hella Questions”, Molly who works at a law firm learns that she is making so much less than her white coworker Travis. It’s very evident in this episode that Travis does so much less than Molly; yet he makes far more than her. This episode aired on July 30th, which is a day before the actual celebrated day.
Social media and TV shows are some of the main outlets for this generation. It was smart for the message to be put out in this way. With this still being a problem that black women face daily, the hope is that changes would be made in order for all men and women to be paid equally. Black women aren’t asking to be paid more; they are just asking to be paid the same.