Sonya Eskridge is a writer from Maryland, who started her news career in radio at the age of 17. After graduating from Virginia Tech, she went on to write for a national publication where she was able to mold her personal voice. Always looking for ways to inform on important issues—or share her love of nerdy and girly things—Sonya thoroughly enjoys writing about a wide range of subjects.
The NAACP has released some disappointing, alarming statistics about what’s holding Black girls back in school and the work place.
The numbers compiled by the organization do not look good, beauties. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund (NAACP LDF) and the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) have released a report titled “Unlocking Opportunity for African-American Girls” aimed at proposing ideas that would help close the racial success gap for Black women.
To put their suggestions in context, the organizations had to give an overview of the current educational and professional landscapes for the Black female community. A quick look at the numbers told the NAACP and the NWLC that Black girls were being punished more than White girls.
Their report states in the 2010, 34 percent of Black female students did not graduate high school. In the 2011-2012 school year, 12 percent of all Black girls from pre-K to 12th grade, were suspended from school. While this number does not account for in-school suspension, Black girls were six times more likely to get a suspension than White female students.
Young black women face a frustrating double-edged dilemma as they are subject to racial inequalities outside of their community and gender inequality inside of it. Recent data shows that the latter has begun to reach a tipping point in schools’ disciplinary polices.
“While African-American males are the most likely to be disciplined in school, African-American females are also disproportionately suspended and expelled,” the report states. “In fact, an analysis of 2006-07 data on the suspension of middle school students showed that African American girls in urban middle schools had the fastest growing rates of suspension of any group of girls or boys.”
Things aren’t much better for Black women in the workforce, either. As of last year, 43 percent of Black women without a high school degree were living at or below the poverty line. That number was only about 28 percent for White women that hadn’t graduated high school.
That could be due, in part, to the fact that Black women are only earning about 64 cents to the every dollar that White men make, and that’s still less than their White contemporaries. The NAACP LDF found that we’re still only earning 82 cents for every dollar that White women are paid.