According to The National Center for Education Statistics, black women have recently emerged as the most educated population of people by race and gender in the United States. That makes them a powerful force in the political and business world.
The NCES found that:
“From 1999–2000 to 2009–10, the percentage of degrees earned by females remained between approximately 60 and 62 percent for associate’s degrees and between 57 and 58 percent for bachelor’s degrees. In contrast, the percentages of both master’s and doctor’s degrees earned by females increased from 1999–2000 to 2009–10. Within each racial/ethnic group, women earned the majority of degrees at all levels in 2009–10. For example, among U.S. residents, Black females earned 68 percent of associate’s degrees, 66 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 71 percent of master’s degrees, and 65 percent of all doctor’s degrees awarded to Black students.”
The number of degrees that have been awarded to racial minorities in the United States has been on the rise for the past two decades. No, that doesn’t mean that racial minorities are trying to take over the U.S. as I am sure many white supremacists would claim. It just means that many of the barriers that prevented black women from getting an education have begun to recede.
Many people may have missed the notice due to the overwhelming amount of negative portrayals of black women in the media. According to a report in Essence from 2013, negative depictions of black women occur twice as likely as positive depictions of black women.
This news comes with some caveats. Despite being the most educated bloc of people in the United States, black women are still making far less money than their white peers. There is also still only one black woman on the Forbes 500 list. That means that there is still a lot of work to be done to end the racial disparities in the United States.