On the face of it, it appears tenable that black women in America, who experience the intersectionality of marginalization by race and gender concern themselves with the wage gap by gender. However, one should not dismiss the insidious effects of wage disparity by race and its concomitant effects (even of qualified folks).

A wedge between many black men and black women has been successfully lodged regarding solidarity on some issues, such that the more yawning wage difference between blacks and other racial groups is moot. Wage disparities between genders must be taken in context and not conflated.

Gender wage disparities while unacceptable, is attenuated in a two income white household if male and female, since the lower wage differential of a white woman, may be offset by the astronomically higher differential brought in by a white male counterpart. Of course this offsetting effect may be vitiated, where it is a single parent female household, or two female household.

The offsetting effects are nearly non-existent in a two income, black male and black female household. The untenable realities of the wage disparities become unsettling and manifest an egregious injustice given current trends and data citing black women as being among the most educated groups.

Ideally, there should be a noticeable correlation between higher education, qualifications, and income. But that is not the noticeable trend in black communities. Perhaps black communities would be better served strategically, if black women would channel their energies and resources into closing the wage gap by race. There is a pressing need to check the discernible discounting effects on black education, rather than to pursue a red herring or what simply might be a straw man to black women’s cause, i.e. gender wage gap. It appears to be a non issue for black women, since gender does not appear to be the significant cause of their egregious wage discount.

Actually, data shows that among professional women, black women are the second highest earners after Asian women. But the data also suggests that they work longer hours and multiple jobs accounting for their significantly higher take home pay compared to women of other ethnic groups.

However, black women while working longer hours earn a corresponding compressed hourly rate of income. Meaning black women’s higher educational attainment and qualifications are egregiously discounted by race and not by gender in contrast to their female counterparts of other ethnic groups/races.

There is particular motivation for black women to identify the right problem that detrimentally affects their earnings: a discounted income gap predicated on race and not in their situation, a non issue of income gap by gender, which does not appear to have the same effects on black women as it impacts women of other ethnic/racial groups. Given that black women compared to women in other racial/ethnic groups in America, are disproportionately the breadwinners of their households, they have an incentive to seek the appropriate solutions to the racial wage gap.


Sources:

https://hbr.org/2014/06/does-race-or-gender-matter-more-to-your-paycheck

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/07/01/racial-gender-wage-gaps-persist-in-u-s-despite-some-progress/

https://nces.ed.gov/das/epubs/2002170/footnotes_es.asp

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/broken-dreams-and-financial-illusions-the-secret-depression_us_5925e674e4b0aa7207986a5c?ncid=engmodushpmg00000003

http://www.aauw.org/2014/04/03/race-and-the-gender-wage-gap/