Black Women Count
By CUNY Census Student Omowumi Eunice Ojedele
When I think about Black women, I think about power, strength, and resilience. Black women build opportunities for themselves, their loved ones and improve our economy and culture through their jobs, entrepreneurship, caregiving, political engagement and more. We see that not only are Black women assets to their families, but also to their communities and the nation as a whole. Despite the fact that Black women have a higher labor force participation rate, systemic prejudice drives many Black women into low-paid jobs, with few benefits or prospects for advancement.
Even when it comes to health care, jobs, or much-needed resources like childcare and elder care, Black women often get the short end of the stick. In the City of New York, Black women are more likely to die from breast cancer and “12 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women, according to city data.” Most Black families rely on earnings from Black women, more than 70 percent of Black mothers are breadwinners, and many have caregiving duties for an elderly parent, a disabled adult, or a young child, which they must combine with job obligations.
The 2020 Census is a chance for Black women to be given the credit and resources that they miss out on when they are not counted accurately. If our communities make sure that everyone in the house is counted on the census, we can ensure that Black women – and the people who rely on them – receive access to the resources they are entitled to receive from the government.
Filling out the census will provide Black women with the fully funded healthcare, education and job opportunities and resource investments that they deserve and need. A complete census count will help provide better jobs for Black women, which will enable them to care for themselves and their families. When all Black women are counted on the 2020 Census, it will usher more services into their communities so that they, their families and loved ones will have the tools they need in order to flourish.