Nov. 1, 2016

Text

According to the National Center For Educational Statistics, black women are now the most educated population in the United States. Since 2009, and is at a steady increase since 1976.

Between 2009 and 2010, black women earned 68% of associate's degrees, 66% of bachelor's degrees, 71% of master's degrees and 65% of all doctorate degrees awarded to black students.

Despite being the highest percentage of degree earners as well as the highest enrollees in colleges over , a recent study found black women make up just 8% of private sector jobs and a mere 1.5% of leadership roles. What's up with that?

Of bullying reported in the workplace, ethnic minorities, particularly black and asian females are the highest reported to be victimized.

Back to our statistics... Given that Black Women are now more likely to be 'overeducated', it is also more likely that black males are not; they are unfortunately still battling the justice system half the time. Studies read like this: "Educated black women are most likely to remain single, interracially marry, or 'marry down'" Everyone wants to marry someone that they perceive to be their intellectual equal. I suppose if you don't find him in your eveyday pool of candidates (people like you), you give up at some point. I know I have.

So, say you find him (Mr. Right) despite the odds stacked up against you. Did you know that there has been an ongoing study that reviews black women and their incidence of low birth weight (LBW) and very low birth weight (VLBW) infants? At first it was believed their was a higher link between socioeconomic status, cigarette smoking, access to prenatal care, etc... and birth weight; but unfortunately, this study out of Stamford and Chicago State continues to prove (quite unfortunately) that the main factor linking the two is Blackness. That the day to day stresses and disparity of being a black woman in America is enough hardship on the body to create a LBW infant. These studies that have been going on since the late 80's, have looked at single moms with the most stress of working several jobs, to the wealthiest and married, stay at home moms. Black husbands and white, and most recently have included other minorities, which is amazing.

Black infants have an average birth weight of 3087 grams despite socioeconomic and nutritional status. While White infants' average birth weight is 3419 grams. The rate of LBW infants born to black mothers is at 13+% while VLBW comes in around 2.5%. Those of white infants are literally half; staggering! Especially when you take into account that science has proven that Blacks tend to have increased bone density and higher muscle mass. I challenge my current and former work buds reading this to try and think of the last time they took care of a black infant weighing over 8#, 9#, even 10#.

The CDC has recognized these studies, and I'm so hoping that it leads to a change in our growth charts. We are all the same as humans, but we're still structurally different. Our babies are born at different sizes and can be just as healthy as the next kid.

Canada has recently recognized these differences and has implemented growth charts by ethnicity. Realizing that Black and Asian babies are born smaller, White and Hispanic babies tend to be larger. Come on 'Merica time to catch up! We've got to stop punishing these parents and babes for having a different start and different growth rates.

On TV, and in books we always get the 'angry black woman' character and the 'sassy black woman' character. I've got a few good years left in me, hopefully the Educated Black Woman will get her fair representation soon. But to be completely honest, smaller infants (perceived to be unhealthy), racism, less pay, under representation of positive role models in the media and the workplace may in fact lead to an Angry Black Woman!