Counting The Cost

Black women strive daily to fight unequal treatment

Julianne Malveaux | 8/3/2017, midnight

Not only do African American women earn less, but we also catch more shade because of our skin color, because of who we are and what we represent. Former First Lady Michelle Obama has spoken out, though very gently, about the racism she experienced while in office. At a recent gathering in Colorado, she spoke about the many “cuts” she experienced, and told the Denver Post that “The shards that cut me the deepest were the ones that intended to cut,” referring to comments about her looks, and especially those that referred to her as “an ape”. She said she was dismayed in “Knowing that after eight years of working really hard for this country, there are still people who won’t see me for what I am because of my skin color.”

When I read Michelle Obama’s comment, I thought about Dr. Maya Angelou and her classic poem, “Still I Rise.” One stanza reads, “You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise.”

Black women endure unequal pay, disrespectful treatment (consider the treatment of Sen. Kamala Harris, or Rep. Maxine Waters), police beatings, and more. And yet we are still here. And yet, “when they go low, we go high”. And yet, like air, we rise.

Julianne Malveaux is an economist, author, and founder of Economic Education. Her podcast, “It’s Personal with Dr. J” is available on iTunes. Her latest book “Are We Better Off: Race, Obama and Public Policy is available via amazon.com.

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