Black women in the United States have power. According to the 2016 Black Women in the United States 2016 Power of the Sister Vote Report, Black women are leveraging their voting power in the presidential primaries just as they did in 2008.
The report produced by the Black Women’s Roundtable indicates that younger Black women are trending away from the Democratic party and identifying more as Independents which leaves the door open for increasing numbers of Black women to vote for Republican or Independent candidates.
The report also revealed that Black women make up more than half, 52.9 percent of the workforce and are the most likely demographic group in America to start a business. Their statistics point out that between 1997 and 2015, the number of companies started by Black women grew by 322 percent culminating in over 1.3 million businesses nationwide.
Despite the positive statistics, questions still remain as to why Black women are the most likely of any group of women in America to live in poverty, 28 percent due in large part to low pay. According to the report although more Black women are working, they have seen the largest decline in earnings between 2009 and 2014 at -3.6 percent, with most of that decline occurring in 2011. Earnings for Whites -0.2 percent and Hispanic women -0.8 percent are down by less over the same time period. As a result of the differential rates in earnings recovery, Black women have lost ground in closing the racial pay gap. In 2014, Black women earned 77 cents for every dollar earned by White women; down from 80 cents in 2009.