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History professor explains wage gap on Black Women’s Equal Pay Day

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Equal Pay Day 2 08-13-2020

(WQOW) - Thursday is Black Women's Equal Pay Day. Studies show in one year, eight months, and thirteen days, the average Black woman will have made the same amount as a white man in just one year.

Advocates said the day highlights the need to close the gender pay gap, especially when it comes to race.

According to the National Partnership Between Women and Families, Black women in the U.S. make, on average, 62 cents for every dollar a non-Hispanic white man makes.

Le'Trice Donaldson, a history professor at UW-Stout in Menomonie, said the history of the pay gap goes back to slavery when Black men and women worked for free.

In later years when Black women did find work, Donaldson said they still couldn't catch a break and were excluded from unions that could bargain for higher wages.

"I think it is not only insulting, it is, it's oppressive and in some ways it's a kind of violent kind of oppression in that you can be doing the exact same thing, and somehow their time is worth more because they are male and they are white," said Donaldson.

Donaldson said passing an equal rights amendment would be the first step into closing the wage gap for Black women.

Katrina Lim

Katrina Lim joined the News 18 team in August 2019 as a multimedia journalist. She was born and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey but has lived in all time zones of the contiguous U.S.A.

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Felicity Bosk

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