black women

Go sisters go! Black women are the most educated group in the United States

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April V. Taylor

For Harriet is reporting on a collection of data compiled by the National Center of Education Statistics from the US Census that reveals that for the first time in the history of the United States, black women have surpassed all other groups in terms of race and gender for the percentage of people who have enrolled in college.  While this is an accomplishment to be proud of, Janks Morton, creator of the blockbuster film, “Hoodwinked,” cautions that it should not be forgotten that education in the United States generally comes with a hefty load of student loan debt, and that people need to be conscious of not taking on too much debt.  According to a recent graphic published by Mother Jones, student loan debt surpasses all other debt held by borrowers including credit card and auto loan debt.

In a recent episode of the web series, “Truths You Won’t Believe,” Morton discusses the fact that despite the misconceptions and stereotypes perpetuated by the media about African American women, half of all black women between the ages of 18 and 24 are now pursuing degrees.  The 2011 data shows that overall, 9.7 percent of all black women are enrolled in college.  Asian women come in second at 8.7 percent, followed by Asian men at 8.4 percent, white women at 7.1 percent, black men at 7 percent, Hispanic women at 6.6 percent, and white men at 6.1 percent.  Since 1990, the number of African Americans who have earned bachelor’s degrees has risen from 11.3 percent to 19.6 percent.  The average enrollment for the entire U.S. population is 6.9 percent.  The increase for black women represents a 31 percent rise from data reported in 2000.  This means that African American women are now the most educated segment of the American population.

These statistics also indicate that, despite the fact that African Americans face multi-layered social, economic, and educational disparities, there is a silver lining in the fact that so many African American women are succeeding.  Morton states that, “the data and evidence provides a ray of hope in a plethora oppositional to the negative imagery and information constantly describing Black culture.  The facts make a case counter-intuitive to what “common sense” tells us about African Americans. Fortunately, this group of resilient and resourceful people, who have always valued education, are once again proving ‘good sense’ trumps the commons.”



  1. Deborah Bee

    July 10, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Now this is the type of news the NAACP should tout loudly! Something positive! If we don’t pat ourselves on the back, no one else will.

  2. Tiamtte

    July 10, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Nice to hear something positive about us. We already know that we are more than we have been so negatively projected.

  3. Black Love 59

    July 11, 2014 at 5:52 am

    Right on too my Beautiful Black Sister.keep up the Good Work. Luv U

  4. Ried

    July 11, 2014 at 8:59 am

    They are also the least paid. Next you will here that they have the highest debt. Black women can have as much education they want. They will still be the last to get hired and paid the least. This is unfortunate but those are the stats.

  5. Jaretta

    July 11, 2014 at 9:53 am

    I would like to thank my mother who stayed on my butt. My Man who’s helping me pay, and myself for doing my thing.

  6. ADL,PhD

    July 11, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Love the article…something positive about black women! Yayyy!

  7. Lynn

    July 11, 2014 at 11:59 am

    @Raid, although black women are paid the least, if you knew your economics as well as you think, they are only five cents or less behind the white woman in aggregate income; whereas, the white woman makes about 76 cents less of the white man dollar. Well, white men will always have the advantage, but my sisters are doing a he’ll of a job competing with the white woman. Go sister, go!!

  8. Robert Chestnut

    July 11, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    I am happy to here that for all my sisters.nieces, cousins and my better half. The sad part is not one positive comment from the BROTHERS!!!!!!!!! WOW!!!!!

  9. Elijah Jenkins

    July 11, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Excellent! I’m certain a large majority of these women, are also single mothers and are working full-time. To my brothers, if you can find the energy to do illegal mess, turn it around, and put your efforts into legal opportunities, so the prison system will become obsolete.

  10. Star

    July 11, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    I’m not sure if I’m happy about these numbers because I have been in school for 10 years and so have my colleagues whom are black women and men and ufortunately, I do not see the purpose of going to school without the luxury of competing with corporate America. Its makes no sense to go to school for so many years and you never get the power to own a large corporation, you are only good enough to work for large corporations. Not only that, you can run the corporation and train all the employees, but you will never take ownership or be in a position to build your corporation that will compete with the one you work for. Let’s face it, yes it’s important to be educated, but is America truly educating their students or teaching them to be servants for life? I don’t care how much money you have, you must follow the rules.

    Does anyone notice that although we are educated, we are disrespectful and self-centered. What is happening to our race????

  11. mel

    July 11, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    @Ried… it’s “next you will HEAR” not here!!!! Smdh.. that’s why I’m educated!!!

  12. redbone

    July 12, 2014 at 1:33 am

    It don’t matter…!! I’m proud of my strong black sisters… For all you negative jealous feins…. many of them will start their own successful business, step into the rainbow and live in another country.

  13. Devon

    July 12, 2014 at 5:44 am

    First congrats to the sistas second can we ever have positive dialogue in this mug w/o ppl throwin in negative sheit just sah congratulations and keep it movin sheesh!

    Hopin more brothas get that education too.

  14. Rhonda J.

    July 12, 2014 at 8:21 am

    So proud of us. Dad always instilled in us that an education is something that no one can EVER TAKE from you! I am currentky in the middle of pursuing my Masters’Degree in Public Administration & it has been a struggle! TEAMEDUCATIONFOREVER

  15. Etzer

    July 12, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Educated is subjective. educated in what? Are they educated in the fields of science mathematics technology and engineering? Or have they limited themselves in the field of social science, psychology applied economics?

  16. velmer

    July 12, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Most black wemen, get educated , and forget their culture, I quote” you ain’t like the rest of them” does that sound formula. I can’t find a compatible mate in my race, horse carp.

  17. Frankie Serrano

    July 12, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    I must give my SISTERS a Standing Ovation:) Please keep it going because, it will slowly rub off on us!! May Our Lord continue to Bless My Sisters & May my Sisters continue to THEMSELVES!!

  18. Ricki Stevenson

    July 12, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    Bravo! Studies show children are better educated if they have mothers who are educated. Keeping hope alive for our future!

  19. Noni

    July 12, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    This is great news. However, this exact article was posted on this exact site in 2012. You shouldn’t post stats from 2011 and present them as current in 2014. You lose credibility.

  20. Noni

    July 12, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    Star, nothing in life is just given to you it must be earned. No one is going to give you the power to do anything, it’s up to you to take the necessary steps to obtain that power. If you want to own your own corporation (like many black men and women do) you’re going to have to put in the work . True leaders work hard for what they want and don’t let anything or anyone discourage them; however, it’s quite clear that everyone isn’t meant to lead. Education is always worth it, it’s ridiculous to believe otherwise.

  21. Kell

    July 13, 2014 at 3:20 am

    Hooray!!! However the article wanted to make a negative note amount the debt and failed to mention these brilliant women may be receiving scholarships!!!

  22. paula

    July 13, 2014 at 9:03 am

    I an elated to hear this! Congratulations to all my black sisters. Black women get a rough time in the media.. Want I want to see next is for more of our black young men jump on board.

  23. Jamillah

    July 14, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    My mom instilled in me to get an education because the “white man” can’t take that away from me.. Thank mom you would be Proud!

  24. Eliezer Timolien

    December 19, 2014 at 9:43 am

    This is nothing to be proud of considering that only 13.1% of the American population considers themselves to be ‘Black Only’ which means that 9.7% wouldn’t be such a significant number. However, it is great news because they’re surpassing all other racial/ethnic groups. What black women should be proud of is that the census collected data of women in racial cohorts who earned a degree and guess what: black women surpassed all other women from their respective groups in degrees conferred to them. 68.3 %of black women earned an associates, 65.9% of black women attending earned a bachelors, 71.1% of black women attending earned their masters, etc. This was 2010 so you can imagine the numbers have probably risen slightly by now. Anyone can enrol into post-secondary institutions, but not everyone will leave with a degree in hand. In a broader scope these numbers aren’t significant, but that means a majority of black women are educated and even more have earned a masters degree. I really don’t care because I believe no matter what skin color or ethnic background, everyone deserves a good education catered to their capabilities and successful jobs they love. But it’s still really good to see more people falling into post-secondary education.

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