Statistics on black women and education have shown them leading all other gender and racial groups for a few years now. More than half of all black women specifically between the ages of 18 and 24 are enrolled in college, and black women overall outpace other race and gender groups in terms of college enrollment, according to the National Center of Education Statistics/U.S. Census numbers.
While those figures are noteworthy, a new report goes beyond mere enrollment numbers to show that black women also have the highest numbers where degree-earning is concerned. The findings, also issued by the National Center of Education Statistics, indicate black women led every other race and gender group in this area, making them them—based on hard and fast statistics—the most educated demographic in the country.
From 1999–2000 to 2009–’10, the percentage of degrees earned by females remained between approximately 60 and 62 percent for associate’s degrees and between 57 and 58 percent for bachelor’s degrees. In contrast, the percentages of both master’s and doctor’s degrees earned by females increased from 1999–2000 to 2009–’10. Within each racial/ethnic group, women earned the majority of degrees at all levels in 2009–’10. For example, among U.S. residents, black females earned 68 percent of associate’s degrees, 66 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 71 percent of master’s degrees, and 65 percent of all doctor’s degrees awarded to black students. Hispanic females earned 62 percent of associate’s degrees, 61 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 64 percent of master’s degrees, and 55 percent of all doctor’s degrees awarded to Hispanic students. (White women earned 61 percent of Associate’s degrees, 56 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 61.8 percent of master’s, and 51.4 percent of doctorates.)
Despite the variety of my explorations, throughout it all it has been my contention that my responsibility as an artist is to work, to sing for my supper, to make art, beautiful and powerful, that adds and reveals; to beautify the mess of a messy world, to heal the sick and feed the helpless; to shout bravely from the roof-tops and storm barricaded doors and voice the specifics of our historic moment.