As President Obama announced a major change in U.S.-Cuba relations for the first time in 50 years, one of the first people that came to my mind was Assata Shakur. I finished her autobiography earlier this week and although I’ve already began reading something else (ironically about Cuba), it’s impact still hasn’t left me.
I don’t know why I still hadn’t read Assata: An Autobiography all these years after first reading about her. However, with the social and political protests happening all across the country, it was natural to finally pick this up, and I am so glad I did. Assata is is candid, intelligent, humorous, and the amount of strength she has is awe-inspiring.
President Obama gave his State of the Union Address last night and in a moment that stuck out to me, he said, Today, women make up about half our workforce. But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment. A woman deserves equal pay for equal work…. I firmly believe when women succeed, America succeeds.
It was met with thunderous applause by the house and I whole-heartedly agree. That 77 cents for every dollar ratio is sadly, a widely stated fact. The president is right, it is an embarrassment and more so, it is a crime.
However, the statistic I was not aware of is that women of color make 64 cents for every white male dollar, as pointed out by writer and advocate, Shelby Knox.