The Great Recession has been hard on all Americans and has led to rampant unemployment, lower wages, foreclosures and less opportunities for people to live a comfortable and good life in our society. However the effects of the Great Recession has had disproportionally affected minorities particularly African American women. Thus the effects of the Great Recession and economic problems that came with it and how it affects African American women will be discussed.
The Great Recession was fueled and started by the Housing bubble bursting in 2007. Many mortgage backed securities and derivatives lost value as the value plummeted. Many people lost their homes and savings when the housing market busted. People began to lose their jobs or their homes were foreclosed. Families had a harder time paying the bills and getting by since the wages for their jobs were lowered due to the economic downturn. Others went bankrupt once the numbers in Wall Street started to plummet lower and lower. Even Companies like Lehman Brothers went bankrupt. This lasted until 2009 when the housing market and economy slowly started to recover however the damage was done and to this day, the effects of the Great Recession has negatively affected people’s livelihood in this country.
How did the Great Recession negatively effect Black women’s livelihood in this country?
Black America has yet to feel any recovery or economic nobility from the ending of the Great Recession in 2009. Especially Black women. For centuries, African Americans particularly African American women have always experienced higher unemployment, lower wages, discrimination, systematic racism and lower life span than their Caucasian counterparts. Many African American women find themselves without work or the skills needed to compete in the global job market. In 2014, African American women have the highest unemployment rate among women at 10.5 percent compared to 5.2 percent unemployment rate for White women. Recently, the unemployment rate for African American women went down to 7.9 and 4.2 for White women however many barriers and disadvantages play a role in African American women’s higher unemployment rates.
African American women are less likely to be educated and less likely to have a both a college degree and high school diploma than their Caucasian female counterparts. And often times, they lack the connections needed to get a job and get ahead in society. Name discrimination also plays a role in job discrimination because companies are more likely to hire employees with more ”White” sounding names like Billy, Rebecca as opposed to ”Black” sounding names like Lakeisha, Tyrone or Leroy. And many Black women happen to do have ”Black” sounding names and face discrimination based on their name so some of them try to change their name to higher their likelihood of being hired. Black women who are hired to jobs find themselves being paid less than others and are paid sixty four cents to the dollar White men make. Many find themselves discriminated against in the workplace and facing unfair criminal background checks as well. Hence, many of these wage and economic inequalities lead to these women having less money to provide for themselves and their children and has even lead to health problems such as diabetes, chronic back pain and heart problems.
However, The Great Recession and the effects of it has worsen Black women’s plight in the workplace and economically. Because of he housing market bursting, many Black women found their homes foreclosed or they lost their homes completely. In fact, one in ten, African American homeowners who invested in their mortgages at the height of the housing boom lost their homes to foreclosure. And many women of them lost their jobs due to companies going bankrupt and losing monetary and business. And without a home to stay and a job to support themselves and their families, many Black women had a hard time surviving. Worst of all, African American women are usually the head of their families and when their mothers lack the financial and emotional means in taking care of the family, their children suffer. And it is even harder for Black children to even reach economic mobility and get out of poverty due to racial barriers in education, housing, employment, healthcare and the damaging effects of the Great Recession has done to their families.
Ultimately, The Great Recession has had a negative effect on Black America particularly the women and their families.. Many of these women try the best that they can to provide for their families and relatives in the midst of hard, economic times. Thus economic mobility and stability is and will continue to be a concern for many people across the country particularly Black women.