“Under slavery, Black women were not empowered to care for or make decisions for their own families, at the same time that they were forced to care for the families of their enslavers. Black women’s children were sold from their arms.” This historical disgrace set the foundations for today’s “racialized economy,” Garza argues. The oppression of Black women, meanwhile, extends beyond the workplace into key U.S. institutions. From public school systems to New York’s stop-and-frisk policing, Black women are disproportionately punished and profiled, the report determines. While Black women had the highest voting rate of all demographic groupings—both men and women—during the last two presidential elections, they “remain underrepresented at every level of federal and state political office in the United States,” the authors note. The oppression they face is manifold: Black women are also twice as likely as white women to be incarcerated, the report notes. A separate study released by University of Washington researchers in 2015 found that in 2006, 44 percent of Black women reported having a family member in prison, compared to 12 percent of white women and 6 percent of white men. Women are more likely to shoulder the financial and psychological burden of having a family member locked up. Black women—especially transgender women and gender-nonconforming people—disproportionately face lethal gender-based violence. Meanwhile, Black immigrants, overall, are more likely to come into contact with the prison-industrial complex and deportation authorities. Celeste Faison is an organizer with the NDWA’s “We Dream in Black” program, which was first conceived in 2013 to build Black domestic workers’ power and now has chapters or affiliates in six cities.
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