Monday is a special day for black women in America and it's one that, quite frankly, we should all be talking about regardless of race. July 31 was Black Women's Equal Pay Day, which seeks to raise awareness for the pressing need for black women to be given equal pay to their white and male counterparts. There was a handful of black female celebrities who showed support for Black Women's Equal Pay Day (and interestingly, a few male celebs, too), so the onus to get aware and get supportive of black women is on us all now.
There's a significance behind the timing of this day of awareness. As it happens, the number of days between January 1 and the day this event is celebrated, July 31, marks the amount of time in one year (seven months to be precise) a black woman has to work before she begins to earn what a white person would earn. To put some facts and figures to it: when pay is broken down by race, black women earn 67 cents to the dollar which is even lower than white women, according to ThinkProgress. It's deeply unfair and it's time we start working for and on behalf of black women everywhere to fix it.
And so, on this special day, let's take a moment to celebrate the women (and a few men!) who are speaking up on Black Women's Equal Pay Day.
1. Laverne Cox
OITNB star Laverne Cox was among the black female celebrities showing her support for black women everywhere on social media. On Instagram, as she reminded her followers why this day was important, she reminded us too that "We [black women] are phenomenal, and we deserve equal pay."
2. Tracee Ellis Ross
Black-ish actor Tracee Ellis Ross kept it simple, strong, and informative on this special day with her support for pay equality for black women.
3. Serena Williams
Looking radiant, tennis star and mom-to-be Serena Williams posted this photo to her Instagram. This is certainly not the first time that Williams has gotten vocal for equal pay for black women, but she's making her voice heard everywhere in 2017. Read her Fortune essay on the necessity of equal pay for black women for her views on the topic.
4. Remy Ma
Rapper Remy Ma wore her "Phenomenal Woman" shirt, stared straight into the camera, and wrote this missive on her Instagram: "July 31 is Black Women's Equal Pay Day, which represents the number of days into 2017 a black woman must work to earn the same pay a white man made in 2016 — that's nearly 8 extra months! Black women are the cornerstone of our communities, they are phenomenal, and they deserve equal pay."
5. Star Jones
The TV personality and actor took a moment to shine the spotlight on black working mothers in America and why it's important they get the equal pay they deserve.
6. Viola Davis
Oscar-winning actor Viola Davis did not stay silent on Black Women's Equal Pay Day. Sporting the requisite "Phenomenal Woman" shirt, Davis echoed Remy Ma's caption: "July 31 is Black Women's Equal Pay Day, which represents the number of days into 2017 a black woman must work to earn the same pay a white man made in 2016 — that's nearly 8 extra months! Black women are the cornerstone of our communities, they are phenomenal, and they deserve equal pay," on her Instagram.
7. Senator Kamala Harris
Black women must work nearly 20 months just to earn the same amount white men earned in 12 months. Unacceptable. #BlackWomensEqualPay— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) July 31, 2017
California Senator Kamala Harris wrote a great many tweets on Monday to raise awareness around the pay inequality black women face, but this tweet hits the hardest.
8. Senator Tim Kaine
Today is how far into 2017 black women have to work just to earn white men's '16 salary. Making 63¢/$1 hurts families #BlackWomensEqualPay— Senator Tim Kaine (@timkaine) July 31, 2017
Former Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine was one of the few white, male voices speaking up in favor of equal pay for black women everywhere.
9. Uzo Aduba
The OITNB actor posted a pensive photo of herself to her Instagram on Monday, captioning the photo with this meaningful caption. "July 31st is Black Women's Equal Pay Day. We come together in our power to highlight the current wage disparity of 63 cents to the dollar compared to men. We do it not only for ourselves today, but for those young women still to come. Women, RISE UP."
10. Marsha Thomason
The English actor, who starred with Eddie Murphy in Disney's live-action film The Haunted Mansion, posted this via her Instagram to mark the occasion: Today is #blackwomensequalpayday. This is obviously something that concerns me deeply and frankly, I'm sick of this [bullsh*t]."
11. W. Kamau Bell
The comedian showed his support for black women on this special day and encouraged others to show their support too.
12. Tamron Hall
Hall reminded us all that equal pay means getting a fair slice of the proverbial equal pay pie.
13. Issa Rae
July 31 is Black Women's Equal Pay Day. Black women are the cornerstone of our communities, they are phenomenal, and they deserve equal pay. pic.twitter.com/r9fYWACyjp— Issa Rae (@IssaRae) July 31, 2017
The Insecure creator, actor, and writer took a moment out of her day to voice her support for hard-working black women in America.
14. Senator Bernie Sanders
Equal pay is not a radical idea. It's an issue of basic justice. #BlackWomensEqualPayDay— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) July 31, 2017
It's not too much of a surprise that Sanders would speak up about an issue as important as this, but it's nonetheless heartening to see him do so.
15. Olympian Kristi Castlin
The bronze-medal winning Olympian said it loud and proud on Twitter.
16. Senator Tammy Duckworth
When the length of time it would normally take to achieve wage equality is put into the terms like Duckworth's, this issue became all the more important.
17. Tessa Thompson
The Thor: Ragnarok actor used her voice and her platform to send out an urgent call for action to all her followers.
It's so great to see these black female celebrities speaking up, but it also falls of the shoulders of us all to help raise these women up so that they can earn the pay that they deserve.