By making policy and political choices through the lens of “Black women best,” the US can begin not only to rectify its racist and sexist economic structures, but to cultivate an economy in which all people have power, security, dignity, and prosperity—in this crisis and beyond.
The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis have cemented an American truth that’s been ignored for too long by too many: Through its policy and political choices, the US continues to prioritize the interests of a wealthy, predominantly white few over the well-being of all its people, but especially over the protection of Black and brown lives.
Our economy was built in large part upon Black women’s diminished power—through unpaid, exploited, and forced labor. Black women’s labor is central to the functioning of our economy, and not just in times of crisis. Income gaps, wealth gaps, lack of worker protection laws, and a host of other socioeconomic indicators illustrate a system designed to keep Black women without power.
In Black Women Best: The Framework We Need for an Equitable Economy, Kendra Bozarth, Grace Western, and Janelle Jones explain how centering Black women in US politics and policymaking in the short and long term will bolster immediate recovery efforts, build durable and equitable institutions, and strengthen collective prosperity.