(The Root) — Early last week I breathed a sigh of relief when I stumbled across several black sites offering commentary on the findings of a report from the United Negro College Fund stating that black women were enrolling in college in record numbers — more so, in fact, than any other race, ethnic group or gender.
“Yes!” I thought when I read that. Finally some good news about black women.
Turns out, it’s actually old news. Many of the sites linked to a story from the Seattle Times that was published in 1997. So black women being high achievers is actually old news.
But the topic is current nonetheless, since so many people are suddenly talking about it again, and unfortunately not all of them are celebrating the positive, even if old, statistics.
You can only imagine my disappointment when I logged onto Facebook and found the headline “Black Women Are Spending Too Much Time and Effort Going to School, They Should Be Spending That Time Trying to Get Married” as the lead post in my timeline. I should have kept scrolling, but the woman who posted it was going off about the story, and I was curious about the leaps of logic that helped the article’s writer arrive at this baffling conclusion.
Shame on me.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t just an inflammatory headline to garner more page views for an otherwise sound argument. And it wasn’t satire, either. To be fair, the writer, a woman, makes a valid point about the number of women who enroll in college but don’t complete their education, thereby saddling themselves with debt without the benefit of a degree. There’s a worthy discussion to be had about that.
But that good point gets lost by the time she begins to argue against women in their late 30s and beyond seeking an education. She reasons that instead of relying on a degree for a promotion and subsequent salary boost, women should just get husbands to fill in the monetary gap instead.