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The Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation has just released the results of a study intended to shed some light on the goals, attitudes, and lifestyles of black women. The effort interviewed almost 2,000 people, over 800 of them black women, and is calling itself “the most extensive exploration of the lives and views of African American women in decades.” An article in Sunday’s Washington Post covers the results in a five page piece, but here are some highlights:

  • Religion is essential to most black women’s lives; being in a romantic relationship is not.

  • Nearly three-quarters of African American women say now is a good time to be a black woman in America, and yet a similar proportion worry about having enough money to pay their bills.

  • Half of black women surveyed call racism a “big problem” in the country; nearly half worry about being discriminated against.

  • Eighty-five percent say they are satisfied with their own lives, but one in five say they are often treated with less respect than other people.

The study was also comparative and found some significant differences between the outlooks of black women and their white counterparts:

  • More than a fifth of black women say being wealthy is very important, compared with one in 20 white women.

  • Sixty-seven percent of black women describe themselves as having high self-esteem, compared with 43 percent of white women.

  • Forty percent of black women say they experience frequent stress, compared with 51 percent of white women.

  • Nearly half of black women fear being a victim of violent crime, compared with about a third of white women.

Every time a survey, poll, or even any quasi-scientific study regarding the state of black women in America is released, I cringe, sigh deeply, and take what the findings have to say with a grain of salt but hold on to what rings true. As tiring as it is to be placed under sideshow microscope, it’s also important to know who is saying what and where they’re getting their information. Yet any of the above findings could, at best, serve as evidence that black women are thriving in what the piece calls “The Age of Michelle Obama,” or, at worst, as the tagline for Steve Harvey’s next book, so who knows anymore.

Read more at The Washington Post.

What do you think of these findings?

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