Gabrielle Union, Tracee Ellis Ross and more show support for Black Women’s Equal Pay Day

Actors Gabrielle Union and Tracee Ellis Ross were among the many celebrities calling for equal pay on social media as part of Black Women's Equal Pay Day. Earl Gibson III/Getty Images for Essence

Black Women’s Equal Pay Day falls on Aug. 7, marking how long a black woman has to work in 2018 to make the same amount of money a white man made in 2017.

The day signifies that a black woman would have to work approximately 219 additional days, or eight months, to catch up to the salary of a white male.

Black women had to work all of 2017 and until this day in 2018 in order to make what white men earned in 2017 alone, according to

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The Black Career Women’s Network mentions that, while white women make about 21 per cent less than white men on average, black women make 38 per cent less than white men and about 21 per cent less than white women.

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Women’s Equal Pay Day was on April 10 this year, while the date for Black Women’s Equal Pay Day is almost four months later.

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Several celebrities — regardless of colour — united on social media for Black Women’s Equal Pay Day to voice their support.

Former Being Mary Jane star Gabrielle Union wrote: “Let us use our voices now and create a world where the next generation of young black girls don’t have to fight for equal pay and opportunity.”

Golden Globe-winning actress Tracee Ellis Ross shared some statistics that affect women of colour, writing: “In order for a black woman to make the same wage that a white male made last year, she would have to work all of last year AND this year up to today. Simply unacceptable. It’s time we #DemandMore because pay equity helps everyone.”

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Former Scandal star Kerry Washington wrote: “LISTEN UP! Did you know that black women are paid 38 per cent less than white men? 38 PER CENT. I support equal pay — because #38PercentCounts.”

Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes wrote, “Black women are paid 38 per cent less than white men. I support equal pay — because #38PercentCounts.”

Chelsea Clinton wrote: “Today is #BlackWomensEqualPayDay. Good read about why this offensive #PayGap is significant & why closing it is in everyone’s interest.”

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Activist DeRay Mckesson wrote: “In a recent conversation with an expert on the wealth gap, I learned that the median wealth for single black mothers is $0. There is nothing about that that is right, just or equitable.”

Rapper Common wrote: “I support #BlackWomensEqualPayDay and stand untied with the people and organizations fighting for equal pay! Love.”

Former Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon wrote: “Black women earn 62 cents for every dollar white men are paid for the same work. I vow to fight against this discrimination and to stand with Black women workers across the state of New York.”

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Actress Parisa Fitz-Henley wrote: “Thirty-eight per cent earlier student loan payoff, 38 per cent better food, 38 per cent less financial fear.”

Comedian Robin Thede wrote: “It’s #BlackWomensEqualPayDay — the day a typical black women gets paid what a white man made in 2017. 8 months more work to equal the same pay!! So until we have equal pay, here’s my proposal: ALL BLACK WOMEN GET TO TAKE PAID LEAVE FROM JAN-AUG.”

Director Ava DuVernay wrote: “Black women are paid 38 per cent less than white men. Hollywood included. I can attest.”

Actress Elizabeth Banks wrote: “With the current pay gap, black women have to work an additional 219 days to make what white men earn in a year — that’s an extra eight months.”

Actress Patricia Arquette wrote: “#BlackWomensEqualPayDay Black Women are still being paid less than their white male and female counterparts. Making it harder to purchase a home, pay back college loans and to retire comfortably. It has lifelong consequences. #Stop.”

Orange Is the New Black actress Danielle Brooks wrote, “I think I like ‘Where’s Our 38%?’ much better. This isn’t only about what I deserve but what so many hard working black women of all walks of life deserve.”

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