On average, single black women with a bachelor’s degree ages 20–39 have a net worth range of -$11,000 to $0.
In 30 days I will turn 30 years old. I am a single, Black, cisgender woman and I have a net worth of $0. That is my truth. But why? How? How did my foremothers create the capital this country is built on with their physical and reproductive labor and yet I have $0 to pass on? How?
"The Bring Me My Purse Project" is my dive into that question. Over the course of this year I will explore the economic reality of Black women through recorded interviews, research, a national survey, an installation, a retreat for Black women and a devised performance. All of this will conclude in a digital portal where Black women will submit invoices to people and institutions that owe them and people will be able to anonymously pick up the bill and pay these Black women.
This project is a huge undertaking and the full budget is $60,000. I am raising half so I can pay the researcher that will look at everything regarding Black women and money from slave records to redlining, the statistician developing the national survey, the art therapist that will co-facilitate the retreat and hire the director, choreographer and musical director for the piece. Everyone who works on this project will be a Black woman and I committed to fair and equitable payment. I can't make a show about Black women and money and not pay the women well. I am also raising money to pay myself so I can break the cycle of Black women not valuing their own gifts and talents and sacrificing their wellbeing for the greater good.
I know that this work is important. I know because every time I talk to Black women about it they take a deep breath and hold their heart. No matter if they are a well paid corporate employee or a cash poor parent or a college educated artist, we know that this world owes us. It is time for us to look this thing in the face and commit to paying Black women what we owe. I hope that you will join me in this important work.