As this Black History month comes to a close, we continue to celebrate the cultural, intellectual and political contributions and achievements African Americans have made in our country despite a pervasive, and persistent, history of education, employment, and other forms of discrimination. Despite decades of gains, African Americans still face economic disparities in good and bad times that follow them in their retirement years. For many African Americans, the realities of a lifetime of low wages amounts to little or no savings for retirement. Therefore, Social Security’s modest retirement, disability, and survivors’ protections are critical for African American families. As the nation continues to work towards addressing these disparities, it is important to recognize the role Social Security has to play in closing the racial retirement gap for African Americans and other communities of color. Finally, as several personal stories generously shared by members of the Service Employees International Union show, Social Security should not only be protected for African Americans; it should be expanded.

In Their Own Words: Why Social Security Is Important to African Americans