The Black Woman
First things first, be sure to capitalize the B in Black. If you are not doing so then you need to start. Period.
When I watched the 2020 Vice Presidential Debate between Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Michael Pence, a lot of emotions and thoughts ran through my brain.
How special to watch the first woman, the first African American woman, the first Indian American, and the first Asian American make history or should I say HERstory as Vice Presidential candidate?! 🤩🥺
The above photo made me feel so many types of ways and brought back a good deal of memories:
- I remember my mama giving me this look for countless reasons when I was growing up, but mostly this was the silent killer before to stop doing whatever I was doing otherwise a whooping was coming.
- I also remember my mama giving me this side eye when she was too tired to give me a whooping, but she was subtly reminding me not to play with her. How rude 😅
- Then somehow later in life, I remember giving this look to a lot of people as well. I remember being in third grade on the playground and this little boy tried to push me off the swing. This was the same look I gave him as a warning sign before I fought him. That was the day he learned about the Black woman.
- Another time, I recall a Karen stepping in front of me in line at Whataburger as if I was not there so I gave her that look because she was not about to play with me or my Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit. Shoutout to Whataburger. 👌🏾
- On a funnier note, when I was in high school, Sabra and I would always make jokes about different life circumstances we wanted to handle differently if only we could tell our mamas what to do because we were the ones who were right, right?! 😅 That smirk also can be seen as a joke because one thing you do not do is play with the Black woman let alone the Black mama. 🐻
- Oh and my grandmother giving me this look when I would try to change the channel when she would fall asleep and somehow she would wake up to let me know she was still watching her stories. 🤪
What do you think of when you hear about the Black woman?
I think of strength, beauty, magic, the colour yellow because we did create it after all (😏), exuberance, and Superwoman.
But sometimes being Superwoman is exhausting for us. When we wear the facade of being Superwoman, I think of us as having to constantly wear an armour. We often have to watch our emotions, gestures, facial expressions, what we say, how we say, how we behave, etc. otherwise we are seen as the angry Black woman. We are never allowed to be who we truly are because this frightens people.
“There is a kind of strength that is almost frightening in Black women. It’s as if a steel rod runs right through the head down to the feet.” —Maya Angelou
I remember growing up as a child and even into my early 20’s, I would go throughout my day and White people (especially women) would always ask me what was wrong. I was always confused, or even dumbfounded. They assumed because I was not smiling that something was wrong or that there was an issue, but they never asked the same question to the White women who sat around me. Am I supposed to walk around smiling all day? Is that even normal for anyone?
Today, I see small strides in people trying to close the many gaps with racial disparities which is great after a long time coming however I often see the missteps are with non-Black women.
I encourage non-Black women to research, listen, and learn before you speak or post something. Sharing memes and GIFs can come off as insincere and misconstrued. Non-Black women can understand struggles of being women however you cannot fully identify with our struggles of being Black women because you have not walked in our shoes and you will never be able to fully assimilate the totality of it.
Talk to your Black friends (especially women) and ask about their life experiences and keep in mind that they lived this life so their job is not to educate you.
Hold White men accountable for their actions, egos, words, etc. and use the power that you do have to close the gaps and level the playing fields.
I believe the Black woman is a Superwoman in our own context and in our own way. We bring something to the table that is unmatched as phenomenal women.