Stop acting like we don’t have a right to this collective anger. Anybody with
a brain that thinks and eyes that see and nose that knows KNOWS that we have a
right to this anger. The “Angry Black Woman” is angry for a multitude of
reasons. We’ve been America’s favorite Whipping Girl since the first African
woman set her foot in Virginia in the 1600’s.
When we embrace our curvy bodies, we’re told we’re fat. When we accept our
thin frames, we’re accused of lazy or bad cooks. We’ve been charged with nursing
and caring for the children of our white employers from Antebellum times
through today, but we’re constantly being portrayed as bad mothers. We put a
weave in our hair trying conform to a beauty standard that has nothing to do
with us and we’re still called “nappy-headed hoes”. When we go to school, get
degrees and a career, we’re “un-marry-able”. If we work and have kids early
instead of going to school, same thing happens. When we or others decide to
celebrate us, white women scream out “REVERSE RACISM” but we have to
comb through 50-11 magazines with white women on every page to find ONE with a
Black woman on the cover. We bare it all in a video or keep condoms in our
nightstands and we’re called sluts. We dedicate ourselves to The Church or are
decidedly single and we’re prudes or “bitter”. All too often, we are forced to
choose our race over our gender or risk feeling the wrath of our Brothers,
despite having to live with the realities of both. FromSaartjie Baartman aka “Venus
Hottentot” to Satoshi Kanazawa’s “scientific” study claiming Black women
being less physically attractive than EVERYBODY else, we’ve been studied like
freaks of nature instead of just regarded as human beings with the same value as
We’re pretty much damned if we do, damned if we don’t. So, the stereotype of
“The Angry Black Woman” is rooted in a very visceral truth. We’re tired of this
shyt. Stop telling us to stop getting upset. Stop telling us to not be mad
despite having to deal with this crap ALL THE TIME. Why are we supposed to put
up with this reckless disregard for our humanity with a smile on our face?
Because we’re women? Because we’re Black? Please, miss me with that
bull. We are HUMAN first. This anger is righteous and all
ignoring it and the causes of it will do is create a dyspeptic breeding ground
for spiritual, psychological, social and physical dis-ease.
Don’t equate my anger with the ignorant outbursts of the Black women on your
favorite [un] reality show. They aren’t the same. That’s not the anger passed
down to me by hundreds of years of indignities. I carry the anger of Dorothy
Dandridge when she had to enter through the kitchen to perform for white
audiences. I carry the anger of Dr.Jocelyn Elders when she was fired from her
job as Surgeon General by President Clinton for teaching about condom use and
masturbation to keep our children alive. I carry the anger of my own mother when
the all-white teaching team at her school is awarded monetary incentives despite
their students missing the mark for testing standards when her all-black
teaching team’s students did and they got nothing. I carry my own anger when I
am subjected to the itemization and commodifaction of my femaleness just by
walking down the street.
Listen when we say what we say and don’t dismiss our realities. Don’t dismiss
our histories. Don’t dismiss our present by telling us to “calm
down”, “brush it off” or even worse “just get over it”.
Don’t derail us with snide comments or claims of divisiveness when we decide to
show ourselves some love. That’s just another way of telling us that we don’t
count and we don’t matter.
What would be nice and appreciated is if you, whoever you are, just simply
said “I believe you because I see it too. I love you and I support you.” That
would help to make dealing with this righteous anger that seems to be our
matriarchal legacy, a lot easier.
Astu Mengesha – stay down blaze up.