I’m angry. I’m pissed. I’m incensed. I have an attitude. I’m mad. I’ve had “Resting Bitch Face” since long before having a resting bitch face was in style. Oh, and in case I haven’t been clear on this fact, I’m Black… and a womanly woman with lady parts. Got it? Good. So when you, in your infinite wisdom and privilege, curl your lips to make statements about my character, or tell me to “smile, it’s not that bad…” understand that you have now contributed to what was probably an already unpleasant day. You don’t know my life. You can’t fathom my struggle. I don’t owe you anything, least of all a smile that I might be saving for someone who actually deserves a brighter day created by my pleasant side. If you aren’t directly contributing to my wellbeing with friendship or a paycheck, your opinion is invalid. I might be an angry Black Woman, but you helped make me this way. Now, I spend a good percentage of my days trying to not be “the Angry Black Woman” everyone seems to be so hateful of, but today seems like a good day to let her loose.
If you had to spend your entire existence justifying your every emotion and defending your right to humanity, you might be angry too. If you had to listen to people devaluing you and women who look like you day in and day out, you might have an attitude too. If you had to watch non-Black women be praised and lauded for their fiery attitudes, their assertiveness, their braids, their purchased body parts, fabricated mannerisms, carbon copied style… but when you do it its unprofessional, unsexy, unattractive… all manner of Nope… you too might find yourself UNwilling to put up with the bull shit. If you had to read words from Black men who probably have equally Black mothers, sisters, and cousins talking about Black women as if we are… no, not “as if,” because they clearly have no love for Black women unless they are light skinned and otherwise as close to whiteness as Black woman can be. If you had to work 3 times as hard to earn half of what your white counterparts are paid, and one third of what men in the same position earn, you’d be pissed too.
If you belonged to the most educated, hardest working demographic who is also the least valued, often imitated/never duplicated group of human beings on this planet, you too might find cause for anger.
Here’s the history lesson:
Especially in this Nation, while white women were fighting for a right to work, own property, and not get beaten and raped by their husbands, Black women had never not worked, and weren’t even considered wholly human. While white women were burning their bras, Black women were tending to white women’s dirty laundry, raising their children, cleaning their homes, cooking their food, and making sure that they could come home to comfort when they were done Not working. Then, after suffering at the hands of often cruel “employers” they’d get to go “home” to similarly abused Black men who often found cause to take their frustrations out on who else but the Black woman who’d just gotten home from working to do more work and tend to her own family, and get raped and beaten too.
So here’s the thing, no one really likes being angry. No one wants to spend their lives in a general sense of dismay. This one isn’t directed toward any one group because everyone, other Black women included, are guilty of contributing to the discontent of Black women. Existing in this skin is hard enough without additional external factors making a mess of things. Speaking in general, we don’t need a pity party or snowflake treatment. Just get out of the way. How? Keep your judgments and opinions to yourself. Stop telling us what we are, who we are, what we need to do… just stop. More specifically, stop limiting our humanity. I’m allowed to get and be angry. We all are. If you see us walking down the street looking serious, assume we’re contemplating metaphysics or the solution to world hunger, silently acknowledge our heroism to yourself, and move on with your life so we can continue moving through ours.
Do More, Require Better with your #50percent. The day you save may be your own.