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DDD: I Am An Angry Black Woman

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.

Malcolm X had an idea about why we're angry...

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.

One reason why we're Angry...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 bySkin Color does not equal Angry 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.

 

Anger happens when you see things that piss you off

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.

Decorum Deficiency Disorder : Tired of the Black Perspective

Looking up from my laptop and tablet, I’m suddenly struck by harsh facts and realities that I often choose to ignore in favor of my sanity.

Eye - Limited World View

Such a limited world view… No?

My perspective is colored and tempered by classifications placed upon me at birth without my consent or active participation. I don’t have the benefit of being able to go skipping through the daisies oblivious to my Blackness or my femininity. It was explained to me very early on in life that because I was dark skinned, I needed to be smart because I’d never be pretty. Being raised with my lighter skinned brother and cousins, I was acutely aware of my position in my family. Having lived in so many places where other Black children were few and far between, I was always told how _____ I was for a Black girl. It never mattered what word filled in the blank, because I knew that whatever it was, I wasn’t being compared to my peers; I was being compared to their idea of what a Black girl was or could be… and the fact that I did not fit the description of what they imagined didn’t change their understanding or opinion, it simply made me an anomaly; just a ghost in the machine.

So when I look back at my previous pieces, and see that all but a very few are about being Black or being a woman, I want you to understand that it isn’t because I’m only capable of writing about racial or engendered issues. It’s because I see the world through a Black Latino/Hispanic Woman’s eyes, and I have been conditioned to relate to the world based on those qualifiers first, and who I really am… well, not even second. When I think about economic issues, I think of unemployment rates among the Black Collegiate population. When I think about travelling, I consider how the nation or country views and treats its women. When I walk down the street or through the parking lot of a shopping center, I have to consider whether I’m wearing the Victim costume or if my would-be attacker would likely prefer lighter fare… Every relationship; every interaction, every thought-seed I sew is a product of the physical qualifiers that I had no control over.

I wonder how many people would automatically assume that this confession of sorts is an admission to some form of involuntary racism? I wonder how many people are internalizing this account and reflecting on their own conditioned responses?

Yeah, I looked back on several of my pieces, and even had to question myself… Like “Um, Reign, you’re sounding a bit narrow there… Something you need to share with the class?” I get noticeably angry with my White brethren… watching them–and of course, some of you–choose to be oblivious and disconnected with an experience that is as intimately personal as how people who look like me are automatically villainized and dehumanized in the media… how women are instantly marginalized and devalued…

You know what, No. I get down right pissed the fuck off. I mean, why mince words and play coy when I can just tell you that I want to choose ignorance too. I want to wake up and walk out of my house in my bath robe like my White neighbors do and not have to think that anyone who sees me will assume a hood-rat mentality. I want to walk into a job interview or ask for a raise, and actually believe that the effort I’ve put into developing my skills and maintaining my strong work ethic will actually work in my favor. I want to go on a date with a White man without getting dirty looks, having people assume that I’m one of those self loathing Blacks who want a mixed baby with “good hair,” or having to wonder if he’s only going out with me because he’s got some unhealthy stereotype dancing around in his head about how exotic the sex with me would be. I’m thoroughly disgusted with having to explain my perspective to Black men who should know and unEye - Moonderstand my struggle because their struggle is so similar to mine… I’m fucking sick of it. Can I hear about a crime and not have to cross my fingers and pray to Black Jesus that the perpetrator isn’t a Black guy? Do white people do that? Seriously… do White folks hear news about a criminal and say to each other “Aw man, please don’t be white…” Let me tell you folks, that privilege alone would greatly improve the quality of my life: Just one day being allowed to experience life as a regular person, instead of a Black Woman.