Hello, my darlings! This topic has been on my mind for a cute minute so here are my thoughts. The “angry” black woman. Let’s go.
I have heard some of my friends having issues with how things work at their jobs, or in clubs that they are a part of and want to speak up but can’t. Why? Because they don’t want to be labeled as the trouble makers or society’s favorite “the angry black woman”. I have been told to watch my face or to control my facials because it can keep others from listening to what I have to say. I mean okay yeah, I have a pretty good death stare but let’s be honest…if their issue is with how my face looks when I speak up and not on the information at hand…how am I the problem?
And another thing, why is it when other races of women voice their complaints it is seen as something “great,” but when a black woman does it is not okay? For example, when a white woman speaks her mind at any volume she wants, she is passionate and society needs to listen and take a stand. When a Mexican/Hispanic woman does it she is sexy and again she is passionate. BUT WHEN A BLACK WOMAN DOES THE SAME THING. Oh my goodness, it is the ghetto, she is uneducated, and that’s where my beef starts.
What leads me to be seen as the “angry” black woman is either the other person won’t take me seriously or they downplay the situation at hand. Yo, I want someone to listen to me, to feel what I’m feeling. My message is not communicated in a calm tone when someone is not taking me seriously. I feel disrespected, not valued, invalid, and of course, that will result in being “angry”. And why is it a bad thing for black women to feel angry? That’s an emotion. I’m entitled to it as a human being, but society has me fearing that emotion all because it has made it a symptom for being a black woman. It is rubbish. If an angry black woman is what needs to be seen in places that need a change, then I volunteer as tribute to be that woman.
I am over stroking egos before voicing an issue because it is a tactic used to make someone listen. If someone cares, they should be ready to listen at any time without me making them feel like some hero. I am over making the other person feel comfortable before myself by code-switching. Code-switching is when a person of color feels the need to change the way they express themselves when they are around people with different racial and ethnic backgrounds. Because then they don’t see where the problem is coming from. I am over feeling small because I am a black woman in public and common places. Lastly, I am done with overthinking conversations that haven’t been had yet all because I am worried that the person(s) I will be talking to will view me as angry, bitter or rude just because I disagree with them. I am tired.
Society has a listening problem when it comes to black women. You see it in the hospital when a woman says that she is in pain and doctors ignore it. You see in the office when the black woman has been with a company for years yet keeps getting overlooked for promotions but instead, the white woman/ man, Asian woman/man, etc gets it. You even see it when it comes to men pursuing and dating women. To all the people out there pursuing women, you can have your preferences but DO NOT BASH BLACK WOMEN in the process. It’s not only rude but when we stand up for ourselves, we are labeled as angry or bitter. Which is nonsense. Back to the point, society has an issue with truly listening to black women and it needs to stop. Since we the people make up the society it starts with us.
Change in the workplace, in the church, in any relationship doesn’t come easy. There will be pushback, arguments, and much more but we as a society need to be accepting with black women voicing their frustrations without calling them angry. Instead of labeling us as angry, ask us why. Then listen to why we are “angry”.
To all my brothers and sisters, take the time to listen to that “angry” black girl, you may find out that it’s not anger. You see anger itself is a secondary emotion. Underneath that could be a combo of fear, jadedness, apathy, hopeless and even pain. She may be feeling unseen, underrepresented, unheard, overlooked in many ways, she may be tired of being a token and that people take advantage, etc. That got a little personal…back to the point. Ask her what the root of her anger is. Black women are capable of feeling more than one emotion.
Society loves to call us queens left and right so it’s time to start treating us as such.
Until the next time my darlings,
*Thank you to Purshia Gambles, Jalaina Douglas, Mary Onishi and Audra Beaty for helping edit this piece.
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Love you Soms! This was great
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