Lately, I have been dealing with frustration over the mistreatment of Black women. I witness it everyday on social media, in my personal life (because HELLO I am Black and a woman), and at work as a Black woman in a predominately white male driven profession. And I am sick of it.
Every time I think about what Black women deal with in our society, my mind immediately turns to the following quote by the late, great Malcolm X:
“The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman, the most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.”
True. True. True.
Black women are expected to put EVERYONE’S needs before their own. We are expected to be “ride or die” chicks for men who do us more harm than good. And, it’s a badge of honor to run ourselves ragged while we care for our children and other family members. But, whose taking care of us? Whose looking out for us when we are down, depressed, and full of dismay? When we are murdered, why don’t people mobilize and demand “justice” like they do for our Black male counterparts? When we are raped and harassed on the streets, why are the stories twisted around to make us look like villains? And, why do some people feel like we should be “grateful” for any attention that we get from a man? Is it because they subconsciously believe that we are the least desired group of women in America?
We aren’t even expected to experience a multitude of feelings. Whether we are faced with death, abandonment, or mental health issues, we are expected to “stay strong” because we are “built Ford tough.” Why?
Because acknowledging that Black women are entitled to emotions suggests that we are human.
Standing up for a Black woman who has been street harassed, raped, or abused suggests that Black women are human.
Allowing a Black woman to put herself first sometimes and not be deemed selfish suggests that she is human.
Recognizing that Black women also deal with depression, suicidal thoughts, and mental illnesses suggests that Black women are human.
Imagine that. Black women are human…..who knew?
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