"You don't want to be perceived as an angry black woman"- Says Them
We are constantly told either to manage ourselves and our energy;
or expected to navigate through emotional reactions to us, to provide comfort and safety for oppressors and power players.
Dear Humans who look like me,
When you tell me to tone it down “sis, you don’t want them thinking you’re another angry black woman.” I feel hurt. I’m hurt because you know the implications of this comment; you know what it is to be like me and how hard it is to work hard for my success and still be told it’s not enough.
You know that I have reasons and rights to be angry and you are angry too
( even if you don’t say it out loud or you deny it heavily)
Because if you didn’t know, you wouldn’t care so much about your hairstyle, your weight, and the way people perceive you in a group when you’re the only black person.
You wouldn’t feel insecure about your intelligence and weirdly pissed at yourself ;
you may let things slide giving the appearance that you’re a pushover, but really you are trying desperately hard to spare people from your wrath. YOU KNOW!
You know like no other and in knowing it can make it hard for us to be together and to unite as sisters. In a sad way, you hate me for being so vocal and loud. However, when James Brown’s “I’m Black and I’m Proud” starts to play, your spirit is just as free and vibrant as mine because being a Wakandan is powerful stuff.
You know like I know what it means to be a Black Queen and among one of the most hated and unprotected groups of people in this world; you know they might be your very best friend but they will never get you like I do sis. You know that because of the pain from my past and pattern of distrust I've faced; we've faced;
that when you tell me to “calm down” and that I’m being too” angry” I may feel like you’re either sippin’ the foolaid or are on their side.
…...But I understand
When you tell me to tone it down “sis, you don’t want them thinking you’re another angry black woman.” I feel hurt… but I understand.
I understand because someone told you that once before, twice before ten times before when you were just standing up for yourself.
I understand because your teachers tell you to speak up, your mama tells you to be brave and stand up but never against her,
your father may not have said much or maybe he said it all and the bible tells you to Be Still.
I understand how overwhelming it can be to navigate life as a human being and then having to carry the added weight society places on the black woman. I understand because the pain from our past is similar but not shared and though you may know what it is to be like me you will never know what it is to be me and vice versa.
I understand that my expectations are high and unrealistic for most because my self-sacrifice and loud cry drawing all eyes on me, all shots fired at me give a perception that I'm a self-righteous masochist.
I understand because you were also made to believe that we would never bring the table or the seats and that there would only be room for one diversity hire, one affirmative action spot and she had better behave. I understand and that’s why I’m not angry with you. Because like I said earlier, no one gets you like I do sis.
Dear Humans who kind of look like me
When you tell me anything having to do with managing myself based on my race I need you to understand that even if my face isn’t expressing it; I am rolling my eyes so far in the back of my head that I can see your words stabbing me in the back like knives. Before you say anything Imma go ahead and stop you right there; STOP !NO! SHUT UP! LISTEN! We have been mistreated but not equally, we have struggled, and some of our struggles are similar but not the same. To clarify for all of you who are pissed right now thinking that I am racist and attempting to further victimize myself and my people; what I’m saying is; the black and brown struggle is different.
As a matter of fact, most of the racism and discrimination I've encountered have come from other “women of color”. (the term used to make it seem like we are all in the same boat but no were not; my ancestors came in through force on the Amistad. My ancestors came here on a boat, forced here on a boat. We are not in the same boat.)
There has never been a question about who was worth more or less. Saying our lives matter is saying your lives matter; and All lives matter when our lives matter.
Let's make one thing clear; anti-blackness exists in every cultural and racial structure
Dear Humans who don't look like me
Let me start off by saying ..because God forbid I express an opinion as a marginalized person without having to give a disclaimer to protect the feelings of those who will claim chastised by these words: ( This is not directed at every white person)
Do you see how I did that? I didn’t judge every single person of a race based on the transgressions of their ancestors. I didn't falsely stereotype based on the experience of an individual. When you do this; you shape opinions shared in gossip that all of a sudden have merit as legitimate factual facts. You must do your soul work, your shadow work, your heart work before we can discuss these concepts. Anyways, if that disclaimer wasn’t enough you can stop reading ( even though this is the end) which is precisely why I chose to end this in this way because words are powerful, and even if you disagree you digested a challenging and uncomfortable message.