Yesterday a man I am acquainted with sent me video. I have to say it was one I was somewhat surprised by as it was a vitriolic critique of the ‘Black Woman’.
The man who created the video, didn’t for one minute mince his words and proceeded to slate us for ‘bitchin,’ bringing up ‘thugs,’ being emotionally immature and demanding and for being the cause of the degeneration of the black family. He claimed we were always bragging about being ‘Queens’ and that everyone want us; but the reality is the black man is turning to the white woman, ANY woman but us because we’re driving them off with our ‘pissedosity’ and pouting.
He then went on to say that we’re all single because we are ‘egotistical children’ who do not take responsibility accept ‘thugs’ as partners and then have a slew of unwanted babies, choosing deliberate ‘single-motherhood’ in an attempt to get these men to stay with us. ..
As a result we abuse and neglect our children as they were not wanted in the first place and who are now a persistent reminder of the error we made in laying down, trying to get attention from the ‘good for nuthin’ thug’ in the first place!
Ay ay aaaaay!
‘Aaaaay caramba!’ and whole lotta words and phrases I tried to replace expletives for ran through my mind.
You can imagine my…well, all I can say is incredulity at the bile that spewed forth from this man, who’s ‘bass’ told me he was a black American male.
I came to the conclusion that…
‘Some sista, mussa do him Baaaad!’
It got me to thinking though it’s easy to get caught up in the negatives because yes it’s true… the Black experience is often one of struggle and persecution; of pain and racial discrimination and slurs even in 2019 (see: http://bit.ly/2Z0WPvX).
- Yes, more often than not, our stories are made up of events, which serve to humiliate and denigrate us.
- Yes, our narratives often articulate the challenge of rising despite massive social and institutionalised racism and injustice.
- Yes, there are social and emotional challenges that we need to address.
- Yes, our pain is acute and real. None of it is fabricated and it’s hard to live with and through.
- And yes, in our attempts to get some relief from the pressure of our lives, from the ‘Just over broke,’ or downright ‘indebted and broke’ scenarios and the relationship drama, we (me included), can focus, disproportionately on the negatives of the black experience.
However, there are just as many wonderful things about my experience of being a black woman and it is these that keep me going despite it all… rising… forever finding ingenious ways around, up, over and around the pressures I encounter every day.
What I love about being a black woman
I love my (our) resilience: Despite times when I honestly feel I will simply break apart or break open. Somehow me and my sisters and mothers and aunts, and sistren and cousins and friends just keep bouncing back. Many of us without vitriol and somehow manage to find hope.
We will fall asleep broken and rise to the light of the sun and know that because it’s shining there must be a God and that there’s the possibility that things will change.
- I love our spirituality: Even though many of us have rejected formal religious practices, there’s somehow a spiritual, gossamer thread, albeit in some of us, vague and barely discernable that reminds us that our ancestors DNA courses through us. Reminds us that we are connected. To the pouring of libation for the ‘homies in the big house’ to letting the ‘elders’ feed first at christenings and parties.
- I love that we recognise our connection to one another – the irresistible magnetic pull to proffer a ‘nod’ of acknowledgement; the ‘I recognise the spirit in you and we are the same’ nod whenever you catch the eye of another black person for longer than a nanosecond.
- I love that my skin is coffee-choco-smooth. It’s ‘why haven’t you got any wrinkles?’ taut and when nourished by the sun and replenished by oils it shines bronze-reflecting, hailing the glory of the melanin that gives it it’s hue.
- I love that I can flip my language from Standard English to broad Yorkshire and Jamaican Patois and now some Nigerian pidgin as easily as butter slides off a hot knife and that the myriad of phonetic and linguistic mélanges create a uniqueness of expression that cannot be matched or mimicked and all this despite having our languages taken from us.
- I love that my people are linguistic governors! Non can compete with the numerous words and phrases our varying cultures ‘drop’ like social diamonds into the fabric of popular and musical culture. We’re constantly inventing… ‘fo’shizzle’ we are!
- I love the richness of our history. That despite it being stolen, hidden and reconstituted in a blanket of lies we are reclaiming it; Pharonic brick by brick, Songhaian stone, by stone.
- I love that when I come together with my ‘sistren’ there is a stripping away of the miasma of oppression and instead, (if there’s true sisterhood and not the ‘Jealousy’ I previously talked about); what you’ll find is us releasing the ‘bass’ in our voices, (as well as sometimes the bra straps!) and liberating the guttural, deep, raucous laughter that emanates from our bellies… as we ‘talk fi we talk’ and let go the tension of tip-toeing through a world which insists we hide parts of ourselves; in case we be deemed too ‘loud,’ or ‘aggressive,’ ‘too threatening!’
What I love about being a black woman is that I have an infinite number of options when it comes to what to do with my hair, which is both liberating and confining at the same time.
- What I Love about being a black woman is that when I sashay out of a room I KNOW you can’t help but recognise that the place is a little duller because of it.
- What I love about being a black woman is that I KNOW and recognise that the power and strength of my ancestors, the wisdom from their trials and suffering live within me and that I proudly carry their genetic code!
And I could go on…
The man who created the video denounced us as ‘Queens’ and said all the black woman has is ‘attitude’
What I told the man who shared the video with me was:
“If a man cannot tell the difference between a woman with standards and boundaries and one with ‘attitude,’ then he certainly ‘AINT’ no KING!