I feel like all of my life I have been fighting this stereotype of what a black woman is supposed to be. Is she smart, does she have ten kids, does she own a home, does she rent an apartment, is that her real hair, does she wear weave or is she the angry black woman. Who is the black woman?
I will never forget the time when an ex-boyfriend said to me “I will never date a black girl again because they go to bed with head scarfs on.” Can you imagine how that made me feel? This boyfriend was someone I loved, someone I wanted to marry, but to hear him say that really resonated with me because I felt in that moment I was being judged for being me, for having hair that I was born with.
How many other women have felt this way? Not only with their hair but also in life. The time you showed up to work with cornrows and was told it was too ethnic, or when people automatically assume because you are black your someone’s baby’s mother, not college educated, lazy, live off the government or just an ANGRY BLACK WOMAN.
For a while I spent time trying not to prove the stereotype right, I did not want to be associated as the angry black woman, or the woman who is on government assistance or the woman with five kids and five different fathers. I wanted to be “White Woman Cut.” (As the gays put it lol)
Growing up, I didn’t have a lot of black friends so white friends were who I associated with. However, towards my teenage years the color of my friends changed to a brown hue. It’s so weird because a lot of the black people I did encounter were also doing the typical stereotyping. Isn’t that ironic! People would say “you talk like a white girl, why are you listening to that music it’s not black, or black people don’t do that.” Well what do black people do?
As I have matured, I began to realize that black is simply my skin color and it does not define how smart I am, or dumb, it does not define whether I am on government assistance or a millionaire and it is not the reason why I get angry.
For a while with my ex-boyfriend, I wanted him to accept me because I loved him, so I would wait until he went to bed to wrap my hair. How stupid, right! How many girls can relate to doing this but probably with makeup or something lol. It’s ridiculous. Eventually I was like why am I going to the tenth power to prove I’m what you want, when what you want is not my mission to prove.
I began to love me and realize the misconception of the black women is not my issue it is yours. This is not my battle to prove it is yours. I am educated, I get angry, I will use food stamps if you give them to me lol. But these things do not define what a black woman is.
A black woman is strong, smart, the back bone of the family, the mother and the father sometimes, selfless, and wise. A black woman is a butterfly, constantly evolving and changing to adapt to any situation.
Like so many other cultures, we get angry, we wear weaves, and we go to sleep with head scarfs on but so what, so what! The color of my skin does not define me or tell you what kind of worker I am going to be, it does not tell you the kind of wife I am or girlfriend, or mother or friend.
The next time you see a black woman think about the obstacles she has had to overcome, think about the LSAT exam she is about to take, or the foundation she is building every day for her family or the house she is about to buy ON HER OWN! Think about how many times she was well qualified but overlooked. When you see her, say to yourself that’s a strong black woman and EMBRACE HER, EMBRACE HER.