Recently we read a post so interesting that we just KNEW we had to throw our 2 cents in (Shoutout to the colorlilac.com). The post was about why black men are silent when it comes to the plights of the black woman.
We’re gonna try to be quick about this post, but roll with us here people.
Growing up our father taught us that we had to work harder, faster, and smarter than those around us because we were black women in a white mans world. We were taught about our peoples culture and struggle before we even hit grade school. Our father wanted to prepare us for any adversity that we would meet in our predominately white school (and white dominated world). He taught us that we had to work 100x harder to be an equal in our society. We walked with books on our head, worked out every day, volunteered, played instruments, and we were required to write book reports for him. You read Roots in your 20’s we read Roots before we hit puberty.
There was no such thing as getting in trouble because we were in the wrong place at the wrong time. One of our childhood friends, at age 12, got pepper sprayed by police because cops asked him to leave an accident, he didn’t leave immediately so they sprayed him down. My dad said, “it was wrong of them to take those extremes, but he should’ve left the moment the words came out their mouth.” If we were 1% wrong we were always going to be looked at as 100% wrong. Why, because we’re black. He taught us how to be smart and aware of surroundings.
To paint a picture for you, I am a cross between Mariah Carey in the 90’s and Madison Pettis from The Game Plan. Although I am on one extreme of the black spectrum I still identify with being black. My sister, A, is a beautiful caramel color and our father is a similar color to Mr. Idris Elba, but with more red tones. My concept of black was a full spectrum of beautiful colors. Sadly, my classmates didn’t have the knowledge or cultural awareness that I did at that young age. What results in ignorance? Bullying. At a young age my white classmates didn’t want to be my friend because I was “different”. I turned to those that looked like me for friendship, but they also seen me as “different” because I was multiple shades lighter than them.
I went home that day asking my father how I could look like him. He didn’t understand and asked me what I meant. I asked him if there was a paint I could use to look darker like him because I wasn’t accepted. My father, loving as he was, taught me to love my color despite what others thought about it, even my own people.
My father didn’t only teach us to love ourselves, but he made us question why some black people don’t love themselves. What is it about our color that they don’t relish in. Why is it that black men call their own women hoes and why black women say they “don’t need a man”…especially a black man. Is it ignorance, is it bad experience, or is it simply self hate?
I’m telling you right now, its not just the lack of black men being there for black women, it goes both ways, especially black women hating on black women. We live in a white mans world and instead of rising up together and evening the playing field we have spent years fighting each other or debating on what we deserve. I learned from an earlier age that I don’t DESERVE anything from my people. No one offers free respect as tapas at your favorite restaurant. Do they? No, they don’t. Respect must be earned. If you’re like me, black, you need to work 100x harder to get respected.
A: At this point in time we are all banned together in the Black Lives Matter campaign because we are targets. Black men specifically are targeted more –and this can be seen by the statistics of black men incarcerated in this country. This is a problem, Hilary Clinton on the Another Round podcast (love that podcast!) was talking about this issue this week actually. I assure you if you don’t know, it’s a problem.
Now, back to the issue at hand…why are black women not given the same respect? Why do black men not support us. I think we are given BASIC human respect by them. They respect us, but our struggles aren’t their struggles. They don’t rock with us like we rock with them. Why, you ask? Well, here are a couple of reasons why that may be.
We don’t respect ourselves. WE-meaning all black women, don’t respect ourselves. Now the hierarchy in life is the white man, the white woman, the BLACK WOMAN, the black man. This is evident everywhere. Now I say that to say, we are all (unfortunately) grouped together. Black women is one group. So those few “thots” that are running amuck, are RUINING it for us all. We may not be the first to die when the cops are looking to go apeshit, but we are the middleman and kinda get swept under the rug. Did y’all not read my slutwalk post? WE NEED TO CHOOSE BETTER REPRESENTATIVES AS WOMEN. When women run around and call themselves sluts and thots-what do you think men will call us? Love & Hip Hop and Michelle Obama-These are the primary black women representatives. And which do you think seems more attainable to the masses?
We can respect ourselves and OUR goals by not calling each other outside our names and honestly, being a bit more modest. Nobody is going to take you seriously when you are wearing a cleavage bearing outfit or skintight pants. I know its hard in this day to be modest, but baby steps may push us forward. ****Sidenote: Do you see Michelle Obama wearing clothing that she would be ashamed to walk around in front of her father in, no you don’t. When “Cashmoney records taking over for the 99 & 2000” is heard do you think she braces herself to bend over and twerk, I assure you-the answer is no.
We have had to fight for everything we have ever gotten, so you think black men are just going to roll with us….yeah, no. It’s not that easy.
M: You are more than welcome to drop it low and pick it up slow as much as you want and then whimper that black men don’t respect you. Or..crazy idea..you can raise your black children that respect is earned. Teach them self love, teach them that they will have to work harder, teach them to stop whining that being black isn’t fair, teach them how to pick themselves up when racists knock them down, teach them!
I’m going to leave you with this. I was introducing myself to my black coworker and he asked me what I liked to do. I went on to list numerous hobbies and then I said, “I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I’m really good at arts and crafts”. He told me “more black women need to start tooting their horn and be proud of themselves. Too many of our black women are not respecting themselves and letting their true talents shine.”
You want our men to stand by us? Stop being an embarrassment.