Reasons Why Black Women's Lives Need to Matter

Posted by Sidney, 04 Apr

To be a woman means to face discrimination. To be black means to face discrimination. To be a black woman means to be faced on a daily basis with discrimination from those of your own race and those of the same gender as you.

And people wonder where the stereotype of the ‘angry black woman’ came from.

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The history of the African-American woman is one that goes some way to explaining why black women are perceived to be confrontational and aggressive, even towards each other.

Aside from being a gross display of human indecency, the black slave trade systematically tore apart the black family unit. Men became impotent; powerless to protect their women and children. The women were disrespected, abused sexually, denied the role of nurturer to their own children and forced to provide love to those who would grow up to hate them. Black women were and still are simultaneously ridiculed and objectified for their exotic and shapely physical features.

Slavery might have ended but black women today still face the same problems. They have been forced to conform to the values of white America. They will be overlooked if their name is too ‘black’; they cannot be too outspoken; they must not wear their hair in its natural state, they must not be too ‘ghetto’ or ‘ratchet’.

These prejudices are present not only in the workplace but also within their own communities. Yes - black women judge each other too!

Black women deserve to be treated better. Through no fault of their own they have wound up at the bottom of the scrapheap. History may be forgiven but should never be forgotten and the US government should be actively acknowledging the past and making reparations in trying to bring about true equality today. Ensuring that the opportunities for and rates of progression are just as good for black women as they are for white women and men is paramount and in fact it is key to securing the best future for black children because it will mean better education and better job opportunities.

In recent years high profile incidents revealing the prevalence of institutional racism in America have caused the black community to actually pull together more than they have for a long while. We have the #blacklivesmatter movement in response to the spate of deaths of black men and women at the hands of the police. We even had a public shunning of academy award shows by black actors because of their non-representation amongst nominees and winners.

You now see more women publicly and unapologetically embracing their black heritage as they demand to be treated the same as everybody else. It’s almost as if they tried conforming and it did not work so they are back with a vengeance.

In these political times where governments around the world seem to be rejecting the inclusion of foreigners, will black women gain the respect they deserve by just being themselves or is it now time for black people to close ranks and protect themselves as a race first and foremost?

2 responses to "Reasons Why Black Women's Lives Need to Matter"

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  1.   Summer_03 says:
    Posted: 10 Jun 17

    the list goes on. Yet, we find we have to prove ourselves, somehow, still. Hectic. When will we ever breath. Talk about, waiting to exhale. Reminds me of something I read. Where an individual stated that, "white women are the luckiest people alive." They have so many things easier for them. And they dont even realise that, some of them. Why? Because they are white n they are women. Yes, blck woman has come a long way. That, I believe needs to be continually recognise and acknowledged. Until we have nothing more to prove. God bless that day.

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  2.   Summer_03 says:
    Posted: 10 Jun 17

    Amen. That is very true. However black woman have defied so many odds. Black woman are great wives to their husbands. They are astronauts, mathematicians, professors, judges, leading businesswomen, ceo's, executives... the m toThose who do not see that are those

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