We, Black Women, will wear outfits that bare our stomachs, though they may not be perfectly flat and may be marked with stretch marks. We knew our round asses were beautiful before Entertainment Tonight or Glamour magazine told us so; or before the Kardashians got injections to mimic them. We’ve always put on lip liner and lip gloss to make our already full lips look fuller.
We, Black Women, will fling our weave as if it grew from our scalps; go to the barbershop to get the same cuts as our brothas, dye our hair all the colors of the rainbow; wear it natural or permed, braided, twisted, in afros, and pixies. We will cover our hair with colorful scarves, doo-rags, and hats with the flair of an artist and the knot-tying skills of a magician.
We, Black Women, don’t walk; but we sway, switch, strut or saunter in ways that are often imitated, but never perfected. The swing to our hips whistles confidence, sexiness, womaness. We are the ones that people pay attention to when we walk into a room. You know I ain’t lyin’.
We, Black Women, are more educated than any other woman in America. We are running and starting businesses at higher rates than other women. We are breaking the proverbial glass ceilings at a variety of corporations and in various industries.
We, Black Women, cook meals on a $5.00 budget that chefs in 5-star restaurants try to duplicate.
We, Black Women, recognize that our skin –whether it be cream, tan, yellow, red, brown or Black–glows, is slow to wrinkle, and causes every other race to bake and paint themselves.
We, Black Women, certainly have insecurities, but we know we are sexy, beautiful, strong, exceptional. We believe we are phenomenal.
It is a myth that Black women are threatened by White, Asian or Latino women. Frankly, I think we barely acknowledge them (as competition). We have rarely looked to others for our standards of beauty or achievement. We’ve celebrated the roundness of our bodies, the sass in our voices, the flair of our dress even when every commercial, magazine, clothing line told us that we were inadequate. We’ve always done our own thing. If Black women have a universal weakness, it’s that we can be confident to the point of arrogance. Trust me, we think we are the baddest females in the game. We do believe mightily in our Queendom.
Understand, the anger you hear when we see you with a non-Black woman doesn’t stem from jealousy, but from disgust and sadness–not because you don’t love us but because we believe that you don’t love yourselves. Statistically, Black men are much more likely than Black women to marry someone of a different race. Fully a quarter of black men who get married marry someone who is not black. Why is that? Why do significantly more non-Black men deem women within their own race worthy partners than Black men do?
Is it because slavery made White woman the forbidden fruit? Have you fallen prey to the media that has made the standard of beauty non-Black (as recently as last month the media declared that Kate Middleton had the most desirable face)? Have you stereotyped all Black women, as White America has stereotyped you, and deemed us all angry?
If a Black man chooses a non-Black woman because he has some preconceived notion that non-Black woman is superior to a Black woman–well–he is pitiful (and wrong). His decision, under these circumstances, is based on hate (self-hate), not love. He has chosen to reject a major part of who he is. It is an outward expression of self-hate and that is difficult for Black women to witness.
We, at our rawest part, want you, Black men, to love yourselves as we love you. We understand that loving yourself–your Black self – can be difficult in today’s America. We know that the world has told you that Black equals poor, dumb, less, nappy, uneducated, loud, classless, worthless, inferior, ghetto, criminal. It has given us the same message; yet we (if you look at statistics) rejected that lie and have clung to our hearts’ truth. We (and only we), have always believed in, supported, defended, lifted, and stuck by you–the Black man–for better or for worse –through civil rights, police brutality, underemployment and over-imprisonment.
We, Black women, love you: your skin, your swagger, your bald heads, dreads and fades. We love the way you move and talk, the richness of the tone of your voice. We love your determination, your strength, and your creativity. We understand and empathize with your daily struggles and your historic problems. When we look at you, we see ourselves; we see our sons, our daddies, our granddaddies, our heroes, our hopes and our dreams. What do you see when you look at us? What scares you so?
We have always helped to shoulder the unique burdens of being Black in America since slavery. We refuse, however, to carry your burden of self-hate. If you think that Black women are inferior to non-Black women, that is your pain to carry. We aren’t bitches, hoes, angry,or ghetto (anymore than you are gangsters, thugs, lazy, or ghetto). STOP trying to justify your psychological weakness by making us the weaker, lesser woman. If you uniformly reject a group of people (particularly your own) –baby, that truly is your problem. Own your shit.
Once we see you with a non-Black woman, we honestly stop thinking about you anyway. Nothing turns a Black woman off more quickly than seeing you with a non-Black woman. We aren’t driven to compete; We are driven to retreat. How many Black women have you heard crooning over Black men who exclusively date non-Black women, such as Tiger Woods, O.J. Simpson, Kanye West, Taye Diggs, Terrence Howard, Robert Griffin III, and Cuba Gooding Jr.? Heck, Russell Wilson didn’t get fine to Black women until he married Ciara.
Those of you who fell in love with someone who happens to not be Black, I assure you that the majority of Black woman celebrate you, her and your love. We sincerely do. However, those of you who think that you’ve won a prize, stepped up, moved up, or that being with a non-Black woman is superior to being with a Black woman; please understand that those side-to-side head shakes you witness when you and your non-Black Boo walk by us aren’t fueled by jealousy. They aren’t fueled by self-pity or longing. Come on, Brotha! You know what the side-to-side head-shake means in the Black community: “God Bless his po’ pitiful soul.” We aren’t mourning because we lost you; we are mourning, Sugar, because you lost yourself.
P.S. The Black Women’s Delegation is happy to give Trick Daddy to White and Latino women. Seriously–take him–PLEASE (and no returns).
My intention is for Black people to love themselves and each other. It sounds somewhat silly, I guess; but oftentimes my people are overwhelmed with negative images, bad news, and stereotyped characters about us. I’d like to flip that script. I’d like to remind us, as often as I can, how incredible we are. Read more