Black women get hit with a lot of stereotypes, especially as it relates to their personalities, which vary at times, but is not in any way abnormal from any other race of people.
Many times, Black women get hit with the “angry Black woman” label, mainly because many Black women are extremely expressive, passionate and vocal about issues and things that matter to them. As a Black man, I used to always get that sort of critique myself when I worked amongst many of my White counterparts in Corporate America, many of whom never worked around Black people, lived around Black people or interacted with Black people on a regular basis. I saw it being directed towards my Black sisters too in the Corporate world.
It is never good to stereotype people, but unfortunately it is a part of life, especially here in America.
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have had to check a White person who would say stuff like Black women are “way too emotional” or suffered from “angry Black woman syndrome.” It is wrong and should always be checked once it is heard.
I especially have had to check that sort of foolish rhetoric quickly, after seeing Black women take a bold stance and express themselves openly concerning the ill-treatment of Black people in this country. Sadly, many White people seem to always find an excuse or some justifiable reason as to why Black people were deserving of their abuse. It is crazy, but all too real.
Since President Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, I have seen many of the same White people who customarily chastise Black people, become just as, if not more, vocal and angry as Black people have for centuries. White Women included.
I find it interesting that some of the same behaviors and actions that Black women are chided for are being openly accepted and promoted by our White counterparts. What’s up with that?
On the day of Trump’s inauguration and ever since, I have witnessed mass rioting, protesting, marching, looting, civil disobedience and other acts of defiance towards this government. Did I mention that the majority of those participants were not and are not Black? What’s up with that?
There was recently a Women’s March on Washington that took place and it was an extremely successful event that saw local cities hold affiliate events to support the effort. I love unity!
However, something in me was prompted to go the Women’s March on Washington website (www.womensmarch.com/mission/) to check out the overall mission and vision of this movement, so as to better understand the purpose of the organizers. To my amazement, I caught an interesting nugget of information on the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page of the website, which asked the question: “Is the Women’s March on Washington inclusive for women of color?”
Now, the question that immediately arose in my mind was why on Earth would the organizers include or even have to answer this question, if women of color were initially a part.
Then as I read the answer, it became clear to me, just what our problem in America still is, even when we have unifying issues and causes that should transcend race or religion.
In their answer, the organizers start off by stating: “The WMW is an evolving effort originally founded by White women.”
Wait…what? Why did the organizers have to let us ALL know that this effort was “originally founded by White women” as if to let people know who is in control?
Black women started the Black Lives Matter movement to address issues impacting Black people, including Black women. The original Million Woman March that took place in Philadelphia, PA in 1997, was a march that was intended to draw attention to statistics that marginalized African American women.
Where was this mass support from the majority of White women and White feminist organizations for these efforts? Where has the pushback been from White women and White feminist organizations, when Black women have been attacked, assaulted and murdered in this country? Where have the one million White women, who orchestrated the recent march in Washington, or the feminist organizations, who have a mission to advocate for ALL women, been as Black women have been losing their sons on a regular basis to rogue law enforcement officers? Where have the majority of White women been since Sandra Bland, the 28-year old Black female who was pulled over by state trooper Brian Encinia for a minor traffic violation, was arrested for a conflict the officer initiated, and then verbally and physically assaulted by Officer Encinia, and then found mysteriously hanged in her jail cell a few days later? Where have the majority of White women been as it relates to the overly-aggressive attack on a young, 16-year old Black female student by a 300-pound, White male police officer at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, S.C., over a cell phone, that resulted in no charges against that officer? Where have the majority of White women been since the young, 14-year old African American girl in McKinney, Texas, who felt the wrath of McKinney Officer Eric Casebolt pulling her to the ground, grabbing her hair, shoving her face into the ground and then placing both of his knees on her back and head, after showing up on the scene after responding to a 9-1-1 call of a disturbance taking place, had no charges brought against him?
I mean, I could go on and on with other examples, but you get the point.
Is the message that White women are sending Black women in America the following?
“Unless it is me or my White daughter, mother, sister, grandmother, wife, fiancée, aunt, family member or friend that has become the recipient of attacks, disenfranchisement, abusive treatment by members of law enforcement or disrespect from government leaders, you’re on your own?”
There are several White women who have been advocates for Black women, so please know that this isn’t applicable to ALL White women. I don’t stereotype like that. What I will say, however, is that 53 percent of White women voted for Trump and 94 percent of Black women voted for Hillary Clinton, which says a lot about where Black and White women are in this country. If White women are serious about supporting Black women, then we need White women to use their voices, as well as their resources to stand up for Black women and support their issues and causes. Actions speak louder than words.
If All Women Matter…Don’t Exclude Black Women!!!
Jeffrey L. Boney serves as Associate Editor and is an award-winning journalist for the Houston Forward Times newspaper. Jeffrey is a frequent contributor on the Nancy Grace Show and has a daily radio talk show called Real Talk with Jeffrey L. Boney. He is a Next Generation Project Fellow, dynamic, international speaker, experienced entrepreneur, business development strategist and Founder/CEO of the Texas Business Alliance. If you would like to request Jeffrey as a speaker, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org