This is the final week in our series Dear Black Girl. In celebration of #BlackFutureMonth we chose to uplift each other with a series of letters to our younger selves. Sistahs honoring our herstory to light the way for our path.
We all know the stereotype of the Angry Black Woman; a hot head, ready to bite your head off at any moment’s notice for any reason. She always blows her reactions to any situation out of proportion, any and everywhere: from the board room to the bed room! She’s never satisfied with what is given to her and always has someone to blame; pre-meditating faults before they even happen. She goes from 0 to 100 real quick with everyone from her kids, her boss, her friends, family and lovers. She is always upset, angry, too serious, too loud, too ratchet, just too much. Now, I don’t subscribe to the belief that all women who look like me behave this way. This is why it’s a stereotype, not reality. But I can honestly say I exhibit this behavior at a certain level.
Do you identify with the angry black woman stereotype?
If you do, I want to help you understand that this is not our inherent nature. I believe we’ve had to evolve into this behavior to survive in this patriarchal, white supremacist society we were forced to live in. This type of behavior has been a way for us to cope with the race and gender cards society has dealt us. As women of color, we are constantly bombarded with negative images and ideas about who we are, what we look like,and where we come from. We have been raped, beaten, tortured, sodomized and killed for centuries by the powers that be in this country and abroad. I don’t mention these things to victimize us or belittle us, but I feel that we have to acknowledge the condition that caused the behavior.To defend ourselves against this bombardment, we had to grow tough skin for survival. But we must not let it consume us. It can’t completely replace our delicate femininity.
As women, we are naturally yin. We are soft gentle, giving, I take heed to this lesson, because I am in pursuit of that lightness of being. I have a tendency to be rigid, not as flexible in my mindset and view of people and situations. I can be overly judgmental and easily swayed, lacking a sense of humor and flexibility in all that doesn’t fit into my standard of being. An example of this, was a talk I had with my mentor about the lack of professionalism displayed by my co workers and how I didn’t understand how people could be so ratchet, inconsiderate and unprofessional at work! The behavior really baffled and upset me. I looked down upon the behavior and subconsciously saw myself as superior since I wasn’t behaving that way. I gave multiple examples of said behavior and rather than validate my concern and sympathize, my mentor proceeded to crack up! Just laughing at it all. She told me “You know it’s ok to be light and have fun.”
She reminded me I don’t have to take life so seriously. She was right. I tend to take things too seriously, to the point that it becomes a burden not a safeguard. Now that I know it’s ok to let loose, I’m learning how to do that. Letting lightness lead that way. As a black woman, I deal with so much hard, negative energy from the world. I am expected to assimilate and step into that energy as well. But to be in my flow and tap into my lightness, I have to learn to kill them with kindness. I have to learn how to lighten it up and laugh. I have to learn to see the optimistic side. I have to learn how to enjoy the lightheartedness of life.
Asha aims to share love, understanding, and insight through her writing. On her own spiritual journey, writing allows her to share with the world her own individual experience in the hopes to find interconnectedness with her readers. To read more, check out her blog at http://ashestoasha.tumblr.com