From Aunt Jemima to Madea we all know the bad rap Black women get. Sometimes it’s hard to recognize. We ingest it, don’t realize it, and end up feeding it to ourselves – and our daughters. But, sometimes we’re so paranoid that the person behind the study is “out to get Black Women” we lose the insightful message or don’t learn the lesson.
These thoughts came to mind after reading two blogs recently posted: Stop Exposing Yourself To Anti-BW Propaganda and Your Feminism Ain’t Like Ours Because We Are Raising Quvenzhane. I admit to following the Black Women Will Never Get Married articles. My favorite was the ABC Nightline portrait, which got a lot of criticism. Orah’s show a few years back had good story to tell on the subject, as well. While these pieces were pretty depressing and negative now there is now a whole slew of articles and push-backs about how the studies got it all wrong.
Really? You mean Black women in the US have the same marriage rate as other women, if the numbers are just sliced and diced differently? Or, if you include – or exclude – different population sub-groups like widows and divorcees? Articles like “Stop Exposing Yourself To Anti-BW Propoganda” say there is a conspiracy against Black Women and the authors of these nasty articles are out to get us. Black women are really all great people, who can get married just like any other woman out there. We just need to remain positive and open to all types and races of men (quality men), and it will work out for us. Following the book Is Marriage For White People?, The Clutch an e-magazine aimed at Black women, said we only do ourselves a disservice by clicking on the links and reading these types of anti-BW articles. “Can we please just not tune in, not Tweet about it…make it go away? If we watch and engage, these BS specials will keep being made,” a Clutch author implores.
While there might be a conspiracy out there to get us, not having an honest conversation about the topic isn’t going to help. It will only help advance the conspiracy – if there is one – and weaken our ability to raise strong daughters. The Onion’s bold tweet calling Quvenzhane Wallis a cunt and the media’s unimpressive and forgettable coverage of gold-medalist and all-around Olympic champion Gabrielle Douglas are evidence of this threat – not to mention all the tweets complaining about Rue in The Hunger Games being a black girl. While slavery, Jim Crow and Apartheid are over its legacies remain. To continue our advancement we must be strong and bold enough to reflect and discuss what the lingering effects and repercussions this terror has had on us and walk together to overcome it.
Ladies, let’s keep it positive. And let’s keep it real.