Updated: May 19
Yes. Matter of fact hell yes. So why aren’t we seen as one in the eyes of black men? Let me pause and say that I am not doing respectability politics and saying things like “some” or “not all, ” black men feel this way. Take this how you want to.
Black women are a prize regardless of their educational status, their financial well-being, their sexual behavior, body type, or whatever else you try to use against us. We are the prize. And no, we don't have to compete with anyone else because ”we’re at risk of losing black me to Karens and other non-black people of color. It doesn't matter how much ass they have or silicone they inject in their lips. It doesn't matter how if they can clean, rub your feet or cook the best potato salad you've ever had (high potato salad is gross, but I digress). Those aren't the things that make up a black woman, and frankly, it shows that you don't respect those women because you're using them based on superficial standards. We are the prize for just being a black woman in America, and we aren't sitting around waiting for you to come up to our levels, not are we lowering ourselves to fit into your box. Your mental image of what a black woman is does not define us.
I would ask you who raised you, but the answer is a black woman. I would ask why you don't respect us, but that's because you're still carrying the trauma of what society tells you, you can't have, and you can't do. Your DNA is mixed with trauma from what slavery did to your ancestors, and while you are a person in the present, I realize those structures still dictate your moves.
However, what you often seem to forget are the women that birthed you, carried you, kept you safe from lynch mobs. Picked your head up with the world tore you down and told you; you were nothing. Took beatings and bruising's from outside in the world and inside in her home. We have raised children with you. Cried over your body when they shot you and told them that black lives mattered as rioted in the streets in your memory. We sat through the worst of times while our stories were told from your point of view. And still, we stayed. We raised ourselves into the women we hoped to always become and achieved doctorates and leadership roles, and instead of support, we are criticized for not being domestic enough. If we raise children, we are told we don't contribute enough. The black woman has always been seen in your eyes as the doormat for which you wipe your pain on smearing it on our faces and making us wear it as a sign of honor and loyalty to you.
We are the prize.
Not because we stayed but because we continue to make ourselves better, stronger, more compassionate despite your failures.
So to the gentleman who felt he was a prize to black women, I want you to realize the error in your thinking. You assumed that we were/are building ourselves to compete for you. When really just want our experiences to be seen as valid. We want our standards to be met with men that work hard, not for us before themselves. And if by chance our paths cross, we want to be respected as humans and regarded as the prize because that's what we are. We were made to be winners, so as a result, the prize is first and foremost always me.