Portrayals of a Black Woman by Gabby

I'm a dominant person. I thrive in control and power and yes, I have a vagina. I get it, dominance has a negative connotation for women and for reasons beyond our control. However, I want us to think deeper. Today we're going to discuss how these connotations cause discrimination and racism. 

Unfortunately, slavery has consequently shaped the current interpretation of Black women in today’s society: that we should be workers, not leaders; that we are not passionate; that we lack ambition or the willpower to do more. 

In 2013, (with no changes since, as indicated by recent racial relations) Essence Magazine conducted an analysis of 901 Black women. In the study, they found that Black women did not feel as though they were represented positively or defined in media at all. The images, media, and televised portrayals left these women feeling undervalued, underappreciated, and despised. These adverse depictions of Black womanhood have continued to support inequitable practices on a daily basis in current times as well. 

I’m sure you’ve heard it before. You’re an angry Black woman. Maybe you’re just a baby momma. Are you on public assistance and using the taxpayers’ dollars? My personal favorite, maybe you’re just…ghetto.

It hurts to be viewed as less than. It hurts to know that you may not get a fair chance due to a preconceived notion. What hurts the most? What hurts the most is that Black men have allowed these deplorable depictions to mold their view as well. How am I to expect equality when my own counterpart doesn’t see my worth? I’m crawling to the finish line, dehydrated and tired. I can barely breathe from exhaustion and pressure. Tears are in my eyes while I battle and guess who stabs me in the back?

A Black man. 

Am I being too dramatic for you? This is being dramatized because that’s how Black men see me. Black men have allowed this inferior depiction to narrate my treatment, my respect, and my love. How have they allowed society to change my worth in their eyes? How am I to envision improvement when my counterpart doesn’t grasp my importance? See us in our entirety. Women, demand to be treated in your entirety.

Of course, we don’t discuss problems in this house without a few solutions:

1. Discontinue practices of self-loathing. We have to remove the expectations and acceptance of what’s been wrongly placed into our culture. We must begin to truly love ourselves and our culture. We can no longer accept the false displays of our characteristics.

As an individual, we must step outside of our comfort zone and be our true selves. As a race, we must accept each other’s individuality without judgment.

2. Self-define. Stop allowing this unenlightened and false perception to mold your view. Black women, you are smart. You are so gorgeous. You are not angry. Black men, you are smart. You are so handsome. You are not a thug. Self-defining is putting your foot down and saying enough is enough. You, we, I will not accept anything less than our true worth. 

3. Remove the negative imagery from our children’s view. Yes, they are the future. Our job as parents is to ensure they are raised with expectations and dreams that pass the skies. We have to discontinue the generational burdens of our past. Stop the cycle with our children.

4. Accept the celebration of your accomplishment. Don’t downplay your accomplishments in an effort to minimize your contribution to life. I had a beautiful conversation recently. It revealed the struggle we have with accepting praise. As enslaved people, our accomplishments were hidden, as those accomplishments brought consequences such as separation from family, severe punishment, and/or even death.

We have carried this burden through life and must release it. 

5. Hold your counterparts accountable. We want this to end in its totality. Require better of your friends and family. Require more of your partners. Literally pick up the crown! Place it back where it belongs. Chin up, beautiful people. 

When you’re up against a trouble,

Meet it squarely, face to face;

Lift your chin and set your shoulders,

Plant your feet and take a brace.

When it’s vain to try to dodge it,

Do the best that you can do;

You may fail, but you may conquer,

See it through!

Black may be the clouds about you

And your future may seem grim,

But don’t let your nerve desert you;

Keep yourself in fighting trim.

If the worst is bound to happen,

Spite of all that you can do,

Running from it will not save you,

See it through!

Even hope may seem but futile,

When with troubles you’re beset,

But remember you are facing

Just what other men have met.

You may fail, but fall still fighting;

Don’t give up, whate’er you do;

Eyes front, head high to the finish.

See it through! - Edgar Albert Guest

Take care and thanks to the beautiful Black man that provided reference to the above poem. 

Boss Mom Gabby ✊🏾

You can get to know her more as a contributing writer by visiting her Boss Mom Magic site at www.bossmommagic.com

IG Handle - @bossmommagic 

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