Photo by Etty Fidele on Unsplash
In the last few years alone, Black women have made history, topping lists as the most-educated1, fastest growing entrepreneurial group2, and having some of the highest voter turnout rates in the U.S.3 We’ve been essential workers long before the phrase was coined and have been on the front lines fighting injustice. Oddly enough, no matter what lists we climb, or causes we champion, we still find ourselves on the bottom in terms of mere respect.
Whenever we vocalize our frustrations, be it the constant degradation in the media, the appropriation and sheer theft of our culture, or the disrespect from our own, our plight is minimized. Society loves to write us off as the typical angry, black woman instead of hearing our concerns. Furthermore, while women of other races are praised for their vulnerability, our passion is mislabeled as aggression. While the world salivates over exotic features, we’re bashed for ours. When we demand better treatment, we’re told to be grateful for a seat at the proverbial table.
The reason black women feel so disrespected and unprotected is because we are and have been for too long. Black women have been an ally to many and deserve that same energy in return. Not when it’s convenient or trendy to do so. Not with having to constantly prove our worth. Instead of asking why black women feel this way, what needs to be questioned is why society is comfortable with treating us less than humane. *
Black women, do you feel protected and respected? Why or why not? Comment your experiences.
– A Black Girl About Town
1 National Center for Education Statistics N.D. https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=72
2 “Women of color are starting new businesses faster than anyone else” Fast Company, September 23, 2019 https://www.fastcompany.com/90408156/women-of-color-are-starting-businesses-faster-than-anyone
3 “Black Women Have the Highest Voting Rates Among U.S. College Students” JBHE, September 30, 2019 https://www.jbhe.com/2019/09/black-women-have-the-highest-voting-rates-among-u-s-college-students/