Exhaustion is a plague. It is something that consumes your body and does not enable you to get up and get on with your life. It is an emotion which drains you of energy and makes you unable to think. It is an emotion which cripples you. It is an emotion that effects all human beings…apart from the Strong Black Woman (SBW).
Yes that’s right, I am a black woman, therefore I am not a human being, and I am not allowed to cry or to show any emotions besides one that express militancy and anger.
Encase you are not aware, the above statement is of course an expression of my sarcasm but also a reality that many black women face on a daily basis.
Some of you may be thinking that this is a statement which applies to all women, but sadly this is not the case. Believe me…it really is not!
I recently sent a close friend of mine a message which was detailing how exhausted I have been feeling lately. My friend of course gave me an inspirational spiel which I am grateful for but she also ended it with something along the lines of me being a Strong Black Woman, and I need to just push through. It occurred to me that all my life I have had that phrase thrown in my face, that ‘I am a Strong Black Woman.’ Almost like I am not allowed to show vulnerability or to have a moment when I can bawl my eyes out. However I have lost count of the amount of times friends of mine who are non-black have cried on my shoulders, or openly expressed their sadness only to be given a hug or a pat on the back and a kiss on their forehead. But this is never the case for the Strong Black Woman. Hahaha heaven forbid if a black woman cries openly about the shit the world puts on her…oh no no no…. when that happens the sky must be falling down!
It is almost as though there is a secret manual, dictating how a Strong Black Woman should be treated and how she should behave.
So, my question to myself and to whoever wishes to answer is what does it means to be a Strong Black Woman?
Does it mean that:
- A SBW can handle cheating husband / boyfriend, without feeling worthless?
- A SBW cannot have a moment of sadness or complain about the hardships of the world?
- A SBW is able to raise a child single handily without being exhausted?
- A SBW listens to all people’s problems but never share her own?
- A SBW is an independent woman for eternity?
- A SBW never asks for help?
Maybe the media and the entertainment industry play a big part in shaping the tale of the SBW. I mean you only have to look at the black actresses who have won Oscars and the roles that they have played in order to be acknowledged for their talents. None of these actress were in Romcom movies!
However with writers like Shonda Rhimes and Jenji Kohan churning out great dramas such as Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder and Orange Is The New Black, a new vulnerable light is being shed on the trials, celebrations and plight of the Strong Black Woman.
Vulnerability = Strength!
And with strength comes discovery! Feel free to contact me and let me know what you think it means to be a Strong Black Woman.
IG & TWITTER: @AnniwaaBuachie
I am not a writer, just a blabber, a girl that asks many questions but never knows how to collate the answers. Just a normal girl with nothing more to say, than words that mean nothing but say something.