“In this culture, the phrase ‘black woman’ is not synonymous with ‘tender,’ or ‘gentle.’ It’s as if those words couldn’t possibly speak to the reality of black females.”—Bell Hooks
It’s Women’s History Month and since I’m degreed in political science and history while also once teaching history, we might as well get into it. Also, the view of Black women is something I’m faced with daily since I am a Black woman raised by a Black woman who was raised by a Black woman.
In the American culture ( I’m American so it’s the culture I have experience with), it is rare that society and media deem Black women as tender and gentle. We can be labeled as a mammy, jezebel, or sapphire but to be viewed as complex humans with ideas, wants, hopes, desires, and emotions is something society has extreme difficulty with.
It’s why I take pride in writing Black women characters and showing us as complete humans. We cry. We hurt. We are gentle. We are tender. We get angry. We get frustrated. We have emotions. We get tired. We’re not caricatures. We are people. We are human and in 2021 we are tired of telling people to treat us as such; to respect us as such.