Why is it the rhetoric surrounding Black women is “you’re strong, and you can take it. You’ll be fine. You always are?” Yes, we will be fine on our own, but it is not because we want to, it’s because we have to be. When every other female race is given empathy in the workplace, in public, as mothers, as daughters, as sisters, and most certainly, as lovers, we have yet to feel what that compassion is like. More than often, we have our worlds fall apart at our feet and we have the unbelievably difficult task of picking up the pieces that we did not break by ourselves. Not because we want to, but because we are not afforded the same options. On a MACRO level, it is understood that the Black woman is the most disrespected and unprotected demographic on this planet, but on a MICRO level, that sentiment has not been translated; not even with our men. We die in hospital beds because our pain is not believed. Our lovers see us as this unbreakable robot that won’t feel the ache of betrayal and heartbreak. And, seemingly, police officers feel we’re bulletproof. It all stems back to slavery. Though still in bondage, a matrimonial union between a and Black man and a Black woman was the same; the man the protector and the woman the nurturer. The woman’s role to their master went far beyond the fields and/or kitchen and were faced with lose/lose decisions; fight for themselves and die leaving your family without the nurturer, or yield to become a sexual washrag only to continue with the day as if their behavior was normal and expected. Especially if she was pretty. Once returned to her slave husband, many times she received the same abuse. Being treated as property from not only their “master” but from the father of their children left them in an unyielding position in life. For Black women in this time, freedom was a layered concept. Generations later we, Black women stand at the forefront of the fight for equality, yet our screams are muffled by the world, and ourselves. Taking one for the team, specifically our team, has been a way of life that is killing us physically and emotionally. Breonna Taylor lay in her bed and was murdered by police seeking someone who was already apprehended. Said murderers have been seen at the beach as if the blood of an innocent woman isn’t on their hands. Her police report states “No Injuries.” Fact: murder is the biggest injury a human can obtain. George Floyd received global outcry while the DA of Louisville has yet to take action in her name. Although never said, but it is deeply felt that our lives are not seen as equal. We are leaders in the fight for justice and equality dating back to slavery, The Black Panthers and even today, yet we remain, somehow, in the backseat of righteousness. As lovers, we hid the truth of our men for fear of what may happen to them while still held in the chains of their disrespect, neglect and abuse all in the name of love. Our cries are muffled and silenced for fear of retribution from those who oppress us both. Outside of love, we have the unequal expectation to accept unmatched behavior or be unfairly labeled as uncompromising, difficult, or my personal favorite, a bitch. What exactly needs to be done to receive this level of human equality? Clearly, death isn’t enough.
While no unjust death is greater than the next, equal outcry and justice should be placed on all no matter race, or gender. For Black women, achieving this equality is simple; Hear us when we cry and know that though tears may not be seen, we still ache the same. Love and hold us with the same tenderness given to you even when it is not deserved. Respect our opinions and intellect as equal counterparts. Finally, deliver justice when injustice is so evidently clear.
It has been 150 days since the murder of Breonna Taylor and it’s a good fucking day to arrest the damn cops that murdered her. Sandra Bland, Atatiana Jefferson, Breonna Taylor to sadly name a few.
Say their names and all our names.