Yes. Black women deserve more R E S P E C T now!
Where’s the fist up emoji when you need one?
After hosting my first, KNOW YOUR WORTH Brunch & Coaching session in Philly, and thinking about the many Black women I know who continue to show up at jobs they’d love to walk out on, relationships they wish were more fruitful, I struggled to formulate a “tis the season” blog post.
Instead, I felt compelled, to shout out, to give the respect due to the Black woman for being the beautiful asset that she is to the Black community and to the world.
Before I begin, I would like to make it clear who I’m referring to when I say, “Black women.”
I am specifically referring to African American women.
And, of course, I’m biased. As an African American woman, it’s most natural for me to ‘articulate and understand’ the plight of African American people, especially as it pertains to what it’s like to be a Black woman in America. However, as a leader, I do my best to relate and learn about the experiences of others.
If you’re not a Black woman, please see this as an opportunity to get outside of yourself, to try to understand why a Black woman would find it necessary to write about or even demand respect for Black women, in particularly, now.
If you’re wondering: Why didn’t I focus on all brown women?
Honestly, the title of this blog post could’ve been 8 Reasons Why Brown Women Deserve More Respect Now because I’m confident, my Latina and Caribbean sisters are confronted with some of the similar challenges that African American women face in America.
Being over-sexualized, is probably familiar to us all?!
However, for us, African American women, who oftentimes are not as rooted in our connection to our native homeland –it was, is imperative for me to acknowledge the African American woman NOW.
I believe it’s a spiritual imperative that I speak up!
As a faith-based coach, mentor, pr–teacher, leader and friend, I am continually confronted with the dissatisfaction and borderline despair that haunts the souls of many Black women, while having to continually confront my own frustrations with being a Black, single woman in America.
Why does this matter to me?
The dissatisfaction that many black women feel is secretly leading to thoughts of suicide and habitual bouts with depression, amongst other things, which makes the “abundant living” that Jesus mentions in John 10:10, difficult to attain.
In my own bout with depression, dissatisfaction and disappointment, what I’ve come to realize is recognition and relief (support) is what I was craving in order to continue on with life.
I needed to know that my efforts mattered, that I mattered.
Bottom line, whether or not African American women articulate it, many are in need of recognition, relief and respect.
It’s no secret, Black women bear great responsibility, “holding the family and church together,”¹ and have been for decades, the arms, legs and neck of the Black community. Many of whom are getting degrees like they’re giving them out for free (kudos, by the way), leading board rooms across the U.S. and aiming to emotionally and sexually satisfy men, who are more than likely resisting in making her “wifey.”
Are we doing the most because deep within we desire to be respected and recognized?
Okay, so what about the Black man?
There are too many Black men, brothers, on a whole, who are losing their way and their backbone.
By no means should the softening of the Black man’s backbone be a cause for celebration. Instead, as a people, we should be outraged.
Whether the spirit of Black men have been fractured due to systemic evil or racism (being shut out of economic opportunities) and injustice (habitually subject to abusive treatment by law enforcement, leading to wrongful deaths and unjust incarceration for generations of black men) or if they’ve been lured or backed into being nuisances to society (drug dealers), as oppose to contributors. Either way, the loss of the Black man’s leadership and strength in the Black community is a devastation to the structure of the Black family.
Therefore, in reality, the Black man needs recognition, respect and a reminder of WHO HE IS in God, too.
Why write about this now?
Many African American women have been taught to keep their pain private and to be strong, which leaves little room for vulnerability, even amongst each other. And, with the ever increasing enticement to be “every woman” –Chaka Khan! The Black woman is finding it harder to have “quality time” with her inner-self and with God.
Oh, the time is definitely now.
God nudged me to raise and wave a flag, saluting Black women, now. I truly sense and see that if some of my sisters don’t get the recognition, relief and respect they deserve RIGHT NOW, they will break.
They will become unrecognizable and will forever struggle to align with who God intended for them to be!
Sister, please know that you are worthy and valuable to God as you are. If you don’t get that second degree, you’re still awesome. If you don’t pick up that extra part-time job, you’re amazing. If you’re not a boss in the boardroom or a stripper in the bedroom, you still have it going all the way on. And, if you don’t add another ministry effort to your list of to-do’s, you are still the bombisha!
If I haven’t said enough already…
Here’s 8 Reasons Why Black Women Deserve More Respect Now:
1. Black women are notorious for showing up, regardless! Hair crazy, attitude funky (at times, lol), but she’s there for the wayward child, for the choosy lover and for other people’s children. Whether it’s auntie or your favorite cousin, we all know one or four African-American women that have gone through great lengths to show up for us.
2. Black women are the epitome of resilient beauty. Like diamonds, we come through the fire and find a way to shine.
3. Black women are the masters of midwifery (and our foremothers are connected to the birthing of humanity, but I won’t go all the way there right now). To be a midwife isn’t just about helping others birth or raise their children. It’s also about the ingenious ways one is able to create and bring about something new. The Black woman’s creative style, rhythm and soul is in and of itself awe-inspiring.
4. Black women are entrepreneurial at their core. Sis could be degree-less and fund-less, but CAN somehow find a way to set up a legitimate, well a business, to make a profit and pay the bills, especially if her back is up against the wall.
5. Black women can see possibility where it’s darn near impossible. A Black man can admit he has no promise or potential, and a Black woman will coach that brother until he flees or sees there’s more to him than he’s even ready to accept. Let’s balance this one with wisdom though ladies.
6. Black women are spiritual giants, whether we claim it or not. Like the Biblical character Hagar, we are connected to God and cared for by God, and have access to call on God in our time of need. We must not give up our spiritual power and “risk-taking faith.”²
7. Black women are the bearers of a priceless anti-aging serum. It’s called God’s gift to us. Go heredity, go melanin!
8. Black women are survivors! Although we have the ability to weather storms, it doesn’t mean we should continue on with life as if the Tsunami never happened. We must choose to give ourselves ‘permission to pause,’ as coined by my entrepreneurial friend, Naketa Thigpen to pause.
I hope you were affirmed or learned something new from my short list, paying homage to African American women. I pray you get that it’s okay to acknowledge what’s great about being you, this holiday season.
P.S. I still got mad love for all my non-African American, Latinas and Caribbean sisters. If this content blessed you, please share it with your friends. It matters.