I Need To Set The Record Straight.
I am angry. I am black. I am a woman, but I’m not an angry black woman. There’s a difference.
It’d be so much easier just to call me an “angry black woman”. That way you could predict my next move. You know exactly what to expect from me and how to interact with me. You can make me and the fiery fierce dynamic energy that I am, simple, understandable, and explainable.
When I hear the term “angry black woman”, all I hear is someone invalidating a series of lived life experiences, feelings, interactions, and thoughts. That everything I am feeling and every thing I represent is somehow illegitimate, fictional. And what I am concerned about somehow does not warrant emotion or attention by someone who is not angry or black or a woman.
But sometimes I feel anger. I feel anger about the series of injustice and oppression that a marginalized people must go throughout the world. I’m angry because people in Flint, Michigan still do not have clean drinking water. I feel anger because I don’t believe that people should be punished from wanting to obtain a higher education through student loan repayment. I feel anger when bad people do not face any consequences for their actions. I feel anger when I’m belittled, disrespected, invalidated, and confined.
I feel frustrated because dating literally sucks. I feel anger for things that most people regardless of race or gender could feel angry about. But mostly, I feel anger because I am human. Anger is a natural human emotion and this anger makes me complex, fiery, and deep. It fuels my passions and makes me want to make this world a little better than how I found it. Anger makes me appreciate all the good in my life, but most of all it makes me authentic.
This idea of an “angry black woman” is a troupe, a fictional character on a television series. It is just simple, not real. It is something you might see on Empire or The Real Housewives of [insert city here], or even Scandal. As much as I love these shows, Cookie is separate from Taraj P. Henson and Olivia Pope is not Kerry Washington. Even NeNe Leakes is not Linnethia. After a long day at work, playing a character that someone created, these women go home and exist as total complete and separate women. Their characters only exist on the screen. When these women walk off-set, the angry black woman is no more.
I am angry because I am human. I am black because I embrace a culture and history that was passed down to me. I am a woman because that is what I perceive myself to be and how I display my gender. These all exist independent of each other because although sometimes I am angry, black woman, sometimes I am also a very happy, black woman.
Weird, black, and a woman
Sad, black, and a woman
Educated, black, and a woman
Loving, black, and a woman
Frustrated, black, and a woman
Funny, black, and a woman
Distinct, black, and a woman
Creative, black and a woman
Passionate, black, and a woman
Excited, black, and a woman
Calm, black, and a woman
And I’m never an “angry black woman”. All human beings are complex and deep and authentic, so please stop trying to confine me.