I’m sure that if you walk out into the street and ask 10 random people to state a stereotype about black women, everyone one of them would say that black women are always angry. Frankly, I don’t know where this stereotype came from because I’m not angry, and I know a lot of black women who feel the same way as me. I constantly have a smile on my face, I’m like the sun in Teletubbies. I literally burst at the seams with overflowing happiness and joy.
How did we as a society let a stereotype get so far out of hand that it is now the defining characteristic of black women? And if everyone really thinks that black women are angry, why not take the time to figure out why…? You see, no-one ever takes the time to do the real work, we make up our minds about people and stick to it until we are proven wrong or right.
Let me calm down before someone says I’m mad…
You see, I constantly find myself in situations where I know that any person of any other race would be offended or angry, but I have to tone it down because if I don’t I will be stamped with the “angry black woman” title.
From a young age, women in general have been taught to not show their emotions, to brush everything under the rug and act like a lady. Because God forbid you actually express your feelings and an eligible bachelor sees you, who wants to marry someone with feelings right?
It seems that this expectation of all women got to black women and was magnified by 100.
Black women are expected to be strong, a rock, not phased by anything. Black women are supposed to be fighters, the women who can withstand anything and still come out swinging. With this stereotype of black women, comes the need to hush all of the other emotions. The feelings of sadness, weakness or inadequacy that many black women might experience have to be pushed down because we must maintain this look, we have to stay cool.
The minute that an assertive black woman decides to open her mouth and voice her opinion, all hell breaks loose, because she is now the angry black woman. In most of these instances the woman might not even be angry, just vocal about how they’re feeling. The minute that a black woman decides to remove herself from the background and actually demand respect or acknowledgement from someone, she is angry. Why?
Why is it that a white woman can show her emotion and not get labeled? She’s vulnerable, emotional, having a bad day. Why is it that even though Latina women also have the same reputation of being “angry”, their anger is sexy or spicy? Why is it that they get to be called “hot”, while I’m stuck being a “bitch?”