I asked my niece what her first thought is when she hears “Black woman” and her response was “Angry Black woman.” I asked my daughter and got the same response. This is my 18-year-old niece and 14-year-old daughter. My daughter’s response came so quickly that I could barely finish my question before she rattled off her response. I then asked her the same question about White women and her response was, “I think of some rich girl in Beverly Hills, driving a convertible.” Now keep in mind that my children have been raised in my home, under my teachings. Since birth, my children have been on the front-lines of protest against inequality and serving those that are underrepresented and misrepresented within society. Did I fail my children… fail my Black daughters that are growing up as Black women in America?
On a recent episode of One Word, Black women were asked to provide the thoughts that come to mind when they hear the term Angry Black Woman. Some of their responses were, “Single mother”, “Super-sassy”, “Speaking out”, and “stereotype.” When I hear the term, I immediately think of tone policing. This was the term given to us and adopted by us as a way to silence our voices, our opinions and diminish our power. Oh, because we are powerful.
Black Women Date Back to the Beginning of Time
The oldest human skeletal remains in the world were found in Ethiopia which have been named “Lucy.” While partial older bones have been found, the body that has been identified as a woman, is an African woman. From Harriett Tubman leading Blacks out of slavery, Madam C.J. Walker becoming the first self-made female millionaire, Fannie Lou Hammer leading the charge on Black voting rights, Marsha P. Johnson rallying against state violence relating to the LGBTQ community in New York, Rosa Parks sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott, to Michelle Obama being the first Black First-Lady of the United States but also a strong ally for education and the promotion of healthy living within Black Communities–the strength of a Black woman dates back to the beginning of time. In American history, we’ve endured the pain of watching our men being beaten and stripped of their pride, our children being sold off or murdered right before our eyes by the same people that then turned and gave us their children to breastfeed and raise, being raped in front of our husbands, tortured and degraded. Even after all of this we still hold our homes together while our men are being thrown in cages like dogs for petty crimes that our White counterparts only receive a slap on the wrist for.
“To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.” James Baldwin
We Are Not Just Angry, We Are Woke af and White People Cannot Handle It.
It’s not the anger that White folks have a problem with. We’re conscious, zealous, sagacious, autodidactic, outspoken, outraged, and out of patience for the bullshit. Black women are the most conventionally educated group of people in America and arguably becoming the most enlightened group of people on the planet. Evidence of our power and strength is at every corner of the earth. Young Blacks girls protesting their ability to wear their natural hair in South Africa, three queer Black women starting Black Lives Matter, and again Black women leading the movement on reproductive freedom. Black women will not be silenced. We are woke af and White people can’t handle it.
Black Women are the new age Philomath–Seeker of Knowledge and Lover of Learning.
The next time you hear the term, “Angry Black Woman”, straighten your crown and your spine, look the person directly in the eye, and let them know that you are not angry, you are a Philomathic Black Queen. You are enlightened, a seeker of truth and your intellect will not be silenced or subdued by a term created by those that are offended by your very presence and existence. You are Philomath because the pursuit of wisdom has no ending. You love not only the procurement of knowledge but the journey of obtaining it. You are a Queen because you are the most powerful piece in this strategic sport of Black existence. You are to celebrated as the giver and guardian of Black life. You are the Philomathic Black Queen.