Yes, I am an “Angry Black Woman”

For many years the term “Angry Black Woman” has been used whenever society wants to trivialize a Black woman’s experience. This term carries negative connotations.It functions as a social control mechanism because once we are seen to be outspoken, opinionated and confident, we are labelled as the “Angry Black Woman.” 

We, as black women, are often put in positions where we are forced to minimize ourselves to not be perceived in that light. What’s even more frustrating is that if a white women showed those very same characteristics. Her stance would not be trivialized as the black woman’s.We cannot deny the fact that black women have been stratified so low that there is a failure to recognize all the pressures and stress we undergo. This sexist racialized stereotypes tries to control our legitimate reason to be angry. The term is patronizing in every respect.

janet-jackson

Janet Jackson in 90s movie, Poetic Justice.

“Angry Black Woman” has become synonymous with the word “bitch”; to being irrational, loud and to black women having an attitude problem. We, as Black Woman, have legitimate reasons to be angry.Maybe, it’s time for us as black woman to claim the phrase and make it clear where our anger stems from –  so that we can validate it.

I am absolutely an Angry Black Woman because:

Misogynoir. We live in a society that is racist and sexist. The institutionalized oppression of women in male-dominated societies is a mechanism of social and political exclusion of women based on our  sex. We as black women find ourselves at several intersectional oppression.

We not are allowed to be black and free. Yet, when our culture or looks are appropriated it is now the standard of beauty. It is interesting to see  how traditionally “black features” like big derrières and full lips are only considered beautiful when on non-Black women. I can recall as far back as when I was in the first grade I would get teased for my full lips but as soon as Kylie Jenner, a white woman, “created” the “full lips trend” my lips are now the approved standard of beauty.

The mistreatment we receive from black men or when they remain silent in face of our adversities. What’s even frustrating is when black men adopt white male patriarchal beliefs to affirm their “superiority” towards women and their “higher status” socially and politically. 

And I am even more angry because even when we express our experience it is still somehow deemed unreasonable and dismissed.  We are ignored as if our anger does not stem  from a place of true grievances. To top it off our anger is disorientedly judged according to a man’s rationality. 

We will constantly be seen as angry black woman because we unapologetically love our melanin. Our expression for self love and pointing out our angry is viewed as radical hence why we “angry black women”. They think we irrational. Yet the real problem is that our anger is not validated.This is a mere indication that society does not care about our pain or maybe they do not believe in our pain because they do not experience it.

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