This is the problem. Many White people don’t truly know any BW. Have never had a sincere conversation with a Black woman. They believe Black women are caricatures. We have had to learn everything about White people and they have never taken the time to learn anything about us. https://t.co/lXpu1jtCNv
— Hannah Drake (@HannahDrake628) November 27, 2019
The comments from the White man in the video about Black women is the problem with many White people. Many White people have never had a sincere conversation with a Black woman. Many White people have never had any interactions with Black women. Many White people don’t have the faintest idea of the needs of Black women. Many White people don’t understand or care about the concerns that Black women have for our day to day lives. That is how Pete Buttigieg ended up with a stock photo of a Black woman from Africa to support his Presidential campaign in America. Just any Black woman will do. What is ironic and funny about this is, Pete has ACTUAL BLACK WOMEN that are ASSISTING him with his campaign. Why not photograph them? But for him, any Black woman was good enough. We are all alike with the same needs, right?
Black women are tasked with learning everything about White people simply to exist in this world. Black women must learn your history, your idols, your thoughts, your motives, your triggers, your addictions, your education, and the list goes on and on. However, seldom, if ever, are White people tasked with learning anything about Black Women outside of the caricatures that bombard their television screens.
That is why the man in the video can say that Black women are loud. And let me pause here and say, loud is not a character flaw. Yet somehow loud has other connotations when it is associated with Black women. For women that have been silenced for centuries, we use our voices to call down the thunder. And I find it funny that White people don’t mind Black women being loud when our voices are being used to champion something for them. White people don’t mind stealing everything “loud” about Black women as long as they can, “Yasssss, Queen” and fake cornrow themselves to the bank.
For many White people, they have a perception of Black women as caricatures. In their minds Black women are either, The “It’s Handled Olivia Pope” Black Woman, “The Clean Up Our Messes Mammy” Black Woman, “The Eye Rolling, Finger Snapping, Quick Witted Auntie” Black Woman, “The Crack Whore” Black Woman, “The Affirmative Action Served Her Well So She’s Acceptable” Black Woman, “The Hottentot Venus, Arouse Us and Let Us Exploit You,” Black Woman, or the “Which Black Woman Do You Need Me To Be Today To Please You,” Black Woman.
White people have no idea who Black women really are. They are caught in between a fictional land of Gone With The Wind, The Help, Insecure, and Scandal, trying and failing to place Black women in a mold that suits their narrative.
Black women can never be placed in a mold. We broke the mold.
Black women are not caricatures. Black women are not the quilted pieces of fiction you have sewn together in your mind. Black women are all-encompassing of so many things. Black women are not aliens or anomalies. Black women are the foundation. Black women are rooted in greatness, genius, ingenuity, and insight. Your life is not all that could be if your limited circle allows you no genuine interactions with Black women.
Ask yourself, “When is the last time I had a sincere conversation with a Black woman?” Not just a conversation in passing, tossing out ordinary every day, pleasantries, but a conversation that genuinely seeks to understand a Black woman? When was the last time I didn’t just like a Black woman’s comment on Facebook or Twitter but sent a direct message to a Black Woman and said, “I just wanted to thank you for sharing your insight, and I would like just to get to know more about you?” When is the last time I spoke to a Black woman about her concerns for her life, her goals? When is the last time I asked a Black woman about her thoughts on the future of this nation? When is the last time I truly spoke to a Black woman about her?”
(PAUSE….answer those questions.)
I am challenging White people, particularly White women, as we close out 2019 for the next THIRTY-FOUR days, to take the time to start getting to know JUST ONE Black woman. Ask a Black woman to lunch and don’t demand that she teaches you ANYTHING. Just ADMIT to her that your bubble has only consisted of White people with Black people on the periphery. Tell her that you are making a concerted effort to change that and open your world to understanding the needs and concerns of Black women and how you can play a part in being an accomplice in her life. Don’t just ask her to lunch to take from her. Take her to lunch to listen, to learn and to grow. Open up your mind and your world and be amazed.
By the way, when you take her to lunch, YOU PAY. Reparations are real.
Feature Photo Credit: Nappy.com Instagram @attosfotograficos
Categories: Race Relations, Thoughts, Musings and Reflections
Love this piece, real, raw and well written. But for “white” people to acknowledge who we are and sit down and have a conversation with us, that would me they would have to acknowledge who they themselves actually are (and what and whom they come from), and I don’t think to many of them are ready to look in the mirror and see who’s really staring back at them.
Thank you for this challenge. I assume you are a black woman, but not sure as this is the first article I’ve read on this site. That said… I am a white male. In all honesty, my circle is mostly white. I fight for social justice and equality. You are right that most whites do not know the black community very well. As someone trying to fight for supporting equality for the black community, I am sad to say my number of black friends is very small. I run a small business and briefly had a black man working for/with me. I was a member of an accountability group where I worked very close with a black woman. In a group like this you get vulnerable. I really love getting her help and her perspective. I loved helping her and giving her my perspective. I have another black woman who I’ve had multiple long phone conversations about the state of finances (in general and in the black community and black woman specifically). We talked business and activism and tiny homes, poverty, wealth building, and many other things. I loved her perspective and friendship.
Sadly, although I have a handful of other black women in my circle and had a few phone conversations with them talking about their world and my world, I can basically state them all in bullet points type statements like this. It is good that I have a few, but horrible that I have so few I can list them out quickly and that I share them in a way that sounds like… “oh, I know black women (or men)!”. The truth is in my nearly 50 years, I just summed up my black relationships. As I fight for equality, it is sad to not have a more diverse group of friends that can check me on my privilege, educate me on what the black community really needs and wants, and most importantly, just be a friend.
I do not fear this challenge and as a matter of fact, I’d love taking you to lunch. I think we’d really hit it off as I love how you call people on their bullshit and your direct honestness. You seem like an activist for change and someone that wants to get people doing real work instead of just talk. I am also looking for bold black friends (male or female) that want to work together to breakdown these stupid stereotypes we have and the fear of each other. I want to love you as a human and respect you as a black woman (if that is who you are and I am right in my assumption).
Anyhow, thanks for challenging white people. I will share this and try to continue pushing this great idea. We are better together and the more we know each other the easier it will be to overcome the bullshit in the video you shared on Twitter. Thank you!
I was unable to add my url below because it is a dot life url and I think your site does not recognize this type url so I’ll share it here. This is my site I’m trying to use to impact positive change in the world. Maybe I could have you do a guest post or we could discuss a joint video/course focused on the black and white thing. Here’s the site – http://www.hellagood.life.