In my writing and speaking, I love to talk to Black women and use my work to elevate the voices of Black women and encourage Black women to be the best versions of themselves. Throughout the years, most of my work has been centered around racism and getting White people to understand the impact of racism in this nation. However, this year I wanted to focus on how my work transforms the lives of Black women. I have witnessed and experienced the toll of being a Black woman in America, and my soul was screaming out, help yourself and then help them. In my blog, Black Women, It’s Okay To Let Go Of Your Cape, I spoke about Black women reclaiming themselves and finding our peace and center.
Black women from all around the world reached out to me about that blog, feeling seen and heard. I was thankful that my writing validated what so many Black women felt. However, there is something else that I need to say to Black women as we embark on this journey of healing, resting, self-care and self-love. It is a topic that has been on my mind for a while as I watched chef Angela Davis (aka The Kitchenista) take on a man named Darius Williams (aka Darius Cooks), who considers himself a home chef. Williams has amassed a substantial social media following, and the bulk of his followers are Black women. Davis was fed up with Darius Williams scamming Black women and started to produce evidence online of his scams. Immediately, she was ridiculed.
What bothered me was that other Black women mocked her. Eventually, she left Twitter, and another woman was doxed by Darius Williams when he posted pictures of her, her husband, and her children on his social media platforms. Again, his followers, who are Black women, ridiculed her. While the woman who was doxxed continually said posting images of her children on his social media was wrong, Darius, when asked about posting pictures of her kids, went so far as to say, “Respectfully, F them kids.”
I expect this behavior from Darius; this is his modus operandi. However, what bothered me was watching other Black women not only support him saying F those kids but encourage him to continue to say it. It was mind-boggling to me.
What type of Black woman encourages a man to say fuck those kids? As a Black woman and a mother, not only was it embarrassing, it was painful to watch. Several Black women including Food Network Star, Sunny Anderson continue to call Darius out for his behavior. Darius is only permitted to behave like this because other Black women condone and support his behavior. Without the support of Black women, he would not be allowed to scam and doxx other Black women. As a Black woman, it is disappointing to watch other Black women support his behavior, make excuses for it, and encourage it. How desperately do you want to feel some type of validation from a home chef that you support him harming other Black women? What is lacking or happening in your life that the abuse of Black women is now your standard? This is no longer about soul food recipes. This is about Black women openly supporting a man that is harming other Black women and in fact, finding enjoyment as he abuses them. Where is the sisterhood in that? How desperate are you to have some semblance of a relationship in your life, that you sit at the feet of a man that harms Black women?
It reminds me of how some Black women look the other way when their daughters are abused. How these women blame their daughters for being “too fast” when the man they brought into the home sneaks inside their daughter’s bedroom. It reminds me of all the Black women that came out against R. Kelly but still, some Black women are determined to step in the name of love. It reminds me of how some Black women overlook the sins in the church and keep clapping and praise dancing as if they don’t know the pastor is sleeping with all the young women. It reminds me of how some Black women are so quick to tear down a Black woman trying her best instead of lifting her up. It reminds me of the Black women who will smile in your face while sleeping with your man. It reminds me of the Black women that don’t hold the door open for other Black women because they want to be the only ones in the space.
This is a tough conversation that I didn’t want to have, but I felt so strongly about this that I needed to have it.
What I need to say to Black women is that it is time we called ourselves to the carpet.
While overwhelmingly many Black women support and love other Black women, some Black women contribute to the hurt and pain that other Black women feel. While we often speak about unity and empowerment, if we are honest with ourselves, some of our biggest hurts and disappointments have been caused by other Black women. And to go a step further, if we are open and look inwardly, examining ourselves, we have been the source of hurt, sadness, brokenness, disappointment, and pain in other Black women.
When I thought about this blog, I had to look at myself, which I constantly challenge my readers to do. Any life change will always start inwardly. While it is true that some Black women have hurt us, if we are honest with ourselves, some of us have broken other Black women. It doesn’t feel good to say it, but I have not been the best friend, partner, or mother. I recall I once read that for many women, their first bully is their mother. I thought about my relationship with my daughter, and indeed, I was her first bully. Admitting that doesn’t feel good. My daughter is now 26 years old, and we are best of friends. We talk on the phone every day and text each other all day long. She is my biggest champion, and I am hers. However, as she was growing up, I was too strict, too loud, too mean, and at times uncaring, and I owed my daughter an apology. I had to apologize for being her first bully. I had to apologize for not cushioning her against the world’s turmoil. As her mother, I should have been her source of protection and love; however, I parented out of the parenting I knew which was dysfunctional. However, childhood trauma is a reason, not an excuse for bad behavior. When you know better, do better. And it is my job as a Black woman to do better for the Black woman that I brought into this world. As a Black woman, it is my job to do better for the Black woman I love. As a Black woman, it is my job to do better for the Black women that I call friends. It is my job to do better for the Black women looking up to me.
I challenge you, as a Black woman, to call yourself to the carpet. And perhaps you are just fine and have never hurt another Black woman, which is terrific! Keep doing what you are doing! However, if you have broken another Black woman, I challenge you to:
- Admit that you have been the source of pain and hurt for another Black woman. Face it. Own it. You must face the fact that as a Black woman, you didn’t hold another Black woman with the care, trust, compassion, tenderness, and love that she needed.
- Forgive yourself. We often treat others out of what we know; however, any day is another day to learn something and do something different. You did what you knew to do. Now that you recognize it do something different.
- Have the courage to say I am sorry. Apologize. There are apologies that we owe to other Black women. There are apologies that we owe to our friends. There are apologies that we owe to our partners. There are apologies we owe to our daughters.
- Do better going forward. Will you be perfect? No. No one is. However, work towards treating other Black women with the love and care we deserve.
Women’s empowerment doesn’t start outside of you. It begins within you. I was once asked, “Who looks out for Black women?” I responded, “Other Black women.” Let us be that. Let us, as Black women be the source of love that Black women so need and deserve. Let us be the Black women we needed in our lives growing up. Let us be the Black women that scratches out another sista’s head when she is ailin’. We can do that. And that is Black sisterhood and Black Girl Love!
Photo Credit: nappy.co @upliftstores
Categories: Thoughts, Musings and Reflections