The Strong Black Woman
In society today the strong black woman can at times be viewed as a pillar within her household and often times within her community. She is considered as the woman who has it together and in the face of adversity, stands firm and will make it through. This strong black woman is in your homes, at your churches and amongst your family members. To be held in high esteem and considered strong is very admirable, however, what agonizes my soul is what they don’t tell you, such as all the negative realities associated with being a strong black woman. A woman wasn’t created to carry the weight of the world on her shoulders, neither was she ordained by God to carry her family or community on her back. This idea of the ‘strong black woman’ has been glamorised in our societies and culture so much so, that we failed to see how flawed this expectation is and have also disregarded how we have failed the strong black women within our communities.
She was failed when she had to take up the mantle of spiritual leader in her household despite the fact that god ordained the man to lead.
She was failed when society began to normalise the woman as the spiritual leader.
She was failed when she was given the sole responsibility of keeping her home together by culture and religion.
She was failed when the marriage/relationship didn’t work and all fingers pointed back to her.
She was failed when her father walked out on her, in his absence she missed out on the education of love and subsequently went searching for it in the wrong places.
She was failed when her right to be weak and broken was stripped of her.
She was failed when her own men decided that her blackness was unattractive and began publicly shaming her, forgetting they were born of a black woman.
She was failed when her sisters and elders told her ‘this is just the way it is’ and ordered her to be strong.
She was failed when she had to pretend everything was okay because that’s what strong black women do.
If this is what pertains to this ideology, then It’s no surprise as to why many would want to refrain from such and I am inclined to agree. The message we ought to send to our black mothers, daughters and sister is that, It’s okay to be sick and tired, it’s also okay to want a partner who can lead, share the labour of love and the responsibility of cultivating a strong home and orderly family. Failing isn’t a reflection of who you are and who you will be it is a revelation of your humanity, only God doesn’t fail. To be strong isn’t to bear the burdens of everyone else and diminish your own, neither is it to stifle your emotions and pretend everything is okay. To be strong is to recognise your capable of messing up and when you do, strive to keep going. To be strong is to allow others to bear some responsibility without feeling as if it all falls on you. To be strong is to recognise that God didn’t call you to be God, he called you to be a woman, so don’t you ever feel like you have to be anything other than the woman he called you to be.
You are strong, you are black and black is beautiful.