Righteous Anger

“You’re such an angry Black woman!”

Ten years ago I would freeze if a Black man told me this. I’d become compliant, apologizing and begging him to not misread me. I wasn’t one of THOSE ‘angry black women’;I was one of the ‘good ones’. To prove it I would then launch into a passionate declaration of my undying love and committment to Black men. In doing so I hoped to regain the favor that I had lost for simply speaking my truth.

But that was then and this is now.

When a brother labels me a ‘angry Black woman’ now my response is completely different. Yes I am angry at times; what’s your point? Anger is an emotion that all human beings experince, and at times it is justified. Why should my race and gender deny me of the right to feel and express anger? Given all that is heaped on me as a Black woman-the racism, sexism, colorism and such-I should be angry! I also feel that the knee-jerk criticism Black women face from members of our own community is quite hypocritical. The anger and passion of Black women are not a problem when we call out America for its’ treatment of Black men. We aren’t told to be more ‘submissive’ and ‘nice’ when speaking out against police brutality. No, it is only when we raise our voices in defense of ourselves that we are told to simmer down. I refuse to accept this thinking. My community is fine with harnessing my voice and emotion  in the service of Black men. I will not allow them to silence it when I speak up for Black women and children.

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A native Seattleite and East Coast transplant, I have been interested in politics, religion, and race from the day I saw “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” on the bookshelf belonging to my BFF’s mom back in 1991. While my zealotry has thankfully diminished with maturity, I remain the deep thinking, passionate, and humble woman I have always been.

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