Recently I was having a conversation about life and being a black woman . In the conversation as all of our conversations go , we were talking about what our kids need to do , how much money we were trying to save, learning to cut coupons, trips that we had planned to take but had not already taken , we talked about how hard our husbands work , and how much time we spent a part from them . Just general things in life. In a moment of randomness we started talking about friends and problems they faced. As we were talking about things that we see our friends do in comparison to things we don’t do enough we had a sudden epiphany . After revealing the things that each of our personal friends were dealing with and just how they deal with life , we sat for a moment in silence and we both said…, ” they live a good life in spite of it all . ” We laughed for a moment . But the reality in differences of our lives is evident daily but we don’t realize how different it is until we sit and examine our lives.
I live in two different worlds . My everyday life is filled with individuals who don’t look like myself . They have a lighter pigmentation , straighter hair and a softer voice. Some have great educations that they ditched to stay home with their kids full time, some have great educations that they use daily and have exceeded expectations. Their weekends are spend in their lake house or in a cabin. They play tennis during the day , the have lunch dates and spa afternoons. They go to church together , they drive large SUV’s and mini vans. They have help in their homes ( some do ) , some even have nannies. They run their children all over the city to events , playdates, practices and recitals. They send their kids off without a thought because they are sure if they stray they will find their way back . And if they get into any mischief it’ll be alright, they are good friends with the district attorney . The aren’t perfect, they have stress too . Sometimes the stress is from trying to balance the afternoon activities, sometimes its picking the perfect paint color, sometimes its the school, sometimes its the fact that the help came late . Sometimes its stress from their husbands not being home enough, having to have all the responsibility of taking care of the family entirely without much help from the spouse. It may not sound like its stressful but to them its nearly the end of the world. And I get it , I have sympathy for them even though it is far from the reality of those who are just like me.
In my other life , I am black . (Well I’m black in both but you know where I’m going with this)We are an amazing group of ladies. We are all different, we all like different things but we all desire some of the same things . Some of us are very educated , some of us use our God given skills , and some use our talents to make our lives great . We are geniuses in building businesses but we lack resources to grow them . We make money by selling items directly out our homes, we are the inventors of the in home daycare centers and salons. We use our God given ability to cook, teach, braid and mother. We have dreams and aspirations just like the next person. We desire love , attention and affection . We work hard to get a job and at the end of the day no matter how hard we try to overcome , we are still labeled…Bitch. We have lost our black men to other women , we fear for our black sons and we pray for our black daughters. We are afraid that if they are in the wrong place at the wrong time , the life that they know could possibly end ( Trayvon Martin). And though we have the same ability that a white woman has we still feel the need to change our natural full voice to fit into the status quo. In my community we are more stressed about the lack of money and the fact that there is no man who is off working to enable the house to keep going . We are taking care our children …alone. We take vacations and week end trips too but they are hardly to a family home on a lake and there is probably no cabin . Our biggest achievement getting a mortgage and a job to help keep that mortgage. We also love nice cars and to us a car is a symbol of our economic status rather than just a means of transportation .
Our lives aren’t just different because we want them to be different . All communities are different , the community I live in is different from the entire black community but I’m still just a Black Woman . There have been years of systematic oppression, its like the government desires for generations to live this way . Imagine living in a world that offers the same thing for the everyone but an extra dose for those who are privilege , powerful and protected. Imagine living in a world where a name can get you a mortgage and deny someone who is more qualified. Imagine living in a world where the scales of justice aren’t balanced , when a black man is convicted before he’s indicted . Imagine living in a world where your freedom of speech is dumbed down to be nothing more than an opinion rather than fact. Imagine living in a world where your reality is so far from your neighbors reality that you question how you are really neighbors. Imagine living in a world where you’re thought of more as a charity than a friend. I
And so what if my reality isn’t your reality, does that make me hostile , bitter or a puller of the race card? Or just less powerful , protected and privileged …basically