I was listening to a podcast and heard these words, ” white women have it so much easier.” It grabbed my heart a little because though I have never said those exact words I probably have expressed them in some way or another but I have never said them . Directly. In that moment it was hard to listen to those words and not understand the truth. It was hard to listen to those words and not have the thoughts of news stories resonating over and over in my mind . I mean its true right? It is easier being a white woman? Right ?
My earliest memories are of blonde hair and blue eyes. I myself was the direct opposite of blonde hair and where would blue eyes come from . I was black. Very black. Chocolate brown. My locks of curls only slicked and straight with the use of a hot pressing comb. And though my mind and my heart was that of a delicate butterfly I was treated like I was solid as a rock. I bloomed late but my teachers said, I was mature and didn’t need as much attention. I figured out quite early to work hard, read more and receive the praise from home. I learned only to give respect when respect was due. I learned to speak up even when it was out of turn . I learned to not only look out for myself but others who’s influence wasn’t as strong as my will. I was told , you’re pretty for a black girl. You’re smart…for a black girl. You have a broad vocabulary …for a black girl. Black girl…is that your car? This can’t possibly be your house? One girl yelled, yes she’s just like you and me except…she’s a black girl. What did that even mean? Somehow it wasn’t long before I figured it out.
Being a black girl comes with a lot of things. Being a black girl means that my smart has to be smarter than your smart. Being a black girl means that my needs NEED to be just as important as your needs. And when I express those needs I NEED those things to be interpreted as such . And though for the most part I am pretty much generalizing this blog , I can’t help to mention that not all black women are the same. That mad black woman stereotype that you have created in your mind is nothing more than a smart black women who needs to be heard. Who needs to feel just as important . Who needs to feel human.
As I was listening to the series of these podcasts I couldn’t help but to form my own analysis of things and put them in perspective to the world in which I live in . The first 3 podcasts were all black women , black women who had family members who suffered from drug abuse, homelessness, lost love ones, being single and finding partners, creating jobs and first generation wealth and then there was the podcast from a white lady. I have to be honest when I knew she was the guest I wanted to skip to the next . I have listened to my fair share of stories from white women and honestly I wasn’t in the mood to hear her story , no shade . But as things would happen I was driving and in some major traffic that I didn’t have a moment to switch. So I listened . She talked about getting married to the love of her life at 22, they both moved into a new house and set into a new business. She then talked about how she struggled with infertility. I listened longer because personally I know some friends who have had the same struggles and I wanted to know if she faced anything like them. The truth is her story was so much different. At 25 she underwent fertility treatments and she got pregnant. One thing that struck me is that she had immediate intervention. Immediately there was a problem and she was able to handle the situation. She went on to talk about how she refused to have morning sickness and some other things that small compared to the lady before her who actually slept in her car for a year. Or the other lady who was diagnosed with something at age 5 but wasn’t given any intervention until she was 45. Maybe I’m comparing apples to oranges but there is definitely a difference.
I remember when the virus first came to the United States. And we were all in fear because we didn’t know what was going on . I was in fear because I didn’t know if my husband would have to work those testing centers or be called for standby on military orders. We were scrambling to get things we needed. Basic things that we needed, we were doing school online and trying to stay in as much as we could and one sweet lady told me she was frantic because her house keeper hasn’t come in a few days. While I am mourning the loss of so many who have died of complications associated to this virus , you’re ready to open the neighborhood pool. Girl dig a hole and fill it with water! We are not the same.
I remember moving to a new area and having a truck park in front of my house . My fear was 3 fold…who are they, why are they here and what about my children. I waited most of the day to decide to call the police. When my husband told me he was one street over is when I decided to make the call. I can’t just call the police and stay in my house and think I’m ok . What if the police thinks it’s me. I’m never the pitiful lady in distress because ..I’m a black woman.
I used to give people the benefit of doubt. Fear can make you do a lot of things. I know there are times that I have not felt safe walking here and there . I’ve questioned one’s motives but when you deliberately use the race card in your favor you already know we are not the same…Basically