I said it. After all, he knows my thoughts, and over the past 96 hours or so, they’ve been flooded with the heaviness of the reality of being Black and female. It’s an intersectionality that I’ve always appreciated and celebrated. It began as a child on the south side of Chicago, where it was affirmed by every woman that served as extensions of my mother’s endorsement of community parenting. Yet, over the course of the week, we’ve been reminded that everyone wasn’t raised to salute the connectivity of our melanin and maternal. Too bad for them. Perhaps it would be okay if those who were not so fortunate would keep their pies holes closed, but tenets such as patriarchy and privilege prompt people to speak when instead they should be silent.
It started this past week for me with the Honorable Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, Myeshia Johnson and ended with actress Lupita Wyong’o. The commonality they share is Black and female, while the commonality of their critics, White and male. Sadly, the sentiment is often shared by Black men as well, choosing to focus solely on our plight in regard to racism, while ignoring our gender and gendered treatment. I’m down for critical exploration and critique, but the assault on Congresswoman Wilson and Ms. Wyong’o’s character, their intellect, their existence and narrative was the deliberate result of their blackness and femaleness. Specifically for Myeshia Johnson, her grief was imploded by the disrespect of the person who holds the highest office in the land. Deep ancestral sigh. We mustn’t forget that ours is a complicated herstory, amidst history. Yet we persist, amidst unbelievable treatment, disregard and humiliation. But God as my witness, it gets tough and sometimes, like this week, I am reminded that my anger is continuously fueled seemingly each time I turn on the television, or read something online, or hear a colleague’s experience, or even consider my own. Accordingly, I need God, perhaps more than ever before.
Galatians 5:12 reads, “I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!” I must admit, the angry Black woman residing inside of me can easily think of a few names to insert in exchange of “themselves.” And this my friends is where they say the rubber meets the road. It is easier for me to operate in my anger. Truthfully so, it is permissible for our anger to emerge, but we are not endorsed to sin (Ephesians 4:26). In my divine humanity, I am reminded in Proverbs 16:32 of the epitome of the Black woman. It affirms, “Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” First, mentally substitute he for she. Afterwards, consider that Black women in our queendom may not be able to rule all that we desire, including the opinions and misperceptions of us by others, but we have never had difficulty in ruling ourselves. In fact, we have no choice. And its in our ruling of self, that we can love in a revolutionary capacity even while not necessarily feeling adoration in return.
As the ancestors would say, “Please be patient with me, God is not through with me yet.” He loves me through my anger. Forgives me despite my anger. Helps me navigate the anger of others, and assumes vengeance on my behalf (Romans 12:19). To be sure, I am an angry Black woman, sometimes low key, other times, well pronounced. When the whole of the short is told, the necessity of Black women may not be told, but nevertheless, we must remember that we are magic of the Most High God. That might just make others a little bit salty, a little bit angry. May they too seek God for a little bit of help.