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An Apology To My Fellow Black Woman

American black women have always been painted negatively within the U.S. media, which also influences the international community. From the Mammy to Jezebel to Sapphire, these stereotypes have affected society’s view of the black woman, setting the tone for her treatment by other communities before she is even given the chance to prove otherwise.

4 Bundles Unprocessed Brazilian Curly Virgin Hair Bundles With Lace ClosureI remember after i first started middle school within the predominantly white community of Midlothian, Texas. Not only was I one of a handful of black students, but our family was the only African family in the whole city. Having to make friends turned my stomach the other way up, as somebody who had always been very shy. The fear of rejection was too difficult to get over in my mind. I was drawn to quiet, intellectual individuals like myself. Even at that age, I used to be very focused, thanks to a mother who drilled the importance of academic success into my head day and night. I discovered it difficult to relate to my African-American classmates as a result of our cultural differences.

My first encounter with a fellow black female classmate was a nightmare. I had taken my hair out of braids for the first time, and she accused me of wearing a wig. She began jabbing in my hair and yelling out to the whole class that I had a weave on. On the time, I didn’t understand that she was simply a bully and that bullies will be found across all racial groups. I allowed myself to carry this particular memory with me throughout school, and didn’t have a single African-American friend until years after I graduated. Now I find the whole idea to be ridiculous, however it made sense in my mind at the time, due to the preconceived notions my family had about American black women.

My husband, whom I married on the age of 22 was my first African-American friend and the primary black man outside of our close knit African community that I dated. Not only was he nothing like what I assumed he may have been–neither were his mother and sister.

Being married to Corey, I have learned that there are stereotypes about African women as well: That we’re dirty. And that we’re docile and submissive–to the point where we do not mind if men treat us as if we’re worthless. I used to be appalled when i learned of these stereotypes, but could I actually be angry After all, how long did I hold my inaccurate views of black Americans

I feel as if I owe my sisters an apology. Raising three daughters in a world that judges black women before taking the time to know or understand us has opened my eyes to my very own wrongdoings. My father-in-law once told me the story of an African woman who told him that she didn’t associate herself with African-Americans because they were loud and dangerous. He asked her if the Klu Klux Klan still roamed free, and she stood next to an African-American woman, would she be allowed to live because she is African–or would the two of them be killed together because they both had dark skin

I often have this question on my mind, as I have come to appreciate that fearing somebody just because you do not understand that person makes no sense, no matter what the color or cultural background could also be. That is the mindset that I wish to instill in all my children, because it is the only way that we might be able to construct a better world. Obviously there are black women on the market who’re promiscuous, loud, full of anger and rage, and abusive, but there are Caucasian, Asian, European, and Hispanic women that are the same way. We do have loads of beautiful, strong, kind, submissive, talented women in our community, whether we’re African, American, Asian, or European. As black women we can be judged irrespective of where in this world we choose to go, so why different ponytails should we judge each other Rather, we must always take the opportunity to grasp where all these stereotypes begin, in order that we will work collectively against them. Creating better role models in our communities needs to be one of the primary and most important steps, so that we can begin to teach our daughters that they do not have to simply accept the labels they are given.

To my fellow empowered Black women: I apologize and I really like you.
Originally Posted on Afro-Chic Mompreneur.
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