You are not only black and you are not only a woman.

History informs us that the two most oppressed types of humans are those minimized based on their race and gender. Now without minimizing the slavery of other groups of humans by religion or believe or social standing, please note that I am by no means saying other oppressed groups are insignificant, I am merely sticking to the point I wish to make.

 

In which ever early society they existed in black people were traded, sold and laboured as slaves to serve whichever other form of human that had self-proclaimed themselves to be superior. Throughout time women have been regarded as the fairer sex and clearly put in “their place” in a manner that makes them look weaker than men simply for being women, a disposition that is as involuntary as is being a man.

 

Now imagine the dilemma that ensues when you are black and a woman? You are not only the previously/currently oppressed race but you are also the previously/currently oppressed gender. You will be reminded by superficial remarks about your appearance that you are black such as people telling you, you are pretty for a dark skinned girl or that you are pretty because you are black but your skin is light and therefore closely likened to the white woman who is just a woman. You will be reminded by superficial remarks that you are a woman such as comments made about your hair being straight, curly, relaxed or natural and how this is somehow connected to you being ‘real’ or not. These reminders are not there to uplift you dear black woman, they are there to remind you that you will forever belong to the consumers of your being and those who stand to lose the world if they ever admit your worth and respect your value.

 

It is these and many other derogatory currencies of your value that may lead you to question how black and how much of a woman are you. Are you black enough based on your skin and the place you live in and the people you surround yourself with? Are you woman enough based on the kink in your hair, the thickness of your hips and how many nudes you share and your body count? These things are superficial and may not even matter to you as a person but because you are black and you are a woman you are expected to carry these things in high esteem and based on a standard not set by you, you have to abide by them in order to be considered worthy. You are expected to carry these shackles of mental slavery and rigid criteria as badges of honour to sum up your value without questioning who declared these norms normal in the first place.

 

Being black, perhaps due to its history has gone far beyond skin colour and has been called a state of mind, one that as a black person you should be proud of and represent well. Perhaps again it is due to history that black people have not yet mastered embracing themselves and their black kin, perhaps it is due to history that black people have not yet mastered embracing the black woman.

 

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