Updated: Oct 16
The energy and dynamic of 2020. Whew. Viewing the world through the eyes of this Black female millennial since the pandemic hit. Again. Whew...
I have seen Black women making a way out if no way both on social media and in real life. I know there are many of us still struggling with developing a new norm but seeing our sisters push forward during these unprecedented times has been more than inspiring for me.
In August, Cardi B released her new single WAP featuring Megan thee Stallion. Anyone who is even slightly familiar with either of these artists, knows that they do not shy away from sexuality. Their lyrics are explicit, their delivery is hard,and their messages are direct and in your face. The song WAP, an acronym for Wet Ass P$$$y, is no exception. Everyone from politicians to Carol Baskin had something to say about these women. They aren't role models. What are they teaching our children? Ladies don't talk like that. Blah Blah Blah.
I do not think everyone has to love either of these artists or be an advocate for sexually suggestive content. However, there is so much other music and so many other artists that if you don't like the content from a particular artist don't tune in.
Before the song was released Megan thee Stallion was involved in a shooting where she was the victim. For a period of time, she chose not to speak on the details of what happened and instead focus on her work and getting her mind right. She held a virtual concert, won a VMA for best Hip Hop, graced the cover of Time magazine, performed and delivered a powerful message on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live, announced a collaboration with FashionNova, and just yesterday released a PSA with the New York Times titled "Why I Speak Up for Black Women".
I feel like all of the people taking a ride on the angry bus are hyper focused on song lyrics instead of who these artists are as people. I guess a woman, especially, a Black woman can't be educated, outspoken, and sexually suggestive. Funny thing is when it comes to black women, we somehow how are always too much.
Also, in the month of August Kamala Harris was announced as the official democratic nominee for President of the United States. The daughter of immigrants. She is the first Black and the first South Asian American to nominated for the office of Vice Presidency.
Being a woman in politics you are expected to be strong but not tough, confident but not cocky, feminine but not girlish. Women are expected to walk a line that men don't have to acknowledge. As a Black woman in politics, there are hoops to jump through while balancing that line. There is always that threshold where 'strong' turns into being 'angry' in society's eyes.
Of course, the alt-right conservative bunch- the MAGA hat wearing, Trump supporting 'mericans - are not going to be cheerleaders for Kamala Harris in any capacity. But the outrage of BLACK men on the angry bus campaign was shocking.
There was an actual debate on CNN between Don Lemon and April Ryan in 2019 over her not using the term African American to identify herself. She is the daughter and a Jamaican father and Indian mother that is the graduate of an HBCU (Howard University) and a member of the Divine 9 by ways of Alpha Kapa Alpha Sorority Inc. She has been quoted as saying “I’m Black, and I’m proud of being Black,” she said in the interview. “I was born Black. I will die Black, and I’m not going to make excuses for anybody because they don’t understand." Why was the back and forth over the semantics of Black vs African American is even a thing I cannot begin to understand.
If you choose to support or rather not support Harris based on her background in politics, based on her tenure as the Attorney General of California, based on her record as District Attorney of San Francisco then this article is not aimed at you. But for those of you who choose to look at the race of her husband or squabble over the fact that she is not a descendant of American slaves (as if the Diaspora in Jamaica is not a result of the transatlantic slave trade) as a reason that she should not be in office, this for you.
In a world that never wants to see us on top, in a world where we are consistently marginalized and oppressed because of our race and gender, black women are often seen a being too much. We are also never enough. Never worthy enough to get the same respect as our male counterparts. Never soft enough to be placed on the same pedestal of fragility as white women. Never "exotic" enough be a fantasy.
When fighting a battle of being too much or not being enough, the best road to take is to always be you. Be true to yourself, it not for you to decide how other people view and receive you.