The “Strong Independent Black Women”

October 4, 2020 by Kimberly Kaplan

My mom was a single mother. I am the oldest of 3 younger sisters and all my life my mom was a firm believer in NEVER showing any weakness and that includes crying. My mom is Haitian so she is very prideful and would always tell me that I had to be strong. The “strong independent black woman”. It is hard having to uphold a standard that you can not be weak no matter what you are going through. Though, society sets those standards that black women must continue to uphold that stereotype of being “independent” and “strong”, yet other races and men do not have to. The media influences and encourages this stereotype down black women’s throats to the point that many firmly believe that they can never show any weakness or emotion as if they are not human. Black women face challenges every day, whether it is stereotypes, colorism, our natural curls, etc. Even the black male would tear us down, “oh I would not date a black woman because they are too loud or have too much independence”, funny they say that when their own mother who is indeed black birthed them.  The impact on such ignorance and the constant stereotypes black women face, no one considers the feelings of black women unless you are… well… a black woman. The insecurities that we already face based off on our own insecurities: our hair, our nose, lips, skin color (where if your too dark or too light) is outrageous and affects our mental health. Wow, mental health, the challenges that black women face. Constantly being reminded that you have to be better and work twice, if not harder to be able to at least be at the same level of respect as another race. 

In my sociology class, I learned that minority women experience a double penalty in “upward mobility” when it comes to the successes and higher economic status compared to non-minority and/or men. Why so?

When will black women face the equality, love, and respect they deserve. Everyone loves Beyoncé but I hope they are aware she is also a black woman who also faces her own challenges with her own personal life other than music. Are people aware of why she prefers to not be in the media even though she is a major celebrity?

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