Black Women, You Have a Right to be Angry

“She’s bitter”.

“She has too much attitude”.

“Why she so angry all the time?”.

By now we’ve all heard the stereotype of the “angry black woman”. The stereotype that black women walk about with harsh attitudes, mean personalities, and always ready to fight. She’s always negative, always ready to belittle someone, and apparently always has a sour look on her face. We’re taught to avoid them like the plague, but we can’t escape from them. I bet you’re wondering why we can’t escape them...that’s because we can’t escape from personality traits...that can be applied to women of all ethnic and racial groups.

Throughout my childhood and my adulthood, and I’m sure others who are reading this article as well, I’ve been bombarded with stereotypes that black women are angry and can’t get along to save their life. Amongst friends, social settings, and even on television, there’s this stereotype that once black women get into a room together, it’s going to be drama. Now, of course, no one’s perfect, and from time to time a situation will occur, but as I stated, drama and disagreements occur with all groups of women. We can’t pinpoint one race for all the anger. To be honest, if we’re going to go there, I must say, black women, have a right to be angry. 

Yes, you read that last sentence correctly. Black women have a right to be angry. Every woman has a right to be angry, but today I want to focus on my black women. Let’s be honest, black women, historically, have been shitted on. Taken from their homeland, put into boats of sub-standard living conditions, put in a foreign land, worked in horrendous conditions, and on top of that, had to take care of children whose mothers only saw you as the help. Slavery already set the tone for how Black people, specifically black women, were about to be treated in America. 

For hundreds of years, Black women had to work for free, beating, and raped against their will. They watched their sons, husbands, fathers, brothers, and other male influences in their life dehumanized, sexualized, and killed before their eyes. Slavery ended and everyone acted like we were all equal again. That’s a lie, especially for black women. A lot of post-slavery issues continue to be relevant to this day. 

Today, in modern times, Black women are still the bottom of the totem pole. We live in a society where black women are criticized for their hair, yet when non-black women of color and white women color their hair, wear fake hair, wear braids, or loc their hair, all the excuses come out the woodwork. All of a sudden, hair isn’t exclusive to one culture...yet the prejudice and hatred towards black women and their hair still are. Black women are still slut-shamed and ridiculed for expressing their sexuality; yet they have to sit back and watch women like Madonna, Cher, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Lena Dunham and a host of other white and non-black women of color get put on a pedestal for doing the exact same thing. Black women still can’t seem to get the same respect in hip-hop as their male counterparts, but somehow every Latina and white female rapper all of a sudden have a nationwide fan base. Black women are the most educated, and the ones starting businesses at a faster rate than any other race group, yet are almost at the bottom of the wage gap. Black women are on the front lines, saving our community and still have the hugest divorce rate and are still ranked highest as unlikely to get married. 

I’ve made a commitment to stand with all people in the black community, and that includes black women. In honor of Black History Month, I must say, black women, have every right to yell, shout, flip a table, get angry, and to make some noise. I felt the need to write this because, for the past few years, Black women have always been dehumanized and kicked down, even while they do so much. People all the time in social settings and on social media complaining about the attitudes and personalities of black women. Even now, in the midst of Mo’Nique’s controversy, there’s this talk about her tone, her delivery, and this need to police her views. Why is it a problem when a black woman speaks out against injustice, yet when women from other race groups it’s empowering? It’s tiring and unnecessary. From a black man who was raised by a strong black woman, black women, you have every right to be angry.