In the recent light of Megan Thee Stallion having gotten shot, and the recent jokes surrounding her traumatic experience, I want to talk about the Black woman’s grace. It’s a concept that embodies the way Black women are always giving others the benefit of the doubt despite wrongdoings against us.
Black women are not only conditioned to endure hardships and keep a smile on our faces, but we often were raised in toxic femininity born out of toxic masculinity. Toxic femininity teaches Black women that we are invisible to this world. We must hold in all emotions other than gratitude and gladness. It basically says to us, our voices don’t need to be heard because the man is our voice. It says our only job is to uplift the Black man because he has it the hardest, right? Wrong. Every Black person has their own hardships that erupt due to white supremacy trying to crush us as a race. White supremacy is always trying to crush our individual intersectionality as Black people, but the Black woman always seems to be at the bottom of the barrel. Because Black women have been raised to give grace to those who don’t deserve it, her forgiving spirit is often taken for granted in the midst of it all.
The way that Black women have spent generations being the backbone to many of the male figures that mainstream society worships while simultaneously being laughed at and dismissed, when we are disrespected, harmed, and/or killed, is disgusting. The way that the men, especially the Black men and some of the Black women on the internet, are dismissing the traumatic experience of women like Megan Thee Stallion are the same people that are dismissing the way Black women like Breonna Taylor, Atatiana Jefferson, Charleena Chavon Lyles, Pearlie Golden, Decynthia Clements, Pamela Turner, and Korryn Gains are disappearing off of the face of this earth. The way that Black women have swept this mistreatment under the rug for our own sanity is quite remarkable. Don’t push it.
I am tired of Black women being the butt of the joke when we are the same people who have freed your ancestors, taught your great grandfathers how to read, fought for your grandfathers who were political prisoners, stayed with your fathers, who spent long nights out wining and dining other women, and supported our brothers when they can’t get the emotional support they need from their homies. As soon as a Black woman decides to break that cycle of toxic femininity, we deserve to be shot at and joked about? We deserve to be kidnapped? We deserve to be assaulted? We deserve to be murdered? We decide that we will no longer support the same Black men that are not protecting us, over-sexualizing us and assaulting us, and we are still called out of our names, shot at, dismissed, and silenced. You all don’t deserve us.
Black women are expected to be the lemon and the lemonade of the family. We break our backs to ensure everyone is cared for, loved, and raised right. We break our backs to fight against the maltreatment of our Black men. We break our backs to try to voice the importance of the intersectionality that is ingrained in the Black community. Then, we are expected to sit pretty. We are expected to be glued to binary expectations. We are expected to smile at our children even if we aren’t happy with ourselves. We know this. Black women talk about this all the time whether we called it “The Black Woman’s Grace” or not, and we still have not set this country up in flames because of it. We instead create groundbreaking policies. We create our own beauty standards. We create our own spaces for us to be us. We create environments for Black women to be unapologetically femine, strong, and Black all at the same time.
The next time you joke about a Black woman being shot, think about how it would be for you to only be 25 years old without your mother or your father. Imagine growing up in a world where you are called out your name for being confident, beautiful, curvy, and melanated. Imagine being 19 years old speaking out against sexual assault and turning up dead a few days later. Imagine working hard as an essential worker, saving lives, and your life still not being seen as valuable. Imagine reaching out to those same Black men who are supposed to be the man of the house and getting laughed at and taunted when you ask for some decent respect. It isn’t just about Megan Thee Stallion. It is about protecting our Black women at all costs before the Black Woman’s Grace runs out and hot girl summer turns into a burning pit for you all. You’ve been warned.