Recently, I sat having lunch close to a group of people discussing what seemed to be an interesting topic, what with the shrieks of laughter floating across to my table from theirs. Curious, I listened closer to what they were saying, and discovered that they were joking about what makes a black woman angry. Mind you, none of these people discussing this were black; a fact that not only irked me, but made me feel inclined to listen in some more. Needless to say, what I heard appalled me and even pissed me off enough to make me want to get up, go over to their table and show them what really does make a black woman angry, in this case, their non-nonsensical jokes at our expense.
When I got home, I found that these people and the things they said was still on my mind, enough so to make me Google the words “What makes a black woman mad,” not because I wasn’t aware of what does (I am, after all, a black woman and therefore in authority to speak on that topic) but just to see what were some of the misconceptions out there about what infuriates us as black women. I came across quite a few, and as a result of the absurdity of these misconceptions, I was inspired to line some of them up alongside the reality of what really angers us. They are as follows.
“Love needs time, and time is the air love breathes, and people have no time.”
The above quote was not taken from a William Shakespeare play; it flowed from the pen of an esteemed African American author, who, like Shakespeare, is a literary genius in her own right. When I sat down to chat with Reshonda Tate Billingsley, the first thing that struck me about this cultured lady was her politeness. There was none of the diva attitude that I would have expected from an author of her caliber. There was a mix-up as to what time the interview was to be scheduled, and I received not one, but two apologies from her, at the beginning and at the end of the interview, for a mix-up that was no fault of hers. Few can retain such humility in the glare of success, and with over 35 books and the title of national best-selling and award-winning author to her name, she has been successful indeed.
Over the weekend, rapper Jay-Z dropped some disses, empowerment and knowledge during his freestyle at his Tidal B-Sides concert in New York City. The Brooklyn rapper started off by paying homage to slain Queens rapper Chinx. The 31-year-old was gunned down in his car Saturday night in Briarwood, Queens. Friends, family and fans are saying he was a victim of nothing more than jealousy due to his new found success. He just signed his record deal a month ago under rapper French Montana’s Coke Boys.
“When you’re in an elevator or walking behind somebody and you feel like you have to perform to make them feel safe, it’s like apologizing for your own existence.”
The above is a statement made by a Georgetown University law professor during a magazine interview, in reference to the manner in which society views the black man. Long after reading it, that statement stayed in my mind. I let it sink in. It was coming from a GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY LAW PROFESSOR. Now, let that sink in. An educated, successful, hardworking black man, living in a so-called “liberated” country, expressing the anguish of being made to feel as if one’s very existence is in itself a crime.
How many of us can identify with and share this man’s frustration? If I was in a room full of black people and I asked for a show of hands, I’m certain every hand in the room would go up.
Yesterday, the world celebrated one of the hardest, yet most rewarding jobs ever…motherhood. I spent my day hanging out with my 3-year-old son and still trying to comprehend the fact that I’m a mother. I still forget at times because for years Mother’s day was solely about my mother, grandmother and the other women who helped raise me. It’s an adjustment I’m still getting used to, learning about and taking one day at a time. While watching one of my guilty pleasures last night, The Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion, I had a break-down moment over a fear I tend to have often in terms of being a mother.
This mini-documentary hit me in a way that other’s haven’t. As a mother of a Black boy, my heart ached as I heard boys from ages as young as 8 to 18-year-old teens talk about their experiences growing up as a Black male in society. They touched on so many topics, and shared concerns they have about their every day lives that shouldn’t be concerns at all. Here are some memorable quotes from the 5 minute doc: