Estimated reading time: 11 minute(s)
by Nzinga Muhammad
I saw a quote once that said: “Nobody loves black men like black women. Nobody loves black women like black women.” There is constant slander of black woman in America, and in truth across the world. In America particularly, the identity of being black and being a woman intersect. Those that experienced that have not only felt it from a white supremacist system, but sometimes our very own black community.
Black women have to deal with backlash from black, white, and everyone in between. The dehumanization and overall disrespect of black women has unfortunately become a global tradition. It has become a normalization even sometimes in those who claim “black lives matter”. Often times, it seems as though only black men matter to some people.
When Sandra Bland was killed, I saw many posts about how she should have “complied” with officers. Her death was used as a victim blaming tactic. However, if a white person were to repeat the same jargon of how a black man should have “complied” it would not be tolerated. Why is there a special case for black women? The problem, is that many of our people mimic the rhetoric of our oppressors. The fight against racism has become a patriarchal mission that excludes black women from the equation. It’s amazing to see the arguments against black women match up with racist remarks towards black people in general. Black women are on the front lines against white supremacy to only be shamed and hated by members of her own race.
Black women have a hand in slandering other black women too. It’s been internalized, unfortunately. The same mistreatment towards us is subconsciously accepted. Sometimes mothers feed this ignorance to their daughters, nieces, cousins, etc. They don’t realize that it only degrades themselves.
Let’s talk about racial “preferences”. Preferences are absolutely ugly tools to slander black women as “unfit” for a relationship with a black man. It is deeply rooted in self hatred and ignorance. You can’t “prefer” other races over your own. Sometimes the reason why black men like other races is just reasons why they hate black women. You might see a meme here and there about how someone would rather want a non black Latina woman or a white woman because black women are too “undesirable”.
Often times, non black Latina women are fetishized while black women are dehumanized. For example, our anger negatively stereotyped as “The Angry Black Woman” with an attitude that no black man wants. Yet, the same ones that do this, turn around to romanticize the “spicy attitude” of a Latina woman who might be upset as well for a legitimate reason whatever it may be.
The “preference” has gone into the fetishization of mixed children with light skin and eyes, and/or loose curly hair. Unfortunately, some non black women will use this as an opportunity to in turn fetishize black men as well, while throwing black women under the bus as inferior to them. It doesn’t make sense. How does one slander black women to only raise a black daughter with her token black partner? What will she do when her child has 4c hair, dark skin, and brown eyes?
Why are black women’s features praised on non black bodies? Why has Kylie Jenner been compared to black women as a superior standard by those with black mothers? Our hair, lips, skin, etc are put on a white/non black person to be glorified unnecessarily.
White women as of lately are trending as an “evolving” race. “Evolving” into what exactly? Those that say, “Watch out black girls, white girls are evolving!”, are referring to the sudden revelation that white girls can dance to songs with instructions, or have big lips and butts now. They are putting black women as the standard, and essentially devaluing black women to only our bodies. They are saying that once white girls have our features, then we will no longer have any importance or relevance. I’ll end with this quote:
“The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.”- Malcolm X
(Nzinga Muhammad is based in Rochester, NY. Follow her on Twitter @QueenNzinga13)