Just because I am not like her….

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

I am a black woman born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. In my lifetime I’ve heard what a black woman should be or how we should look. I’ve been stereotyped before having a conversation. I’ve been the topic of discussion about how I should wear my hair straight versus natural. I’ve been placed in the categories as angry and bitter because I have the will to speak loud and proud. When I take a stand for how I should be treated immediately the words spill that I should remain silent because it will eradicate the chance of being liked and loved.If I am educated or if I have a lack of I will be told I should be just like her. I live in a society of damn if I do or damn if I don’t.

My mother drilled in my head there will be a time in my life when a black man will say, “You should look,act, or become a woman of a different culture or race.” Black women have been compared, belittled and told we need to be like another woman for centuries. Change our dialect and become ashamed of who we were born to be. We should straightened our hair, wear make-up lighter than our complexion, be a size two, disguise our big behinds. My skin is too dark, not light enough, or not perfect enough and my favorite,

“It why we black men choose white women.”

There’s also the black man who reminds you how we should be lucky to have a man being that it is so hard for us to keep a man. The select actor, athletes, businessmen, celebrities and rappers who tear down black women very existence and remind us we will always be last on their list when they raise to stardom, success and make large sums of money. Without knowing my name or what I do for a living as black women we are classified as gold diggers. Even if we are goal diggers than we are too independent, too hard working and it is why we lack their love and company. Those who once loved their black woman when he was broke will soon dismiss, divorce, demote our status and say we’ve moved on to a better HER because she is accepted by society.Yet, some eject in our minds we should ride or die in the flames of his bs to simply say, “ we have a man.” I will not allow you to disrespect, abuse, and put me in the nosebleed seats of your life and lower my standards for the sake of HIS acceptance.

Just because I am not HER(whomever you’ve compared or desired for a black woman to be) doesn’t mean I am not qualified for romance. As a black woman we have to work ten times harder to be accepted and to be loved in America. Confidence comes from within but there is a crowd of people constantly attempting to tear down our spirits, our love, and break our hearts. Let me speak for myself and say, It does hurt. It is the constant reminder that a person break us down but yet imitate all that we do. Hate on us in one scenario but want to be us. Hate our behavior but take on our attitude to validate that it is okay for HER. The discussion needs to be had but if started by us we are being bitter black girls and women who has hate in our blood.

If I voice my opinion then I am angry because I don’t have a man. I’m a woman who has feelings so please remove the color of my skin, the natural texture of my hair, the fullness of my body and judge me on my character.

Why is it wrong for me to ask not to be compared but complimented? Why is it so unfair that I am placed at the bottom of the list and told, “If you could only be like her?” Why do I have to accept and live in the shadows of her?

One day I asked my eighth gradeteacher, Mr. Walker a question. A proud black man the same question, “ If it is okay to be me, live by my definition then why am I always being compared, being told, being advised to be like her?” I waited for his answer and he didn’t. He gave me a poem by Mari Evans

I am a black woman 
the music of my song 
some sweet arpeggio of tears 
is written in a minor key 
and I 
can be heard humming in the night 
Can be heard 
in the night

I saw my mate leap screaming to the sea 
and I/with these hands/cupped the lifebreath 
from my issue in the canebrake 
I lost Nat’s swinging body in a rain of tears 
and heard my son scream all the way from Anzio 
for Peace he never knew….I 
learned Da Nang and Pork Chop Hill 
in anguish 
Now my nostrils know the gas 
and these trigger tire/d fingers 
seek the softness in my warrior’s beard

I am a black woman 
tall as a cypress 
beyond all definition still 
defying place 
and time 
and circumstance 
on me and be 

His reply after I read the poem,

“ You are you. Never strive to be anyone but you no matter the standards society puts on you.”

I am me, a Black woman from Brooklyn, Ny. I am romantic, beautiful, plus size and I don’t want to be like the hers with the so call ideas of perfection by society, celebrities or anyone who feels I should be just like her. I love Being Tamyara Brown.