The Black Woman is the Muse of The World
“The Black Woman is the mule of the world.” The quote from Mrs. Zora Neale Hurston hit me in my chest and stayed there. It adequately vocalized the strength, passion, and determination that lives in a Black Woman’s spirit. A Black woman comes from a strong lineage. Our ancestors dealt with misery in ways I’m thankful I don’t have to experience. They were ripped from their families, beaten and raped by their masters, loathed by his mistress, and still expected to carry out the duties of the day; and they did. Each day they kept on. They kept moving forward no matter the circumstance and they created the modern day Black woman, a species that continues to have their families ripped apart by the system. A species that still suffers the spite of the white woman’s masked admiration. A species that is hyper-sexualized and degraded by mass media. But we keep on pushing. We pressed on to be the largest minority group graduating from college and our numbers as business owners and entrepreneurs are multiplying daily.
It seems like the rest of the world has finally caught on. Black women’s culture, features, and attributes are all the rage! Everything from our physique, to our skin tone, to our hair is in high demand. Women of all cultures pay top dollar to have their butts injected, skin darkened and hair diversified. But what is happening is not a celebration of Black women and Black beauty, it’s a fetishization of Black women and Black beauty.
“Every body wanna be Black, until it’s time to be Black.”
As Black women we exist in a strange place. Many of the trends we create are put down when we execute them and exalted on other women. Baby hairs and colored weaves on us-Ghetto! On a non-Black woman — Ground breaking! Everybody wants to get a hold of some Black girl magic, they just prefer the milk without the cow. Unfortunately, you can’t have one without the other. You cannot watch a few movies, listen to a few songs, and study some old music videos and think you have any idea what Black womanhood is. There have been many actresses who have tried and failed i.e, Iggy Azalea and Rachel Dolezal. They fell flat because contrary to popular belief we are not acting. This is not a costume. Women of color don’t get to take out their braids and wash off their melanin when they feel like it. We don’t get to run back to our privilege and sue a University for discrimination or cry bullying when asked to freestyle. A Black woman is a Black woman today tomorrow and yesterday and we have to stand unapologetically in that truth.
The monumental force that is Beyoncé released her latest track and video Formation and a collective “Yasss” was heard from Black women around the world. It was a gloriously unifying moment and the internet was ablaze with quotables and squad goal memes. What was also heard around the world was the cries of non-black women attacking Bey for promoting terrorism, manipulating the super bowl platform and ultimately not including them. The main problem here is not that The Black Panthers were not a terrorist organization, or that Beyonce exercised Capitalism and marketing genius and not manipulation, or even that White women weren’t included for once. The problem is people have forgotten Beyonce is a Black woman. They have forgotten that no matter how many strides we make, or degrees we obtain, or money we earn that we can still be traumatized, enraged and saddened by our history present and past. They have forgotten that we are Sandra Bland. Tamir Rice is our son, Trayvon Martin is our brother and Eric Garner is our father.
Don’t get me wrong being a Black girl is like being a part of some elite goddess task force. But one must understand what it means to be a Black woman not only how it seems. Being a black woman is not only climbing up a pole to twerk, it’s climbing up a pole to remove a flag that symbolizes racist ideologies. Yes we have our hands up, because if you like it then you should’ve put a ring on it, but also because we’re on the front lines chanting don’t shoot. Black womanhood is not only getting people together with quick wit and eye rolls, but getting the system together like Marilyn Mosby did with the indictment of the officers in the Freddie Gray case. To be a Black woman is to not only survive under circumstance but to thrive. It is not a trend or a fashion statement. We serve as muses not sources of amusement or entertainment. Black womanhood is a dynamic, colorful and enjoyable experience, but it cannot be polarized. If you stand for Black womanhood in all it’s pillar then grab a hand and get in formation, if not please continue to gander from the side lines.
Originally published at www.malondotcom.com.