Strong Black Woman Issues

Oooooo. The title just sounds like I’m trying to start something. Really, though, I’m not trying to pick a fight, but I do want to incite some wrestling, just a little tussle, in your soul, to identify some strong black woman issues (particularly yours if you’re an SBW). Now if you’re not a strong black woman, you’re welcome to identify, but be ready for a fight. Doing so is like white people using the N-word or somebody else talking about your crazy mama. You just don’t do it aloud and not expect some resistence. But I want to know what anyone thinks. Hearing from “outsiders” often gives a much needed perspective to move from where you are to where God would have you to be.

As I continue to consider the definition of a strong black woman, one of the main characteristics I see is oppression. Discrimination comes because of race and gender. And don’t be talented, too. Whew!!! It can be rough. I don’t know how many times I received that “You’re normal like me,” “How did YOU do that?” or “We didn’t think you could handle this assignment” look or comment, been altogether ignored or just flat out called a name. Other oppression is real and a real pain.

Besides other oppression, there is self oppression, and this is what we don’t like to talk about. This is how we oppress ourselves as we attempt to combat other oppression and even fulfill expectations that people have of us. It’s even when do harm to our sister to try to maintain where we think we should be (Ouch!). I realize that I’m in recovery because of the scars of other and self oppression. Yes, there have been some “white man” problems, but what about those problems I caused. How have I contributed to my need for recovery?

You know I want to hear your story. What are your other and self oppression issues? We can’t ignore what’s happened (and continues to happen) from without, but let’s wrestle with our own mess.

Copyright 2009 By Rhonda J. Smith


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