Wednesday, September 7, 2011

It's Hard Being Black, A Black Woman, And Awkward

She's asking herself if the world cares about her. 
It's hard being black, a black woman, and awkward. Remember that popular online show "Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl?" We're all impatiently awaiting the 8th episode. In the first episode Issa Raye (Jay), the star of the show, says "Let me introduce myself. My name is Jay and I'm awkward and black. Someone once told me those were the two worse things anyone could be. That someone was right." Recently I was thinking about that line and realized she is right. Well, I don't know about those being the worse thing anyone could be, but it's absolutely hard being black, a black woman, and awkward. Allow me to tell you why.

Being Black... The Black Person's Biggest Struggle
Before Martin Luther King (that's the example we all like to use), the hard part of being black was all about fitting in. You had to prove you could work as hard as the white person, raise kids as good as the white person, raise the white person's kids, and stay out of trouble. Trouble could be anything from killing someone to flirting with a white person. However, Martin Luther King chose to non-violently stand up the African Americans everywhere. He had a dream that whites and blacks could work in the same places, drink out of the same water fountains (that was illegal then), and even peacefully hold hands with each other. We can arguably say that his dream has been accomplished. Now, almost 50 years after Martin Luther King marched for our peace and equality, the black person's biggest struggle is being black. 

Being black no longer means being a slave. It no longer represents working in a field or raising other people's kids. It also no longer means being treated as if you're invisible. Instead people's black means being put under a huge microscope and getting worshiped, or criticized. You can take it how you want it. The non-blacks love to talk about us. How are we crucially watched? 

They Judge Our Relationships. Which race has had the most attention given to them because of their lack of commitment to the opposite sex? African Americans. 

They Judge Our actions. I don't know how true this is, but the majority of studies say black men are the quickest to get incarcerated? Back men are also most criticized when it comes to sexuality, such as the gay men. We must admit though if one gay black man stood next to 20 others it would make them all look that way just by that one man's actions. If the example before didn't work, look at Barack Obama. He's handling the presidency as good as any president before him (except George Bush), but there are some people ready to write him off as the worse president ever. Why? It's because he's black. He's the first black president, but at the end of the day he's black, so that means Obama has to work 10 times harder than any other president and make no mistakes. 

Black People Are Judged By Spending Habits. I'm pretty sure rock stars were talking about money long ago, but no one noticed the excess spending of stars until a rapper said something. Also, have you ever noticed that only black women are labeled gold diggers? It's a shame because a group of white women rappers actually called themselves "Gold Diggin Divas" and everyone that watched the video shook their heads and said "those damn black women." There have also been studies that said black people have trouble keeping money, because it's new to us. New money= don't know how to handle it. 

Being A Black Woman 
I'm not a confrontational person. I promise you this. However, the last friendship I lost was based on make-up. YES, Really! The girl was trying to critique my looks and I really didn't want to add more make-up to my face. It sounds childish, but that was what ended the friendship. She was mad I didn't want to take her advice. Granted she was black, but that's not the point. As a black woman you can lose anything and possibly everything just by your looks. People judge our looks to the highest degree. For instance a couple of months ago a reporter did a news package (that's what they call videos in the news room) on becoming natural. Her name is Rochelle Ritchie. Check out the video below. 
Her deciding to go natural was not even the part to look for. Did you notice the reactions of the white anchors? They cared more about her process than she did. This is just part of being a black woman. People judge our looks and our actions. Black women are supposed to be the strongest types of women of all races. We're supposed to be conditioned to be single mothers, not need a man in our life, and carry the world on our shoulders. We're supposed to be conditioned to avoid tears. Have you ever seen a black woman cry? Everyone pauses as if she's committing a sin. More than anything else, when a woman is not being told to be single, the media is telling us how to date. There was a recent study say black women should date outside our race. Now why would we need a non-black person to tell us how our dating lives should go?

More than anything else, being a black woman is hard because the world has so many expectations of us. Have you ever noticed how black men get criticized and they don't say a thing? The world looks to black women to defend the men. Did you notice how in the movie "The Help" the black maid was boosting the little white girl's self esteem?Have you noticed how the mean girls of television are black? Exactly, at the end of the day the expectations fall on us. 

Being Awkward And Black 
Everyone is awkward, but black people are especially awkward. I think we're awkward because we try to fit in. Remember when you were in high school? If you were a part of the popular crowd you didn't take to the nerds or outsiders. The gothic chick couldn't hang with the pretty girl, because it would look awkward. The jock could only be seen teasing the nerdy boy, because nerds looked weird. That's why being black is awkward. We can't fit in because we're different. Our skin is darker, our accents are thicker, and our shapes are out of control. We have liberal beliefs, but at the same time we're extra judgmental. However, when we stand out things like the video above happen. Other races treat us as if we're different (whether they're doing it for good reasons or bad). Actually, forget the other races. We treat ourselves as if we're different, which in turn looks very awkward. 

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