As a child, I was reminded that the world was against me. I couldn’t trust anyone but my close family and friends. I had to be strong and keep going. Weakness wasn’t an option. I was a strong black woman. Wonder Woman had nothing on me. When real life started happening, being strong was hard. I wanted to cry, and scream, but I hadn’t been trained in the ancient art of letting my weakness show.
I’ve quickly learned that there’s a price for never letting your guard down. I was exhausted, angry, and ready to bite the head off of anything. We’ve heard about the angry black woman stereotype, and we have a right to be angry. The entire world wants to disrespect and exclude us by pretending that we don’t have power. It is hard. Like really hard, harder than that math test you took in tenth grade. We can’t escape our Black skin and it feels like we have to carry the weight of it everywhere.
When you’re a Black woman, it feels like you’re never given a moment to rest. Always being prepared to fight does make you stronger, but it’s not healthy for your mind. You can be the strong Black woman fighting to have everything that you want in the world. You can also be the strong Black woman who takes herself to the spa and enjoys taking a moment to rest. You can have the best of both worlds, but it’s going to take some practice.
It’s okay to cry, and scream, or talk to someone about your problems. Keeping everything pent up inside is too old school. For our generation, it’s all about expressing yourself and self-care. For all strong women of color who refuse to rest, we have to remember the simple facts of life. The first of them being you can’t change the world if you’re dead.