A black woman is simply not angry. She is fed up with several aspects of life where society assumes she is angry. Whether you are watching a Bernadette, a Cookie or an Aunt Esther, there is at least one woman who is characterized as the angry black woman in film, African American literature or at the family gathering. Why? Does the temperamental behavior stem from the workplace, the home, the black man, the United States government? The conversations, events and actions that create an emotion, is possible to make a woman upset, yes, but why do we have to be labeled as the angry black woman? In most if not all cases, it’s the passion in which we express our thoughts, that positions us in the box of negative characteristics, angry, troubled, hard to deal with, opinionated, etc…
“That was one of those things that you just sort of think, dang, you don’t even know me, you know?” You just sort of feel like, Wow, where did that come from?” Oprah Winfrey interviewed Michelle Obama on the reporting image of her being an angry black woman during Barack Obama’s President of the United States campaigning.
3 Scenarios of an Angry Black Woman
Similar, to many other educated, beautiful and vocal African American women in our society, the angry black woman term tends to come from our own and repeated within other cultures as being true. Why wouldn’t others believe it if we and those that look like us consistently refer that we’re angry? Let’s look into some scenarios of how a woman may be labeled an angry black woman.
The Black Man
The black man’s role in a black woman’s life is very important. It starts with the father, friends in the classroom, and neighborhood, first boyfriends, loves and eventually husbands. The provider, the protector and professor of love for his woman is lost mentally, physically or financially from the black woman’s life. This burden of taking care of a household on her own, although most of us are doing it just fine, why should we have to? In some circumstances, the black man is absent at no fault of his own. For those that choose to leave behind providing, protecting and professing love for the black woman creates a stereotype in a woman’s mind that all men are alike. Love has no place in her heart because all they will do is break it and leave, creating more hurt and resentment.
Envy of Peers
“You look good girl! You’re not supposed to look better than me!” A true statement that was recited to me before. I laughed it off because, what do you say to something like this from your friend? The envy of your peers, is a common thread in the angry black woman shawl. Once you pull at that strand, you can unravel so much hatred towards someone that should not receive it. This envious emotion is so dangerous especially if it’s only you who is feeling it. What I’ve come to realize is, there are woman out there, especially in social media that fake the funk. They come across as being all together, the man, the children, the job, the social life. Hair always in place, shoes never hurt their feet and the latest handbag in every picture. What you don’t see, is the $0.25 checking balance and thousands upon thousands of dollars in debt they are in. What you don’t see is the date the picture of that perfect family was taken because it’s not the reality of today. Being envious of the friends or familiar faces that are in our age groups, social circles may create an angry black woman persona and for what? We must be careful of every image we see because, it’s not always true.
It’s not my job!
Competition is a part of team playing whether you are in school or in a meeting of executives. Maturity comes within time in order to see your personal and professional growth. A woman with the same image, educational background, professional exposure should not be your threat, but more of an ally in building towards a mutual goal, on-going professional friendship. However, when you’re at the table with Caucasian, Oriental or Indian men, your voice must be projected in order to get your point across. We must articulate our position clearly and effectively without the womanly emotions coming across in our speech. This has happened to me, you have to voice your thoughts and you sometimes must follow-up with an e-mail or separate conversation to have someone cosign with you. We thought the all-boys club diminished, but it didn’t. It just has more yes boys surrounding the boss man to tell him what he wants to hear and how to quickly provide with no regard to the bigger picture. In the workplace, this is not the ideal place to come off as the angry black woman, as an angry woman period.
These scenarios are only a small fraction of when the black woman may be seen as angry. Just like it takes a village to raise one child, it takes a community of like-minded individuals to work together to refrain from being labeled or accepting the label of being angry black woman. It’s okay to be angry, hell we didn’t dwell into the current White House politics, police brutality, single mother homes, modern day slavery also known as incarceration and so forth. There are so many more reasons our angry emotion plays a part in our daily routines. It’s how we control the mannerisms that follow the emotion which then creates the persona of only being an angry black woman instead of dealing with the real issues that lies beneath.
What are your thoughts about the angry black woman?