What it means to be BLACK and a WOMAN. At this moment.

Photo by Bash Mutumba from Pexels

I’m told by society to be quiet and take the L.

I’m encouraged to fight and cape for others with the world on my shoulders.

I’m fed by social media daily on how my body looks better on “Kylie”, but my skin is hated.

This ain’t it. This can’t be all there is for me.

Truth be told, I used to be the“aggressive” black woman. Well, let’s say passionate. I was the friend that always had something to say, ready with a counter-argument, never going away quietly. But as soon as s*** hit the fan not too long ago after one too many black citizens were killed by the way of police brutality, and the streets became more and more impatient with the lack of justice for them from those we’ve elected and trust with our safety, the streets took matters into their own hands. They raised anarchy.

I. Stayed. Quiet.

Surprisingly, I was numb. For once in my life, I sat back and I watched. Literally. I live in Brooklyn along Fulton street and for days at a time, protesters walked past shouting “NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE”, “BLACK LIVES MATTER”, “JUSTICE FOR GEORGE FLOYD”. There were times where I wanted to join, do my due diligence for my people, the community, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I chose myself. I chose to give myself manicures, exfoliate my body, focus on my health, clean out my closet, read my bible, and pray for those marching in the sweltering heat. I needed to maintain my peace. Plus the lingering resentment and harmful memories of what I’ve faced and seen told me that the streets didn’t deserve my support. Black women always seem to get the short end of the stick that’s ever-growing.

Do you remember the Suffrage Movement that started in the late 1800s? Women wanted the right to vote. White women wanted to be in solidarity with their male counterparts but Black women usually at the forefront of every movement, wanted equality for all black people to have the right to vote. Ms. Elizabeth B. Stanton was against the 15th Amendment, against the idea of black men having the right to vote. She and her followers openly betrayed the same black women who fought and protested with them. Leaving them to fend for themselves. White women completely took over the movement, and black women are barely remembered participants.

Remember Me Too? Tarana Burke a black woman, founded this movement in 2006 to raise awareness of sexual abuse, assault, and violence that takes place in our society against women. In 2016/17, it was hijacked by white Hollywood. Specifically white women. Although it brought Weinstein and Epstein to justice and brought much darkness to light, Burke’s name faded into the darkness. Even for the BLM movement, it took much work for people to know who Breonna Taylor was, a young EMT who was shot 8 times by police officers who stormed into her house while she slept. Many countless black women who died at the hands of the police went unacknowledged by this movement. Black men dying by the hands of the police, their stories are put before the lives of black women, before the lives of lost black girls. Do you understand my resolve?

I know. There’s so much happening in the world. We’re in the middle of a pandemic, everything is so uncertain, people around the world are dying and living in poverty and here I am speaking about this. It’s because this is a real thing, black women are disproportionately mistreated in all areas of this world; in the workplace, healthcare, beauty, entertainment, as romantic prospects, should I go on? This article isn’t promoting black vs. white. It’s to raise awareness that black women matter, black girls matter, just as much as anyone else in the world. And it’s lonely for us out there. I feel alone out there. We’re more than just an influence, a trend, or a moment in time.

If you made it to this point, congratulations.

Now, let’s ALL do better.

Brooklyn Native Filmmaker & Writer.

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Alexandria Rey

Alexandria Rey

Brooklyn Native Filmmaker & Writer.

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