This past Sunday was a glorious day. Not only did I enjoy a great day, but it ended with the most uplifting and empowering experience I’ve enjoyed in quite some time. I was glued to the TV tuning into Black Girls Rock, and overcome with joy, tears, inspiration, and pride as I watched. Mara Brock Akil took to the stage and boldly stated, “Black women, even if nobody else sees you, I see you….we are worth protecting and we are worth loving.” It resonated somewhere deep down in my soul.
The empowering goodness didn’t stop there. It was infused throughout all aspects of the show. Queen Latifah reminded us, “Never let anyone tell you that you should stand behind them. You are the leader, you stand in front.”
So one could only imagine how outraged I was when I got wind of a Huffington Post article and a Clutch Magazine article that informed me that white women and black men took to Twitter with outrageous comments regarding the show.
For two hours. Two hours. Dos horas. Two. Only two were black women empowered, enlightened, and engulfed in love by one another. So you mean to tell me that people on Twitter couldn’t hold their tongue because for a very small fraction of time for once black women could be uplifted to the pedestal that they live on daily.
Are you really freaking kidding me? 120 minutes once a year and you have the audacity to take to social media because you have no idea and never will have any idea to know what it is like to be a part of one of the most understated, undervalued, an underappreciated groups of human beings.
The reality is that they are just plain ignorant. Ignorant to the fact that black women are the bomb! No we are not better, but we damn sure are not to be ignored and not to be seen as invisible. While I appreciate and love the fact that Mara Brock Akil said she sees us. This is not enough.
We are not inferior. We are not some group that is to come last in a society that would rather value white men, white women, and even black men over us. Since we stepped foot into this country it has been a constant battle to dehumanize us and label us as “difficult, angry, aggressive, ugly, mean, mammy, welfare queen, matriarchs” among other controlling images.
No amount of shame or slander that is thrown our away will ever deny us of our incredible radiance. Black women cannot and will not succumb to the negatives. It is best to remember that just like photographs we as black women develop best from the negatives, which is true with anything else in life.
They may be mad as hell for two hours that BET and Beverly Bond have teamed up to fight the oppressive, patriarchal society in which we live, but I’ll be damned if there to think that black women are to be ignored for another minute in this country and in this world.
So you can call us angry if you want to. Hell, you may even consider this post to be angry, but in the words of my beloved icon Ms. bell hooks, I consider myself “exact and to the point not angry.”
As far as I am concerned we will never make any changes to this inferiority complex placed on black women until we all are willing to see the pure disregard that black women and women of color in general are facing. As my girl Olivia Cole put it in her beautifully written piece on why she is not here for #whitegirlsrock although she is a white girl:
- Black Girls Rock! is necessary because when you Google “beautiful women,” this is what you see.
- Because when you look at the covers of Vogue, this is what you see.
- Because when Vanity Fair printed their Hollywood issue, they put the black actresses on the back cover.
- Because when a dark-skinned woman is put on the cover of a magazine, this is what is done to her.
- Because Pixar has never made a movie featuring a black cartoon character.
- Because a black actress has never won a drama series Lead Actress Emmy. (Although Kerry Washington will change that, I am certain.)
- Because in 39 years, only three black women have been part of the cast of SNL.
- Because, until Scandal, the only real place you could find black women in leading roles on television was The Real Housewives of _______.
- Because the “first black Disney Princess” was a frog for 95 percent of the movie.
This only scratches the surface of why there is a need for #blackgirlsrock and until I see something shift in our society where black women are giving an equal footing in this thing called life in America, then I regret to inform you that hashtags such as #whitegirlsrock are dead to me. When white women start to realize that #solidarityisforwhitewoman is a fact and #blackpowerforblackmen doesn’t sound as ludicrous as some make it out to be then that’s when there will be justice for all. I am not asking for equality either. I am asking that for once they wake up and see black women for the beautiful, bold, brilliant human beings that we are….and if they don’t. Guess what? It’s their lost. While they are busy losing, we will continue to recognize, acknowledge, appreciate, love, befriend, empower, and value all of the beauty embodied in black women and all of their multifaceted experiences.
If we don’t tell our own story and uplift our own women, it will never be done. So #blackgirlsrock is necessary and needed because Lorde eloquently reminds us….
“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” – Audre Lorde
Black Girls Rock upsets them because we have chosen to define ourselves and broadcast it to the world rather than allow nonsense and lies to deny who we are. We will continue to do so because…
“Harriet Tubman was not our great–grandmother for nothing.” Alice Walker
I Want to Know:
- Did you watch Black Girls Rock?
- How do you feel about #whitegirlsrock trending?
- What is it about black female empowerment that pisses people off?
- Do you agree or disagree? Share your own thoughts and experiences.
Regal Resource: Black Female Voices: Who is Listening? with Melissa Harris Perry and bell hooks discussing black womanhood, feminism, race, and media.