The ‘bitter Black woman’ is a troupe.
It is dismissive and dehumanizing. Just because a Black woman is mad, does not immediately mean she is bitter! She could literally just be mad. Sis could have gotten a ticket, failed her exam, kids got on her nerves, stuck in traffic–it doesn’t necessarily equate to her being mean! Let me say this–not every Black woman is bitter. There are Black women that are happy!
Happy is a natural emotion for Black women too! Dag, man! Can we just let Black girls be that? Why is it so hard to let Black girls be more than two-sided? Why is happy the impossible thing for a Black girl to be, while angry and bitter is the default? Someone needs to answer me this…now.
What I believe is when any woman is angry for a long time about anything–absolutely anything!–she becomes bitter. And in that space of being mad, we never ask Black women why we are angry. We never ask Black women what keeps them angry! The best quote I have ever heard in regards to the contributing factors of why Black women feel as we do is a quote from an article in Medium (July 2019): Black women will always be too loud for a world that never intended on listening to us.
This so happens to be the title of the piece! But, this is whole mood. From this mood, there is joy. There is still joy! Where is it you ask? Stop asking the world for permission to be and move and do! Stop asking the same world that I will take from you in style, hair, and essence that it is okay to parade that same style, hair and essence! Stop asking!
STOP. EFFING. ASKING.
You have the right to be happy. You have the right to be mad. You have the right to say when something hurts, or won’t help you. You have the right to even be bitter when you need to! Black women have the right to be both Black and woman!
We have the right to voice how stressful it can be walking through the world as just Black, and express the indiginities that come along with being a woman as well. Want to know the flipside to that? When we embrace those things–slings, arrows and the shining stars–we can say when we are happy. We can determine what makes us happy, remembering the only person who controls that happiness is us.
Be happy Black girl, be happy! The ancestors are watching.
[image: author’s album]