When I first heard about the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Auhmad Arbery and George Floyd, I (like so many other black people) was IMMEDIATELY enraged, but I erroneously thought we would just get mad, sign petitions and then forget about it!
Boy was I wrong. And I’ve never been prouder of the fact that I was wrong in my life.
We finally got MAD enough to come together and let our voices be heard. However, in the midst of us coming together, I noticed that a lot of the black men who I was marching with or for, didn’t have spouses/partners who looked like me. I also realized that whenever I got in a “heated debate” on social media, it was usually other black women OR white men who had my back.
This made me ask myself…”self…after all of this is over, will black women finally earn the privilege of receiving the undying love and affection of the black men that we are hitting the streets with? Or are they marching so that their life choices will be accepted by the mainstream, and using black women as work mules to get it done?” I’ve found that several (not all, not most, but A LOT) of black men with “other” spouses/partners were not outraged or surprised when their spouses/partners were not equally as vocal as their black husbands/partners were. Some even defended them and I noticed several “brothers” with “other” wives seemed to want the protests to “remain peaceful and calm”.
I bet you do!!
Only ONCE in my online policing and trolling of racists has a BLACK MAN came to my defense, and wouldn’t you know it…his wife and children WERE BLACK!
Stop telling people that who you marry doesn’t affect the way that you see the world, because it actually does. A white man cannot have a black wife and biracial children and it NOT impact the way he sees race and cultural biases. And neither can a black man living with a woman who doesn’t look like me honestly and a hundred percent say that he will honor and protect me because the truth is, if he decides to marry silky hair and light skin, he probably does not value me enough to even be bothered. And if by some miracle he is “bothered”, then it’s not by much.
On the other hand, I find that the spouses of black women who marry outside of their race are VERY vocal about injustices and systematic reform. Maybe its because most black women who have a non-black spouse actually wanted to marry black partners, and were not as eager to “forget the struggle” in comparison to (some) black men who never even considered dating or marrying a black woman and was all to eager to put aside their “voice” just to be accepted. Now again, I’m not saying ALL black men who date outside of their race do this. Some of them, as well as their spouses, are very vocal about racial injustices. As they should. They will be/are parents to children who the world will see as “just black”, unfortunately.
And then there’s the issue of colorism within “the movement”. It’s funny (its actually not) that most renowned black revolutionaries had VERY fair skinned wives, but we’re not ready to have that conversation.
I told a good friend of mine today (who just happens to be very fair skinned with fine fair) and is “tired of trying to explain to white people how to not be racists”, that I will never have that luxury. See, I’ve found while “letting my voice be heard on social media) that a black man will look over my comment to cape for hers. Or he will just “like” my comment and then leave a paragraph under hers. Even when fighting oppression, dark skinned black women are STILL overlooked! The fact that Breonna Taylor’s name is left off of many “we want justice for (fill in the blanks)” posts all over social media has NOT been overlooked by the thousands of black women who DO remember to SAY HER NAME!
Yes, it’s time to have a conversation about systematic racism and oppression, but it’s also time to have a conversation about colorism and intersectionality. Like a real conversation that finally addresses what happens when you are black, dark skinned, and a woman.
Let me know how you feel by dropping a comment below!! And please share!!
AND DON’T FORGET TO SAY THEIR NAME!
#SandraBland #AttianaJefferson #BreonnaTaylor