Womanhood Series 2 – We Are Breakable

INTRO:

I’ve done myself a disservice by not writing this sooner but in our hyper-modern, post-racial, ‘we don’t see colour just people‘ society I’ve become weary about sharing my experiences. But now the frustration from not telling this story supersedes my weariness, so please fix the base, adjust that treble and give me more volume on the mike. The melody of this blog will be all too familiar to some; sing along if you know it. For those who don’t like my sound, then please feel free to switch the frequency.

VERSE 1

So, I have an acquaintance who finds it necessary to morph into this black archetypal female when speaking to me. He begins to finger snap, eye roll and pushes out his lips like a fish gasping for air. I only know this individual professionally but it’s one of the most troubling sites to see.

 


VERSE 2

And I mean that’s the point isn’t it? For centuries black women have been represented as divas with a-tude, harsh disciplinarians, unlovable and unbreakable. Add to this the over fetishisation of features naturally inherent to black woman our ‘sassy’, aggressively independent depiction demonstrates how little progress we’ve made in our hyper-modern  ‘colour blind’ society. Because of this we hear little about how isolating the black woman’s experience can be, particularly in the work place.

 CHORUS

There is a need for black women to ring out a melodious refrain to hush the noise of oppressive stereotypes.

WE ARE LOVABLE

WE ARE NOT ANGRY

WE NEED SUPPORT

WE ARE BREAKABLE

 

 VERSE 3

As offended as I feel about ‘my acquaintance’s’ role playing (to put it diplomatically), I’m not surprised by his ‘bye Felisha caricature of me. I’m even less surprised that he feels its ok to behave like this in a professional environment – I’m totally aware that my professionalism and emotions aren’t respected in the same way as my European counterparts.

Now, I’m not saying that women outside our community don’t face their own struggles but I can only tell my narrative, its up to others to tell theirs.

BUILD-UP

Raise your voices if when you dress in a way to denote your cultural heritage you’re either turned into a gazing stock or sent a politely worded email about dress code etiquette. Click your fingers if every time you open your mouth to express feelings of dissatisfaction you’re described as angry or intimidating. I’m tired of battling the need to retain my identity whilst trying to ensure I don’t peddle negative stereotypes about my race; stereotypes that often dwarf my ability to connect and engage not only in the work place but also in wider society.

 CHORUS

There is a need for black women to ring out a melodious refrain to hush the noise of oppressive stereotypes.

WE ARE LOVABLE

WE ARE NOT ANGRY

WE NEED SUPPORT

WE ARE BREAKABLE

 

 

 BRIDGE

No force outside of our community will bring about the change we need. Our experiences are unique and dynamic, therefore WE desperately need to teach the parts of this refrain to our children; because it is in the UNITY of our song, the unity of our WOMANHOOD that we teach others how to treat us and who we really are.

 CHORUS

There is a need for black women to ring out a melodious refrain to hush the noise of oppressive stereotypes.

WE ARE LOVABLE

WE ARE NOT ANGRY

WE NEED SUPPORT

WE ARE BREAKABLE

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