America Does Not Deserve Black Women

An Open Letter to the Patriarchy

The FDR drive is a parkway which runs 9 miles along the east side of Manhattan. An estimated 175,000 vehicles drive through it every day. Predictably, black women could lay down on that very parkway welcoming 175,000 tractor trailers to run over them and the only thing they would be remembered for is not laying down straight or flat enough.

If you read that and sighed about the absurdity of this correlation, then you might want to check your privilege.

Absurd is being dragged out of your car and pinned to the ground for a broken taillight, then being put in jail just to be found hanging in your cell. Absurd is being an unarmed essential worker who was clocking in over-time during the onset of a fast spreading global pandemic and having your home invaded by police officers. Absurd is having one out three of those officers charged for shooting at the drywall in your apartment but not for the bullets that pierced your skin. Absurd is a 19-year-old girl being a rape survivor. Absurd is that same girl finding the courage to publicly protest the murder of an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, and shortly thereafter being murdered and raped at the hands of a Black man. Absurd is a defenseless 9-year-old girl being shot in the head by police officers and not a single officer being convicted of anything. Absurd is being a Black woman at the height of her career, being shot in the foot by a fellow artist who is also a Black man. Absurd is having said Black man feel so empowered by a culture of misogyny that he releases an album before releasing an apology or explanation in response to her accusations.

Now, it has been said that there is nothing new under the sun. The same can be said about how Black women’s complex traumas are consistently aired for public consumption and ridicule. Yet and still Black women find the courage underneath all that pain to persist despite everything.

The truth is that America has never deserved Black women and sadly not a singular group, male or female, can be singled out to challenge this narrative. In 2020 it is still abundantly clear that the only consistent group in the Black woman’s corner is the Black woman.

“The media loves to censor black pain for a groundbreaking story there is no middle ground… keep reporting and fact checking stay on y’all toes,”- Oluwatoyin Salau

Black women are the single most sustainable resource on the planet. If you read that and sighed at the absurdity of comparing Black women to water, wind, wood, and sun; then you haven’t been paying attention.

America’s perverted obsession of Black bodies for profit and leisure began when the first Africans were dragged onto the shores of Jamestown, Virginia in 1619. Thus, began the plundering of Black bodies from Black women who endured unimaginable environmental conditions. The discussion of this anomaly has never gotten the attention that it so deserves because Black women have been relegated invisible for the sole purpose of not being held accountable for the kidnapping of a people. This culture of entitlement is still apparent today in our workplaces, communities, c-suites and government.

Because there is nothing new under the sun, Black women will always persist despite ever changing climates.

We will continue to swerve out and merge into lanes that children of colonizers did not carve out for us.

We will continue to march, organize, entertain and be essential in every area of the lives of all Americans.

The long bitter divorce with the patriarchy has been contentious but the signs are clear that we are finally closing in.

Black women are by no means being asked to be cut some slack, but what we are expecting is that America recognize that it’s time to put some respect on our name. While that day may never come, we will continue to show up to the polls like we always do, raise your kids, teach your children, bag your groceries, nurse you back to health, fight for you, march for you because just like water, wind, wood and sun we ain’t going nowhere.

Sincerely,

A Black woman who had time today.

Geraldine is a Newark-based corporate real estate professional and writer. Her writing covers millenial parenting, personal development and social justice.

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