Being the "Problematic" Black Girl

You don’t want to say it, which is fine because I will. I'm used to it. I’m one and a half semesters shy from graduating college and my classes lately have really been challenging me to take a step back and figure out why I am the way that I am. It wasn’t until recently that I was forced to assess myself and I came to the conclusion that I'm the “problematic” black girl and I’m honestly not sorry.

The typical stereotype paints the “problematic” black girl as loud, outspoken, dramatic - wait, is this a problem? Apparently. I don’t mind being that. I need to be loud because my opinion matters. What I have to contribute to the conversation is relevant and I won’t allow myself to be silenced. I need to be outspoken because too many black women, nay, too many women in general are silenced every single day. We’re silenced before we even get a chance to open our mouths. We’re silenced even when we do! I’m dramatic because I’m me. I’m special. I’m an individual. I’m a leader. I’m Karina and I’m the “problematic” black girl.

I don’t mind speaking up in class. If I don’t agree with something that you say, I’ll challenge you on it. I need to know why something is the way that it is. I ask lots of questions and I demand lots of answers. I need you to hear my voice. I need you to acknowledge that what I’m saying is worth listening to. I need you to shine a light on the fact that I am a black woman in this America and I matter.

(Editor's Note: The author asked that this piece be a statement. Her statement. So, there are no edits - just raw emotion. Just Karina.)