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Being the “Problematic” Black Girl

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Carthage chapter.

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.)

Karina Lee

Carthage '19

Karina is a senior at Carthage College majoring in Elementary Education with a minor in Urban Education. She is a Kenosha, WI native who hasn't experienced anything other than life on the lake! She is a Senior Resident Assistant on campus and Vice President of the Black Student Union. When she finds free time, she enjoys lifting weights, creating YouTube videos on beauty, health, and lifestyle and spending time binge watching The Office.
Jane Eckles

Carthage '19

Jane graduated from Carthage College in May 2019 with a degree in English and Secondary Education. She is from Merced, California, which is close enough to San Fransisco for her to confirm that the City by the Bay is her absolute favorite. When she's not teaching or writing articles, she can be found collecting any book she can get her hands on, watching Netflix, staring mindlessly into the void, or napping.