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

During this time of year, people’s fears come to light. Whether it be clowns, monsters, fictional killers, etc. A piece of everyone’s nightmare walks the street on Halloween night. But there are some fears that are not only exclusive to the holiday. Fears that live all year round and inside our own heads, as we pray they do not escape. As a Black girl, I can say a common fear among us is being the “aggressor.”

Imagine whatever you say or do being villainized because others see it as an “improper” way to act. Or, calmly conveying your thoughts and feelings, and still being told to calm down because the person you are talking to never intended on truly listening. 

woman leaning on door looking out onto the city
Photo by Kinga Cichewicz from Unsplash
 Being the aggressor is nothing new, and over the years it has become an unwilling synonym with being Black, especially a Black woman. Any emotion shown is seen as too much and ultimately angry. Thus, painting the image of “The Angry Black Woman.” Many Black women have told their tales of being falsely accused of being the aggressor in instances when they are trying to get a point across. Any inflection in their voice is seen as an incoming threat and they are told to calm down. As if, they were not already calm.

Latinas are seen as spicy when they show rage, but Black women are seen as ghetto when the slightest bit upset. There is a range of emotions humans have, but apparently, most can only be used by those of other races. It makes no sense. And when taking a further look into it, those of darker pigmentation suffer from these instances more than those of lighter skin. 

six Black women in white standing against a floral wall
Photo by Clarke Sanders from Unsplash

Colorism plagues the Black community in a plethora of ways. Lighter skinned females are seen as soft and in need of protection, while dark-skinned females are seen as ghetto and harsh. There are countless videos of people agreeing with this stereotype, even Black men themselves. Dark-skinned women must prove to others they are worthy of protection, instead of it being a given. It becomes tiresome being negatively labeled, solely based on the color of your skin. 

Many think one’s skin color and gender have nothing to do with it, but this is untrue. I can attest to this. When I attended schools that were majority white, I found myself in debates frequently, and sometimes things got heated. The inflection in my voice matched everyone else’s, and yet I was the only one told to tone it down. I was honestly confused as to why others could be disrespectful and it was perfectly fine, but when I stood my ground I was “scary.” I was the aggressor, even with a light voice. 

 At some point in most Black women’s lives, they will be accused of being the aggressor. Of being too harsh, too loud, too ghetto. But, I want them to know they are not in the wrong. You are perfectly within your right to feel whatever it is you are feeling and there is nothing wrong with displaying it. There will also be times when you are calm, but will still be told to tone it down. Do not. Do not let others tell you to dim yourself and allow them to control you. Sometimes you may feel alone and tired, but know you have a whole community pushing you up when you feel down. This may be our nightmare, but when we stand our ground, stand in our confidence, it becomes their nightmare. 



My name is Destiny Brooks and I am from Atlantic City, New Jersey. I attend Clark Atlanta University, majoring in mass media arts, with a concentration in radio,tv, film and a minor in theatre. My interests lie in the entertainment industry and and all aspects of Black life. In 2019 I wrote a review on the movie Black Panther, which was published in the Stockton Argo, my previous school’s newspaper.