Black women are the backbone of the Black community; we create, nurture and fight for Black lives. Recently, society has proven once again that it does not care for the protection of Black women, nor does it take us seriously. Society’s perpetuated stereotype is that the black woman is supposed to be strong (and we are). However, we are expected to be strong no matter what, to be the anchor for everyone, and to bounce back without complaining. What society fails to realize is that black women are people too. We go through pain and suffering too.
In early July, the well-known rapper Megan Thee Stallion was shot (it was later revealed that the alleged shooter was Tory Lanez). The public's response to this event was shocking to some, but as a Black woman myself, it was, unfortunately, expected. Megan Thee Stallion is a darker skinned, confident, and successful young woman making waves in a male dominated music industry. She is a tall, curvy rapper from Houston, Texas known for her confidence and sexual lyrics. Meg made the words “stallions” and “hot girls” popular, in an attempt to uplift women everywhere. Not only is society unsympathetic toward the struggles of all Black women; they are extremely uncaring towards Black women like Megan.
The internet was flooded with jokes about the event, and despite video footage, people questioned whether or not it truly happened. Although some facts are still unclear to the public, one thing is absolutely clear: Black women don’t receive the respect, care or acknowledgement that we deserve. According to a 2018 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African American Women are more likely to be killed by violence, and more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than White, Hispanic, and Asian women. This is because Black women are often fetishized, but not protected and cherished like human beings should be.
In 2017, there were nearly 75,000 Black women and girls in the U.S. who were reported missing, yet many people didn’t know the names of these girls. Unfortunately, there was little to no televised coverage of this occurrence. One woman who has received little media coverage is Relisha Rudd from Washington D.C., who has been missing since 2014. She was living in a homeless shelter with her mother who was murdered when she disappeared. She still has not been found and there are no updates on her case.
Early in 2020, Breonna Taylor was murdered while she slept in her bed. Unfortunately, many people were unaware of the event, or hesitant to act on it, until news of George Floyd’s murder hit social media months later. George Floyd’s murder sparked a worldwide civil rights movement that eventually led to increased knowledge of Breonna Taylor. But, since then, there has been little progress made on Breonna’s case in comparison to George’s. More media attention is given to the racial, legal and physical injustices suffered by black men than the similar experiences endured by black women.
We deserve to be respected and cherished. I write this hoping for a future when the mistreatment of Black women is taken seriously, when our cases are resolved, and when there is a genuine desire to protect us.