The Angry Black Woman: Why We Need Her

Being an angry black woman has developed negative stigmas since the inception of the label. It has warranted the notion that black women are aggressive or do not have the right or any reason to be upset. It also makes black women cautious of speaking up for fear of being stapled the “angry black woman” or having our statements negated because of our passion for an issue. 

I know that all women are expected to be gentle and fragile. We are expected to impress men and bow at our husbands’ feet. We are expected to nurture and care for homes and other people, with no regard for ourselves. We are expected to be selfless and appear small and quiet, but come on--it’s 2018.  

Being an angry black woman should be an honor. To walk with your head held high, speak out for what you believe as a human being is a right not a privilege. Congresswoman Maxine Waters, US Attorney Angela Rye, and Senator Kamala Harris are three prime examples of angry black women to follow. These three leaders are undoubtedly the anchors of what I call the “angry black woman movement.”  

Everyone knows Auntie Maxine, Howard Alum Kamala Harris, and “Boy Bye, Angela Rye.” They’re no-nonsense queens, and representatives of the states of California and Washington. They proudly say what they believe and can support their beliefs with fact based knowledge. They also stand for legislative issues that adhere to bettering humanity instead of only certain groups. Their fight is not just with the administration. It’s with anyone who threatens the sustainability of life for others.  

These women are the perfect examples of who we, as black women, can look up to when it comes to fighting that internal struggle of what is “appropriate” for us to do and say. Their efforts are crucial to the growth of all people because they don’t allow anyone to ignore them or what they have to say. They speak with authority and carry themselves in a manner that screams “Respect me.” Black women are far too important and far too intelligent to be treated as third class citizens despite our leading the fights to end classism, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, transphobia, police brutality, etc. 

The reality is that women, in general, are not docile homebodies waiting for some man to come rescue them. We are powerful, smart, and complex beings. We are taking over the world and shoving stereotypes where the sun don’t shine and (FINALLY) are unapologetic about it. 

Black women, however, still have to figure out if what we say, think, or feel about subject matters will hinder our ability to move up in the workforce or in society. We are unsure of how much or how little we can say and do before it becomes a problem for someone else. 

Still, we have to speak up, speak out, show up, and show out because no one else can (nor will they) do it for us. 


Photo Sources

Kamala Harris- Jasom Merritt/ Getty Images

Maxine Waters- Charles Sykes/ Invision/ AP

Angela Rye- IMPACT Strategies