Stereotypes pertaining to Black people have been around all my life. Growing up in a predominately white environment has opened my eyes in seeing the different assumptions people make about our race, specifically the ones about Black women. Here, I will be addressing the most common misconceptions about us.
- Black women = African/African American women
Black and African (American) have been used interchangeably throughout our generation. The reality is that they are two different terms. All African (American) women are black, but not all black women are African (American). Black is a term that is used to signify a person’s race, basically people that have the brown or black skin tone. On the other hand, African (American) is used to signify a person’s ethnicity. Africans are people that were born in one of the countries in Africa. African Americans are people that were born in America, but either their parents or ancestors are from Africa. What many fail to realize is not all black people are from Africa. There are many black countries that don’t exist in Africa, for example, Jamaica. So think twice when you feel compelled to say, “Oh, she’s African.”
- We hate white people.
We really don’t.
- Most of us grew up without a father figure.
The media has done a wonderful job in pushing this stereotype in shows and movies. For me, the majority of my friends grew up with fathers, including myself, and our fathers were actively involved in our lives. The ratio of those that had fathers and those that did not have a father figure was relatively the same when comparing my black friends to my white friends. Even in 2013, results from a study conducted by CDC reported that black fathers were most likely to be involved in their children’s life as compared to white and hispanic fathers, debunking this.
- We’re aggressive.
Each and every one of us is human. We all have those days where we’re angry at everything. Some people handle those days better than others. What has happened in this country is that black people have been singled out as being aggressive, specifically black women. We are seen as angry, loud and “ghetto”. Society has so degraded the image of black women by pushing this view. The truth is we are all the same, even if we are white, Asian, Latino, or Native American. Come on, we bleed the same blood!
- We all have that body type.
You know what I’m talking about. All black women are supposed to have that slim, curvy shape like Nicki Minaj or Beyonce. The thing is some of us are tall, others short. Some of us have wide hips, others have slimmer hips. Some of us have big butts, some of us don’t. We come in many different shapes and sizes; don’t think we all have one size. So stop sexualizing us and leave us alone.