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Culture

BHM: Microaggressions that Black Women are Tired of Hearing

Microagressions: indirect or subtle statements, actions or incidents of racism white supremacy and discrimination against members of marginalized groups such as racial or ethnic minorities. 

For centuries, Black people have been subjected to blatant statements, actions, incidents of racism, white supremacy, and discrimination, and those that fall under the radar. While overt aggression accompanies blatant racial attacks, microaggressions are often followed by fake smiles, false praises and “friendly” pats on the back, making them even harder to fight against

Unfortunately, microaggressions, more often than not, tend to follow Black women into spaces that claim to be safe spaces for all women to feel empowered. This proves that some woman empowerment spaces are perpetuators of the same racism of white supremacy and discrimination that are found in America’s white patriarchal society. And quite frankly, Black women are tired of it. 

Microaggressions Black Women are Tired of Hearing:

1. What are you mixed with?

Let’s face it, this question has less to do with a genuine interest in Black women’s backgrounds and more to do with an attempt to rationalize how Black women could possibly be so intelligent, talented, and sophisticated. Afterall, in order to possess such honorable traits, Black women must be “mixed” with European descent, right? Wrong!

2. You’re so different. 

In other words, “Oh so you are Black, huh. Well, you’re much different from the rest of the Blacks. You know, loud, ghetto, and stupid. Afterall, the entire Black population are just duplicates of the racially derogatory stereotypes created by white supremacist, right? Wrong again! 

3. You’re so articulate. 

This may seem like an innocent compliment, but it’s actually a deep-rooted racist indication that Black people are incapable of holding competent intellectual conversations. Afterall, it’s extremely unusual for people of the Black race to intelligently formulate thoughtful sentences and ideas, right? Yet again, wrong!

4. Hair “Questions”: 

“Is that your real hair?”, “Can I touch your hair?”, “How did you get your hair like that?”, and “Are you going to wear your hair like that to [insert professional setting]?”  Each of these isolating questions, and countless others, demonstrate the racist white supremacist teaching that Black women are less of humans and more so animals to be teased, pet, and groomed to European liking. It doesn’t get anymore wrong than that!

5. Fake commonaliTies

Whether it comes in the form of calling Black women “sistas”, hitting the latest trendy dance move, speaking in support of Beyonce or praising fried chicken with hot sauce, expressing fake commonalities with Black women demonstrates the racist ideology that all Black people are the same. After all, if some Black people like some things, all Black people must like all the same things, because all Black people are basically the same exact person, right? Absolutely…wrong!

Black women are tired of hearing such oppressively belittling microaggressions. And, Black women are tired of fighting against them. Especially, in spaces that are supposed to represent their womanhood

How are Black women to find true support in spaces, movements and ideologies claiming to uplift their womanhood amongst the same people perpetuating passive aggressive racism, white supremacy, and discrimination against them? In short, they can’t. 

Yaminah Smith

St. John's '22

Yaminah is a St. John’s University graduate with a B.S. in Journalism. She loves writing everything from brief motivational quotes to detailed narrations. With each word, she hopes to inspire and guide people all over the world towards improvement.
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