Writer’s Name: Charlotte Templeman
Title: Will the Real Black Woman Stand Up?
The black woman. Who is she? Some would think she is the mother of civilization, giving life to every race known to man. The black woman is a beautiful, strong, hard-working individual who is loved by some and envied by others. The black woman is made up of different complexions, sizes and shapes. She is vanilla, mocha, and dark chocolate brown with long hair, short hair, natural hair or no hair. Her size can range from petite, thick and full figured and her height, short, average or tall. The black woman is versatile. She can crack her gum, speak Ebonics and be loud around her girls one minute and in the next facilitate a business meeting for her fortune 500 company co-workers while wearing her Armani suit. The black woman is a mother, wife, daughter and sister. She is unique and priceless. She is one of a kind. However, within the last five years I have noticed a different perception of who the black woman is and why often time’s people think she is single. The ironic thing is the group of people with this new, or should I say, more vocal perception is not of another race but of our own. It is the black man. I have found that not all black men feel this way, but a lot of them do.
So who is the black woman? Lately I’ve been hearing she is too aggressive, too independent, not supportive of the black man, loud and obnoxious and unwilling to compromise the type of man she dates. White collar or blue collar, those are just a few of the perceptions of black women that have somehow become the signature of all black women. Is it true? I would be lying to myself if I did not admit there are some black women who possess these qualities, but in the same breath I can say women of different races can as well. These characteristics are not exclusive only to us. So why do some black men feel this way?
For years the black woman has had to carry a tremendous load, sometimes by herself. She is the primary care giver of the family where she has taken the role of mother and father. Most times she does it with a smile, although she is anything but happy. At work she may not be as respected as her other female counterparts who do not look like her. Often times she is the brains behind the scenes but her work and expertise go unnoticed. She works hard within her community, is involved with her child’s education and she is independent. Everything she has, she has worked for and acquired on her own. Along the way she has become used to being alone and maintaining alone. For some black men, this is where the problem comes in. Some men tend to think because a black woman can take care of herself that he is not needed. That is false. Everyone woman I know would love to have the comfort of a companion but maintain her independence as well. As much as we would love for our relationships to last forever like they do in fairytales, sometimes they do not. If and when the relationship is over, the black woman has to continue to go on with business as usual. Maintaining her independence will allow her to do that. Being able to take care of herself and her family alone if need be is pivotal to her because so often she has had to do it solo.
The black woman has worked hard to obtain a valuable education, good career, nice home and other things she want. If she was in a relationship while working to improve her life, nine out of ten times she wanted the same thing for her mate. She will be the cheerleader when he feels he cannot go on and she will motivate him to go on. The black woman realizes that if she invests in her man she is investing in her future. As the saying goes, “behind every good man is a strong good woman.” Black women can be very supportive of their mate if need be, but if she feels he is not working to improve his own life she can become distant and ultimately end the relationship. This doesn’t mean she feels she is too good for him, but it does mean she is not willing to settle for a person who isn’t willing to acquire the things he needs to better his own life.
A lot of the negative perceptions of black women can be a result of images we see in the media, such as television and movies. Black women are often portrayed as loud and unruly, too aggressive, head twisting, finger snapping women who are gold diggers wanting a man to take care of them. However, that is not all of us. Quite a few of us are educated, career minded, hard-working individuals who tend to not settle for anything or anyone less. There is nothing wrong with a black woman who has obtained certain things in her life to want the same in her mate. There is nothing wrong with an independent black woman who knows she can take care of herself but is willing to share her life with the right man with the same values. There is nothing wrong with a strong black woman who can smile in the face of adversity and move on. There is nothing wrong with a black woman who stands proud and tall in all of her accomplishments. I would think that would be the type of woman a man would want.
As I previously stated there are some black women with the above characteristics I mentioned earlier. But in reality it’s not about black women. It is about the individual and who they are. A group of people cannot be stereotyped based off the experiences of some. Yes black men you may have come across some loud, obnoxious, aggressive black women in your travels. However, I’m sure you’ve also come across some soft spoken, polite, non-confrontational black women as well. In the end we all need to be looked upon as individuals because it’s not the entire black women race you’re trying to get to know, it’s just one. Focus on her and what she has to offer. After all, the black woman is the most beautiful, strong, priceless gem that you may ever acquire. If you take care of her she will definitely take care of you.