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Sometimes it’s hard to talk to or about Black women without catching heat and inevitably hearing the now empty catchphrase: “You hate Black women!”
It seems that for some Black women, any disagreement brings down the wrath of the ages. Even if the disagreement is founded in research, or referenced from other Black women.
Many Black women will openly claim the anger and even go so far as to exclaim a right to it.
Anyone has a right to any emotion, but being angry is not empowerment. Those who are angry are actually slaves to the anger.
Holding on to that anger can bring dire consequences.
Maida S. Kemp, the first African American woman to represent labor overseas worked with women, civil rights, labor and humanitarian causes, proving herself as a tireless organizer and activist for social change. In her struggle for both the rights of Blacks and the rights of women, the former president of the National Council of Negro Women cautioned women against bitterness.
“Unless a woman learns not to be bitter about defeats and not to be arrogant about successes, each of them, both your success and your defeat can limit you,” said Kemp.
And yet, many women wave the flag of anger as though it is some badge of honor or rite of passage, referring to their anger as “independence,” proclaiming men who are repulsed by it as weak, even though it costs them relationships with men and women alike.
It is difficult and frankly, not worth the time to discuss anything with an angry person, particularly because the color of anger paints ALL Black men as weak, lazy and in general the sole source of all of the Black woman’s woes, particularly their inability to find desired mates.
At that point, what is there to discuss?
An angry woman may be otherwise desirable, but, unresolved pain and fear is stronger than love or pride and will end up driving most good things out of her life.
Anger is also infectious. When someone comes at us with anger, it is easy to absorb it and become changed.
Anger, like the dark side of the force, is seductive. When we hear negative things and we are already in pain, our hearts are prepped for anything that will mask the pain. Nothing masks pain the way anger does. In fact, anger feeds off of the pain and makes the host believe that there is actually no pain at all.
In many cases, anger is simply a reaction to fear, but there is another more productive reaction, offered by noted author Zora Neale Hurston: “The thing to do is to grab the broom of anger and drive off the beast of fear.”
Anger drains energy and drags the person carrying it to the bottom of everything good, into the pit of everything bad. While it may seem to be empowering at first, if it is mostly stemming from fear and pain, it will be anything but empowering.
Anger is no one’s friend.