There is something about the Black Woman... All of us... that makes people stop in their tracks...
Whether we are "Housewives" or "Dignified" (mind you, those two types of people are interchangeable) or The Bitter, Essence buying, Terry McMillan reading, Man Hater I was described as a couple months ago (Don't ask..), There is something... folks don't even know what.. they love us.. and have no idea why.
We are awesome in everything we do. Whether we are the Admin you can't get past, or the First Lady, or one in a group that dares to call themselves Educated Hood Chicks. We are ALL valuable in EVERY way.
I have always believed those "How to be a better Black woman" books were a little much. I' m a Black woman... But not the one that considered "refined" like all those books say. I really don't fit the criteria of the women that are usually discussed by "Conscious" folks about how I should be like Michelle Obama and NOT NeNe Leakes... AT ALL.
I laugh inappropriately at jokes and watch reality shows. My Spotify playlists would make "Revolutionaries" cringe. If it wasn't for college, folks wouldn't listen to me at all. Even the way I got through college is not "ideal." I got to college through luck and got through it by Grace.
And here lies the problem with only defending the "Michelle's" of Black America... It creates a perception that the less refined shouldn't be defended at all. When Evelyn from VH1s "Basketball Wives" had a domestic dispute with Chad Johnson, a majority of the response was "Well... YOU'VE seen her, she is Ghetto, I'm not saying she deserved it, but I'm just saying..."
The better treatment of the "refined" isn't new. In March of 1955 in Montgomery, AL, teenager Claudette Colvin was arrested for not moving to the back of the bus. Black organizations at the time didn't believe she would be a viable "Icon" because 1) she was a teenager and 2) she didn't have "The right look." Rosa Parks did...
"Her skin texture was the kind that people associate with the
middle class," says Colvin. "She fit that profile."
In a realistic world, you can't defend Michelle Obama as a Black woman without defending Condelezza Rice or NeNe Leeks or what ever YouTube video star that has no time for any of it. But in this new Social Network world in which we live in would rather us put the "refined" on a pedestal and spit on the "Ghetto" or "Hood" folks.
We are All Black Women and we are all awesome. We may not always be the awesome you want, but we all have the power to shape the world.
But what do I know...