Two life strikes exist for black women in the world without adding other titles as it relates to sexuality, education, or values. Realistically, most women of color are seen but the world rarely stops to hear us. We aren’t heard until we are figuratively screaming and by that time the damage is done. Can you imagine how many headlines wouldn’t exist if the world actually stopped to listen? Imagine how the statistics would change if we acknowledged:
Black women asking for help during or after childbirth.
Black women when they mention their mental health declining.
Black women when they say no to unwanted attention, attempts at getting their number, or a guy showing one-sided interest.
Black women in relationships that involve domestic violence.
Black women when they report crimes such as date rape, molestation, abuse, or instances of forced sexual interactions.
The world doesn’t acknowledge our hurt, our tears, or our feelings. We have to work so hard to prove that our feelings are valid. Malcom X was right when he said that the black women is the most disrespected woman in society. Our existence is consistently questioned and berated to benefit other people.
We aren’t heard when we go missing.
We aren’t heard when we say our lives are in danger.
We aren’t heard when we say that we need help. We aren’t heard when we are in pain (physically, mentally, or emotionally).
We are simply dismissed. The world doesn’t hear us until we’re silent. Ironically, our silence scares society not our actual cry for help. The world sees that we are tired, fed-up, degraded, and mistreated; yet they continue to turn their heads because “that’s not their business.” However, you see us it just your refusal to acknowledge us in every aspect that we exist in.
You see when we get the degrees and credentials.
You see us when we open businesses.
You see us when we get in positions of power.
You also see us when our bodies fit your preference.
You see us when we “glow up.” So why can’t you see is when our hand is out for guidance, love, or support?
From personal experience, I’ve never been heard until I stopped showing up. I stopped reaching out, stopped making my presence known, and I stopped trying to get my message across. My silence was the reason people checked in. They couldn’t figure out my headspace which concerned them. Then, the expectation was for me to be laid back or disconnected to anything bothering me. But don’t dare let me be assertive in what I had to say aka “the angry black woman” narrative the world loves to utilize anytime a black woman has an opinion. The actual issue of concern was quickly tossed aside because of my tone or body language. Ironically, we are the most unheard, yet we stop to help anyone we can. So many melanated women set out not only to be a voice for themselves but for others. But who saves us when we need saving?
It only takes one person to wholeheartedly stop and open their ears to us. We aren’t asking for the world to fix our problems or let us be victims, but be a better safe haven for women like us.