"Who Will Revere the Black Woman?" (September
Twain said, in effect, that when a country enslaves a people, the
first necessary job is to make the world feel that the people to be
enslaved are sub-human. The next job is to make his fellow-countrymen
believe that man is inferior and then, the unkindest cut of all is to
make that man believe himself inferior.
good job has been done in this country, as far as convincing them of
their inferiority is concerned. The general white community has told
us in a million different ways and in no uncertain terms that "God"
and "nature" made a mistake when it came to fashioning us
as it is, I've heard it echoed by too many Black full-grown males
that Black womanhood is the downfall of the Black man in that she
(the Black woman) is "evil," "hard to get along with,"
"domineering," "suspicious," and "narrow-minded."
In short, a black, ugly, evil you-know-what.
time progresses, I've learned that this description of my mothers,
sisters, and partners in crime is used as the basis and excuse for
the further shoving, by the Black man, of his own head into the sand
of oblivion. Hence, the black mother, housewife, and all-round girl
Thursday is called upon to suffer both physically and emotionally
every humiliation a woman can suffer and still function.
head is more regularly beaten than any other woman's, and by her own
man; she's the scapegoat for Mr. Charlie; she is forced to stark
realism and chided if caught dreaming; her aspirations for her and
hers are, for sanity's sake, stunted; her physical image has been
criminally maligned, assaulted, and negated; she's the first to be
called ugly and never yet beautiful....
and denied the right to cry out in her pain, she has been named the
culprit and called "loose," "hot-blooded,"
"wanton," "sultry," and "amoral." She
has been used as the white man's sexual outhouse, and shamefully
encouraged by her own ego-less man to persist in this function.
Wanting, too, to be carried away by her "Prince Charming,"
she must, in all honesty, admit that he has been robbed of his crown
by the very assaulter and assassin who has raped her. Still, she
looks upon her man as God's gift to Black womanhood and is further
diminished and humiliated and outraged when the feeling is not
best we are made to feel that we are poor imitations and excuses for
Evil, you say. The black woman is hurt, confused, frustrated, angry,
resentful, frightened and evil! Who in the hell dares suggest that
she should be otherwise? These attitudes only point up her perception
of the situation and her healthy rejection of same.
if our women get evil enough and angry enough, they'll be moved to
some action that will bring our men to their senses. There is one
unalterable fact that too many of our men cannot seem to face. And
that is, we "black, evil, ugly" women are a perfect and
accurate reflection of you "black, evil, ugly" men. Play
hide and seek as long as you can and will, but your every rejection
and abandonment of us is only sorry testament of how thoroughly and
carefully you have been blinded and brainwashed. And let it further
understood that when we refer to you we mean, ultimately, us. For you
are us, and vice versa.
are the women who were kidnapped and brought to his continent as
slaves. We are the women who were raped, are still being raped, and
our bastard children snatched from our breasts and scattered to the
winds to be lynched, castrated, de-egoed, robbed, burned, and
are the women whose strong and beautiful Black bodies were—and
are— still being used as a cheap labor force for Miss Anne's
kitchen and Mr. Charlie's bed, whose rich, black and warm milk
nurtured—and still nurtures—the heir to the racist and
are the women who dwell in the hell-hole ghettos all over the land.
We are the women whose bodies are sacrificed, as living cadavers, to
experimental surgery in the white man's hospitals for the sake of
white medicine. We are the women who are invisible on the television
and movie screens, on the Broadway stage. We are the women who are
lusted after, sneered at, leered at, hissed at, yelled at, grabbed
at, tracked down by white degenerates in our own pitiable,
poverty-stricken and prideless neighborhoods.
are the women whose hair is compulsively fried, whose skin is
bleached, whose is "too big," whose mouth is "too big
and loud," whose behind is "too big and broad," whose
feet are "too big and flat," whose face is "too black
and shiny,* and whose suffering and patience is too long and enduring
to be believed.
are just too damned much for everybody....
are the women whose husbands and fathers and brothers and sons have
been plagiarized, imitated, denied, and robbed of the fruits of their
genius, and who consequently we see as emasculated, jailed, lynched,
driven mad, deprived, enraged and made suicidal. We are the women who
nobody, seemingly, cares about, who are made to feel inadequate,
stupid and backward, and who inevitably have the most colossal
inferiority complexes to be found.
who is spreading the propaganda that "the only free people in
the country are the white man and the black woman"? If this be
freedom, then Heaven is hell, right is wrong, and cold is hot.
will revere the black woman? Who will keep our neighborhoods safe for
black innocent womanhood? Black womanhood is outraged and humiliated.
Black womanhood cries for dignity and restitution and salvation.
Black womanhood wants and needs protection, and keeping, and holding.
Who will assuage her indignation? Who will keep her precious and
pure? Who will glorify and proclaim her beautiful image? To whom will
she cry rape?
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