When she walks into the room, her presence demands full attention. And all the boys run scared, but the men stand at attention.
“Angry Black Woman”
“Strong Black Woman”
“Bitter Black Woman”
In the Bible, Revelations speaks of a “Beast” that is said to be of an evil nature and one that seeks destruction. A creature of unique power who was prophesied and struck fear in those that expected it’s return. The Bible doesn’t speak of any actions the beast have actually done to warrant such hatred outside of being outcasted from Heaven, yet the prophecy said that the beast was hateful and sought to destroy. However, was the beast hateful or merely feared and posed a threat? I found in many ways when I read the story of the Beast in the Bible that I could relate as a black woman to this sentiment.
In life I realized that many around me had fears that I didn’t have. They saw fear in those with power, or those in authority, where I saw an ordinary individual. Yet many will falsely label anything they fear or simply don’t understand. They will accuse and judge those they fear, to make themselves more comfortable. They will even try to actively destroy it, even if unprovoked. They will falsely accuse the individual of things they have not done, to validate their own fears. I have seen and witnessed many bully one individual for this very reason. I have even been this individual at times. A fearful person can become just as destructive as the very thing they fear or accuse of hatred. So who should be the ones we fear? Can those that hurt others solely based on hate, fear, and envy become the very thing they hate? Are they not the hate that hate/fear produced or is their excuses enough to validate them? Without proof of any wrong doing towards them, what can they say when it’s time to take accountability? Or are they just hateful?
I realized over the years the most dangerous people are those stuck in a state of fear. Many of them lack self control. Once fear controls them, their behaviors become destructive. They respond out of fear, hatred, envy, and revenge through their behaviors and actions. Often I wanted to seek such myself, but then I remember I have more to live for. What do they gain from this? It will not make them any stronger, more courageous, or more powerful. Instead they will be stuck in fear all of their lives trying to eliminate anything that triggers their fear and hatred. Some of these actions premeditated. They will be the first to harm another, but will irrationally justify such to whomever will believe them. They often will even become obsessed with what they fear, and attack without thought. They will stalk the individual, they will study them, and prepare to battle them unnecessarily. Even if the individual isn’t even doing the same in return. They won’t be able to tell you why outside of, “I heard”, “I thought”, and “I was scared”. They become a fool to their own self destruction. So who is that we should fear? An intimidating individual or those in fear of such that will try to destroy it without just cause?
Throughout my life, I was this person. I was a loner most of my life and would hardly seek attention from others. I enjoyed my solitude more than I enjoyed company. I realize how this can cause others to become concerned and anxious. Many seek attention and validation. If you refuse to give them what they wish, they can become resentful. Sometimes downright hateful. They will hardly try to place themselves in your shoes. Speaking for myself, my indifference to people was never fueled by hatred. Instead it was fueled by being black, woman/girl, and misunderstood. This is something I still deal with. I knew many wouldn’t understand what I saw, and how I felt. I realized that many people’s first response to what they don’t understand is denial and hatred. So I allowed them to misjudge me. I allowed them to ridicule me. I even tolerated many in how they mistreated me, and held no grudge. Any line of defense I enacted became a mere stereotype;”angry”, “bitter”, and/or “broken”. I gave up trying. A black woman can’t play damsel in distress. A black woman shouldn’t fight all my life against a hatred she can’t control or even directly caused. As a black woman I was always expected to be strong enough to fight any and every one. Sometimes I had to be stronger. So I allowed my hurt and pain of these actions to become my inspiration. My inspiration to keep pushing. My inspiration to make myself proud. An inspiration to inspire others who could understand or was in the same position. A new chapter to write. A new story to tell. A new experience to share with those that needed empathy when it isn’t given.
As I researched the story of “the beast” in revelation, I realized a relation to the story. The Bible was constructed at a time well before this prophecy. The beast they spoke of in the Bible didn’t even get a chance to tell their story. Instead the beast was demonized and hated before it even revealed itself. False prophecy and false accusations can damage ant being before they even get a chance to speak, when their actions is fueled by insecurities and hatred. Those responsible will never take accountability if it means admitting they were wrong. If it means identifying themselves as the very hatred they claim against their target. I can relate. Like the beast, many had false ideas about me before they even met me. To many this fueled their hateful actions against me. Many have spread this hatred so much, I couldn’t even defend myself if falsely accused. If I did defend myself, they will always deny my truth over any lies about me they were told. The first response to misunderstanding is often denial and hatred. Cognitive dissonance.
What if the Beast described in revelation was a black woman? Many would relate such a character to a man, since usually fear and men can go hand in hand. However, as I have described earlier many underestimate the fear of black women and their divinity. Also, similar to a beast, a black woman is just as misjudged and treated poorly based on preconceived notions and reputations. Or simply mistreated due to the historic and current hatred of women; and being woman and black. Especially the hatred of women often found in the Bible and in many religions and cultures. A black woman who is called a hoe before she even has sex, or for simply enjoying sex as much as a man. A black woman who is automatically treated aggressively, because she is “strong enough to take it”. A black woman who is intimidating just by her presence alone. Without a word or any action to cause such. A mystery. A black woman whose value is judged before she even reveals her true self. A black woman who is too black, too nappy, too happy, and too proud. She becomes bullied, ridiculed, and outcasted only to be labelled. See above. Without many to understand her pain or her story. But they will gladly tell it for her. Without anyone to defend and protect her.
A black woman who becomes an “angry black woman” for responding to her inflicted hurt and pain. A black woman’s whose harmful experiences is seen as justified, because she is a “strong back woman”. No matter the damage it causes not only her, but her children and family. When the damage is done, she becomes the “bitter black woman”, without accountability from those that hurt her. Who hurt you black woman? A black woman who is desired as art and sex, just to become a “hoe” the moment she indulges in pleasing a man upon his request. Or a hoe before she even has sex. A black woman who becomes the “bitch” when she is no longer tolerant and controllable. Despite these fears, and the inhumane treatment of black women, many can not deny how much they need and desire her strength. They will rejoice in her glory as long as they can benefit. The moment they can not, she becomes hated. A public enemy. Perhaps, those that are hateful don’t recognize fear until they are in the presence of a powerful black woman. In a world full of monsters, she then becomes a Beast.