They Loved The Way She Survives: On Black Women Being the Face of Struggle

Being a black woman in America is a balancing act — weighing negative public perceptions with professionalism all the while maintaining a productive household. Often forgotten.”

Sidney Johnson; North Texas Daily

She knows pain, struggle, neglection, unprotection, rejection, abuse, grief, depression, abandonment….. Survival. Black women have always been admired for making survival and struggle “look easy”. Making our struggles look as “ghetto fabulous” as possible. Taking the so little that is given to us and multiplying it to empower our families, and our communities. Black women are always the face of struggle and sacrifice. We don’t get empathy for our pain and suffering, we get praises for being able to endure it in magnitudes and still breathe.

The “strong black woman” is the most admired, yet simultaneously the most resented woman. She loves the way she sacrifices for others, especially her man and her children. The black woman is only as loved as the many times she wears a cape to save the lives of others. Yet, when the black woman herself is drowning, her fight to save herself appears as selfishness. The expectations of black women is to continuously remain in self-sacrificing mode. Often with minimal to no support. The more she sacrifices, the more she is praised and held to high regard. Especially, when it benefits others. The moment she decides NOT to sacrifice herself, she is met with hatred. Accused of “not uplifting her people”, or even worse lyrics labelled a “traitor to her race”. The expectation of the black woman’s loyalty is often unmatched with reciprocation. She sacrifices, she gives, she meets demands, she is not compensated…. She’s tired.

In Relationships; “Struggle Love”.
In Her Family; “Mammy”.
In Her Community; “Mule”.

“The most disrespected person in America is the black woman.
The most unprotected person in America is the black woman.
The most neglected person in America is the black woman.”

  • Malcolm X.

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