Why the Celebration of the #StrongBlackWoman Can Be Emotionally Depleting
Congresswoman Maxine Waters is the absolute shit! If we vaguely knew about her before Trump became president — that all changed after he moved into The White House and began to prove all the reasons why his victory was coerced from a malfunctioning satellite that is still missing pertinent parts.
In the midst of the daily chaos and the White men who are paid to fuck up anything and anybody that doesn’t quite fit into the Greatness of America — there is the magnificently energetic seventy-eight-year-old Black woman who is determined to use her platform as a swarming base against the establishment that she swears is out to demolish all the good things that make being an American — swell.
Waters doesn’t swoon her words — she shouts from the rooftops and carries the dramatics of each syllable into her prime physicality.
She transcribes her disdain for the current administration without restraint and despite being compared to a wig-jiving James Brown and being rudely ordered to step away from the crack pipe in order to avoid the fate that trampled the late Whitney Houston — Waters is unfazed and even more encouraged in her quest to strip Trump and his henchman from any semblance of dignity or validity.
We buy what she’s selling and the prices have just skyrocketed.
Her value is beyond calculation as we storm social media with tributes in the form of retweets, shares and newly formulated hashtags that emulate our pleasure with the woman of the moment — who despite the targeted bullets of ageism, sexism and racism — manages to emerge victorious in a luminously stunning entry.
As I ravaged my Twitter timeline — stuck in a mood that won’t quit — I stumbled upon the hed from HuffPost Black Voices as the call for Black women who can identify with Waters and her ability to rise above and emerge stronger than ever — permeated with the familiar tune of survival and accommodation.
Suddenly, my need to claim the label of a #StrongBlackWoman left me empty and exhausted with the notion that regardless of how much shit we have to contend with — both at home and outside the community — we still are expected to strut through it unscathed because that’s how we roll.
Black women never fail to unleash superhuman tendencies compared to non-Black counterparts and this is due to the fact that we have earned the practice through the ability to expertly dodge insults, downplay public ridicule and revoke the intense apartheid of our specific structures and overall alignment.
Sandra Bland was a strong ass Black woman when she was ripped from her car seat and pummeled to the ground as punishment for refusing to back down — even when she knew her life was in danger.
Diamond Reynolds was beyond incredible when she calmly captured the murder of her boyfriend while willing her toddler daughter in the back seat of the car into silence.
Bree Newsome is the modern day superhero that flew into the heights of a flag post to claim humanity on behalf of the murdered and the oppressed.
The mothers of all the men, women and children that were killed for the sake of a race that couldn’t save them from the reality of what they would never become — because of a country that hated who they were — still thrive in the blood-stained streets that won’t ever be washed clean.
The #StrongBlackWoman breathes through the whippings of maintaining a stance that depletes the joy of imagining how carefree life can be when you are cuddled by society and worshipped without reason.
The constant quarrel between feeling loved and valued against the threat of preparation strewn from the forces that are secured for your imminent dismissal — is a tiring exercise that shouldn’t be banished under the banner of strength and durability.
I’m plain tired of being #strong.
I want to collapse under the pain of defeat and wonder where I can take a rest before heading back into battle. I need to experience the faintness of a wallflower — as my black skin meshes with the daffodils that signal my need to be caressed and cleansed from the responsibility that my tone incites. I’m sick of declaring my greatness as a ploy to refute the comfort and embrace that I deserve just as my peers openly garner the reassurance of their existence.
Yes, being a strong Black women is symbolic and necessary as we trudge along the never ending catalog of why we must continue to remain sustainable against a climate that is manufactured to wear us out with each change of season.
But, I’d like to think that I’m not the only Black woman who rejects the molecules that are supposed to keep my intact when everything around me is falling apart.
My skin color doesn’t have to be altered in order to succumb to the weakness of being lonely, discouraged, betrayed, enraged, confused, displaced, disengaged, dismayed, and further darkened by the forces that won’t be thwarted anytime soon.
So, I might as well take the time to replenish so I can be strong again tomorrow.
That’s what being a #StrongBlackWoman demands, and you might as well know about it.