I am a young black woman in America

How many people can say they know what it’s like to be a young black woman? We all face obstacles as an individual but, there is a common struggle that black women face in America. Watching the protests and riots break out in neighborhoods where people look like me caused me pay attention to the black community in America.

First I noticed the difference between a black woman and a black man in America. Most of the cases of injustice that I’ve seen has been centered around black men. It is too often that I see a black man gunned down or arrested on the news. This led me to wonder, are black women equally affected in the injustice?  I dug deeper and realized that black woman may be the ones that hurt the most. Think about the tears in a mother’s eyes when she comes home from work to a home where her son will never sleep again. Then I thought about the wife of a husband incarcerated, struggling check to check to make ends meet and keep her children off the streets.

Black women are the thread that keeps the black community strong, so when black men hurt we hurt with them. We also hurt with one another. I remember looking at the little girl with fair skin at the age of five and feeling a flame burn in my soul because I was darker. The media taught me at a young age that fair skin was better and I believed it. I would see white women painted in a positive light and perceived as beautiful. She was confident, gracious, and intelligent. She was the person to be and I resented her because I could never be her. With time and education, I learned to love myself and was motivated to teach other young black girls to love themselves.

Being a young black woman in America is not a curse, it is a gift. God created everyone unique and different in many ways, so we must love one another and ourselves. Once I learned my worth  I became honored to know what it is like to be a young black woman in America.

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32 comments

  1. I love this piece! This spoke volumes to me especially now that I feel I’m beginning to truly navigate what it means to be a black woman in so many different arenas of life. I feel as if the obstacles are ever changing whether it be professionally, socially, politically, or even in the day to day. (Anyway I hope this makes sense) I’ve truly enjoyed reading your posts =)

  2. Statistically black women also suffer a basic… Invisibility in the news and in our culture. Black men fill the thug stereotype in media, there’s a lot of coverage on the news of the recent rush of police shootings… It’s at least present. People are noticing the disparity. I think black women suffer the opposite fate. What you often don’t see, or hear about much… Is the mothers of missing children when they are black. (They get publicized a few days nationally versus months on end for white kids etc) The women who are racially profiled – there was a minimally publicized story on this last month I think about something in the summer, but I’m certain it’s more pervasive than we all realize. It’s gross. I have no idea how to change it. But it makes my heart hurt.

  3. I am very glad you appreciate how God created you and I wish a lot of black women to be like you. To value themselves and be proud who they are. My husband is a black man and he is the best man I ever met. Wish you all God’s blessings and to be an inspiration for other women.

  4. I struggle knowing there are still young black women out there who feel even slightly inadequate compared to their white sisters. It’s not right. Going by some of the other comments here I thought you and your followers might like to read about these amazing Tuareg women of the Sahara…they are inspirational!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3131511/Sex-Sahara-Striking-photographs-mysterious-Islamic-tribe-women-embrace-sexual-freedoms-dictate-gets-divorce-don-t-wear-veil-men-want-beautiful-faces.html

  5. I appreciate your honesty. I can’t say Iknow what it’s like to be a black woman in this world, but I’m a ethnic minority too and woman. I understand race issues and privileges, historical traumas, and violence that occurs in our communities. Although I’m not a black woman, I do believe in uplifting each other communities and i stand with the black community !

    • Thank you for your support. Even though I speak for black woman, I also speak for anyone who have struggled because of who they are in the eye of society. It takes a lot of wisdom to acknowledge the struggle that is faced by other people besides yourself.

  6. Though dark-skinned, in you, as in everyone, there’s a light, that none can ever quench except you allow. I’m glad you haven’t.
    Cheers powerful black woman in America, as you journey living life.
    You are a young black woman in America, and proud to be.
    I am a young black woman in Cameroon and proud to be.
    Black is powerful; black got courage; black got skill; Black is Beauty!

  7. I appreciate all of this reflection and your strong affirmation in the last paragraph as the gift and wonder as as being a young black women in America. of being. Although I am a white male, with all the privilege (and baggage) that comes with I have 4 First Nations (indigenous) nieces, and occasionally know they struggle at times. The youngest one (at 11) commented recently how she felt she her skin was too dark. The eldest (at 26) dances with an native activist group called Butterflies in Spirit, to help raise awareness of Canada’s missing and murdered indigenous women. I commit my myself to be with my nieces, and you and all women (and men) of all colors, creeds, & walks of life. In peace, faith, love & hope.

  8. I love love love this piece. Honestly coming from a childhood in Jamaica, where colorism is rampant, to here where colorism is rampant in addition to racial injustices plus people telling you that it doesn’t exist is and has been bizarre to me. I’ve grown to love myself, and I’m truly happy that you’ve gotten to do the same. Cheers and good luck!

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