Sunday, November 8, 2009


While watching the video RIP Black America2, we were both struck by the narrator’s use of the statement, “You can’t handle a strong black woman,” to describe our denial and inability to take responsibility for who we have become in our relationships. He brutally describes black women as “egotistical children” that have resorted to petty power, bullying and tricks to get our men and/or develop relationships. He says that all the black woman has is an “ego” and a constant need to be told how great she is. While this is clearly a bitter pill to swallow, we asked ourselves “uhh, does he have a point?” :-/

Many times as black women we have been vulnerable in situations where we have allowed ourselves to be stripped of our self-esteem. From that, we have equated being vulnerable with being diminished, or made powerless. As a result, we find ourselves walking around at a ‘tea party’ with boxing gloves on; on-guard against attack. We don’t see how we’re contributing to the gap that has been created between black men and women.

The distinction that we see is between demanding respect and commanding respect. When we demand respect, we do look like “egotistical children” that need to resort to “petty power” to get what we want. Instead, when we rely on our authentic power as women to nurture, and to lead, and to hold things together, we are naturally positioned to command respect from a person that is willing and able to respond to our best selves.

What do you think, have black women replaced “authentic power” with “petty power”?

1 comment:

  1. Yes, SOME black women have taken the "strong black woman" mantra a bit too far, but I don't see us collectively as the video would portray us. I agree it's time for us to take a look at our own behavior and to own our decisions. I can only hope that black women who recognize themselves in the video and decide to make changes, do so with more support and understanding than that with which the narrator seems ready to offer. Thought provoking though...