Yes, I Am An Angry Black Woman

angry black woman
Photo by Dziana Hasanbekava

It seems no matter how much progress we make in the feminism movement and our fight for equity, we women still get the short end of the stick—especially black women.

The patriarchy itself is bad enough if you’re a woman, but if you’re a black woman you have to deal with that and racism. While white women get called bitchy when they assert themselves, black women get stuffed into the “angry black woman” box.

We’re all too familiar with it. This stereotype tells society that black women are angry all the time. We have attitudes, are too “sassy,” and are jerks to everyone around us. We get painted as the villains of every narrative, never the victims or innocent parties just trying to mind our damn business.

I’ve debunked the myth of the angry black woman many times. From how black women are portrayed in films to how the media depicts them.

It’s exhausting to constantly have to stand up against the stereotype and say, “No, this isn’t who I am.”

It’s exhausting to shield yourself from absorbing the negative stereotypes of misogynoir. To have to remind yourself that you are more than a stereotype. To recognize that every black woman is diverse in her own way and that reducing us all to “angry black women” is nothing short of offensive.

But I’m done debunking this stereotype. I have finally concluded that yes, I am an angry black woman.

I’m an angry black woman because I’m tired of the negative traits people associate with my race and gender. I’m tired of people demonizing us, acting like we’re monsters instead of the human beings that we are. I’m tired of black women being seen as abrasive for speaking their minds when I’ve seen white men do the same and not get called out for it.

I’m an angry black woman because I’m tired of people depriving us of our womanhood.

I’m tired of how binary the femininity and masculinity spectrum is seen, although it is, indeed, a spectrum. I’m tired when women like me have “masculine” traits and are told we aren’t “women” because we don’t meet society’s expectations of how women should act.

I’m tired that black women are never seen as “feminine” in any manner. Whether it’s the way we look or act. We’re just not seen as attractive to the average heterosexual man. I’m tired of black women being shoved in these boxes when we are simply people with our own lives and personalities.

I’m an angry black woman because I’m tired of people policing our bodies. I’m tired of black women being criticized for being “overtly” sexual. As if there’s an actual measurement for how sexual one can be in their personal lives. I’m tired of black women who are not as openly sexual being seen as the oddity rather than the norm.

I’m tired of people judging black women for owning their bodies and loving their skin when that should be praised instead.

I’m an angry black woman because I’m tired of all the shit we black women go through every day. Misogynoir is rampant in our society, and while it is being called out more (as it should), it still exists.

Black women have been oppressed for centuries. For too long, we’ve been left out of both the feminism and antiracism movement. Too often, we’ve been left out of conversations about mental and physical health, police brutality, institutional racism, education, income inequality, and being treated equitably in society. I’m angry about all this because it’s not something my fellow black women and I should have to experience. But we do. And I refuse to stand for it.

So yes, I am an angry black woman—and I’m damn proud of it.

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    1. says: Shani Jay

      Absolutely! In general, women have been denied their right to their anger for centuries, and this continues. We think it’s not feminine or selfish to be angry, but it’s not. It’s healthy – as long as we do not let it eat away at us.

      Shani x