All of us have experienced the feelings of being in a new environment, trying to calm your nerves before you walk into a room of strangers, and praying that you will see a friendly face within the crowd. It is human nature to want to be accepted, so when you experience the exact opposite (and the very moment you step foot on new soil), it is quite disappointing – especially if it is coming from your “skin-folk”.
If I were to write about simply being a black woman in America, it would take days. But I am here to speak to my fellow black women as it is time we stop hating each other and start coming together to support each other. There is no reason that the simple act of my walking-into-a-room should generate glares and side-eyes versus a welcoming acknowledgement. PSA: I am not the enemy here!
I don’t know what it is, but we black women tend to feel instantly threatened when we are in an environment with other black women. Whether it be the office, school, church, or bars, we can’t seem to stop judging each other without a fair trial! I’ve noticed that the less of us there are, the more intense the hate and judgement become. Umm, reality check: you aren’t the “token black” who has sole-custody-rights to be in the presence of white people. If we are to continue to advance as people, we need to get used to seeing more black faces amidst success, excellence, and affluence. In fact, we should actually enjoy seeing those black faces! Sizing-me-up the moment I walk through the door is not going to make you feel any better about my presence because Hunny, I know I brought my A-game.
What makes it even worse (and I reiterate): WE DON’T EVEN KNOW EACH OTHER! Due to our lack of history, the hatred towards me holds no water; so you are really wasting your energy. I mean, most of the time when people are inexplicably rude, it is never really because of something you did, but really a reflection of their internal unhappiness. Being miserable and feeling insecure about your own life can seep its way into daily interactions a lot easier than you think. But sorry, I’m not sorry: that’s really no one’s problem but your own. So, address that and stop being so rude!
Honestly, the black-on-black hatred does nothing but perpetuate the awful stereotypes we black women encounter. Just think about it: if “Meghan” has very few encounters with black people and is familiar with the “black-women-have-bad-attitudes” stereotype, do you really think she will believe otherwise if she is in an environment where the black women aren’t even cordial to each other? I don’t think so! Ladies, it just makes us look bad and it diminishes any work the rest of us do to put an end to the constant prejudice and discrimination!
So sisters, please, WE HAVE GOT TO DO BETTER! The next time you are in a situation where you can either take the low and shady road, change it up a bit. Try simply smiling and being friendly. While this may sound like advice to be less-than-honest; FAKE IT TILL WE MAKE IT!