Written by Nicole
Maybe because of our warrior ancestors, or the difficulties we endure in modern life being both black and female, many of us black women can be quite a rebellious bunch. We are pictured year after year in news publications with our fists raised high in the air, megaphone to our lips, mouth open yelling about the latest injustice. Or we do things backwards, or in ways that have been shown to be harmful, such as have children for losers, or have more children than we can afford. None of these traits are unique to black women. However, no other group of women faces the same sets of challenges that we do, and therefore, the experiences don’t quite compare.
But sometimes, that itch to rebel needs to be scratched. So, here are four ways black women can rebel, that will actually benefit you in the long run.
Are you being asked to attend the latest march, protest, or gathering? Politely decline, if for no other reason than your personal safety. If you must be an activist, do it from the safety of your own home.
Have you ever been told a story about your friend’s horrible auntie, who did all manner of terrible things to a friend? And you can hear the pain and rage in your friend’s voice when she recounts the tale? You then make the suggestion to cut her off, since her presence is a net negative. And while your friend may agree, the lingering reason might be “but she’s family!” Family or not, sometimes you have to sever ties for peace of mind. Being related does not grant your “family” an all-access pass to continue hurting you.
I don’t know why, but way too many black folks are down with struggling. It is seen as a badge of honor. For children, struggle “builds character”. For adults, “your ancestors had it worse, so you should be grateful”, and so on. So instead of identifying with struggle, run away from it! In a dead-end job with a manager you despise? Fire up all the job boards and apply to bigger and better jobs post haste! Folks chomping at the bit to state all the reasons you “deserve less”? Change your circle and trim off those who want you to struggle like them.
Not long ago, I wrote about things that, despite societal pressures, black women don’t have to do. So instead of carrying out all the duties some see as your lot in life, do the opposite! Somebody wants your time, energy or labor for free? After all, that’s how it’s always been done, right? Nope! Slap a hefty fee that must be paid in full before anyone gets access to what you have to offer. That is, if you choose to offer anything at all. This includes friends and family. Like the adage goes – if you’re good at something, don’t do it for free.
Because black women are viewed as a foregone conclusion by society at large, imposing limits on what you do can be viewed as an act of radical rebellion. So, rebel in a way that ultimately benefits you, telling a lot more people no and making no apologies for it.
What small acts of rebellion will you choose? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Disclaimer: This blog was written by me, Nicole, and my ideas are not necessarily reflective of Christelyn Karazin or other writers on this platform.