Written by Penelope Farthing
When it comes to certain black-centric topics that are difficult to discuss, there will be a couple responses saying, “That’s a conversation that y’all are not ready for”. Some examples include:
A lot of parents are their child’s first bully but that’s a conversation y’all are not ready for.
Black men are the way they are because their moms raised them that way, but that’s a conversation y’all are not ready for.
Black women are not completely innocent regarding the state of the black community, but that’s a conversation y’all are not ready for.
NBABM-BW hate swirlers because they’re afraid they won’t have someone to trauma bond with, but that’s a conversation y’all are not ready for.
Black women don’t wear all this weave to be workplace-acceptable or as a protective style, it’s because they hate their hair with a fiery passion, but that’s a conversation y’all are not ready for.
Don’t get me wrong. I agree that most black women are not ready to tackle these, and many other difficult conversations. It would take a tremendous amount of bravery, self-reflection, and nuance to deep dive into the intricacies of the issues we face as black women and as part of the black community.
But when will we be ready?
What will be that tipping point where black women say, “Actually, yeah, we’re not ready for that conversation, but it’s going to happen now anyway”?
Sweeping things under the rug like pedophilia and sexual abuse in the black community does not work (with a side of “well, white people do it too!” to justify it), and the time for that conversation was the day your little sister or cousin came to you to complain that Uncle Cletus did a “bad touch”. Rampant anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems we pretend to not have should have been a conversation to have decades ago, but we ignore, avoid and deflect, embodying the Strong Black Woman trope and fixing everyone else’s problems, over, and at the expense of, our own. The conversation about black women and the utter hatred of the hair that grows out our heads should have been started before that mother took her 6 year old daughter to the salon for her first relaxer, or before traction alopecia killed every follicle in that innocent hairline as an adult, and before thousands of dollars got spent under the knife hands of a surgeon who restores the edges that were lost.
Can the Black Delegation decide on when we will be ready to have these tough conversations? The longer we delay them, the harder it becomes to reach a solution.
What discussions are you ready to have? I’m ready. Let’s chat.