Gender Conflict

The Five Stages of Black Woman Grief, Part 1

I have observed behaviors in black women, self included, that made me think of the Kübler-Ross model or “Five Stages of Grief”. Many black women have been forced to confront the utter hatred and contempt that black people have for black women. When they see this hatred and the related dysfunction called out, they will respond differently based on whatever “stage” they go to when faced with such an unpleasant situation.

Ideally no matter what stage a black woman finds herself at, she needs to move towards “acceptance”, and we’ll discuss why when that stage is explained.



Stage One: Black Woman In Denial


“…There are plenty of beautiful, strong and loving black men of the African diaspora ready to wife you in this world.  Get out more, travel more.   But, one thing I tip my hat off to Black men is honesty.  Black men usually do not settle, they won’t just marry anybody.  If Black men are not ready to settle down and still want to play the field, they won’t marry.  If this is not the woman they want to spend the rest of their life with, they won’t wife her….”


The above is a quote from a black woman in denial. This is a woman who could not accept the reality of black men not marrying at anywhere near the rate of other ethnic groups of men. This is someone who cannot face the fact that stringing a woman along is not an admirable trait; it is the trait of a manipulative user. This is a person who has deluded herself into feeling admiration for black men at the expense of her self-respect as a black woman. She named herself after a man’s private parts in hopes this would adequately convey her love and loyalty to the black men who were lurking.

Such black women are common, no matter how much it may pain you to admit it or accept it. Because some black women are just not mentally ready to view black men as less than gods. To admit that a black man is fallible, even for obvious wrongdoing, is to show hatred or disloyalty.

I have admitted in the past to following Kpop and there is a hilarious meme that goes “Oppa didn’t mean it!” This meme mocks Kpop fangirls who try and rationalize away undesirable behaviors in their particular idol because they cannot deal with the possibility that he/she has done something wrong. They’ll say he didn’t mean it or it was some sort of mistake. That everyone is being unfair to “oppa”.

The sort of blind loyalty I’ve seen in teenage Kpop fangirls is pretty much what I’ve seen in black women twisting themselves into pretzels to rationalize and defend trifling, dysfunctional, and hateful behavior.

Black women who cannot accept uncomfortable truths about the black community and particularly black men’s unacceptable treatment of us as a group are in denial.



Stage Two: The Angry Black Woman


The ABW is a caricature meant to control and manipulate how a black woman feels. Meanwhile, the anger stage of black woman grief represents the emotional state of a particular black woman attempting to deal with her experiences as it relates to the GAT-DL.

Anger is a very powerful and forceful emotion. A lot of black women who are coming to terms with the indoctrination, disrespect, cruelty, and just pain associated with black social structures feel a great deal of anger, even hate. They are angry that they allowed themselves to believe so many lies for so long. They are angry at the people who hurt them rather than stand up for them (despite all the “we are all black, and we gotta stick together” talk). And they are especially angry that now that they realize what happened and are in a place that they can escape, the manipulators are trying to force them back into a state of pacificity or lie to their faces about experienced wrongdoing.

You can compare it to this scene in, “The Color Purple”.


I don’t tone police black women at this stage because that’s not going to help them move on. The only way an angry black woman (again, not to become confused with an ABW) can exit this stage is to let go of her anger. Some women never do, and eventually it consumes them. Because not everyone exits whatever stage they find themselves in.



So, what stage do you honestly feel you are at when it comes to the GAT-DL/Black Community? Do you feel you will reach or have reached the “acceptance” stage?


Coming Up In Part Two: Bargaining And Depression



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