In Part I we touched on the men whose lives were violently taken.
Today we’re going to explore the women who have also been abused, mistreated, and in some cases, much worse.
By now many of you know the name and story of Sandra Bland.
What we aren’t hearing so much of, is how her story seems to be repeating itself in prisons, and other institutional facilities across the country.
These are the lesser known stories, and why are we not hearing about them? Well, picking apart that question can create many theories. One may find those theories all lead back to a single assumption.
The black woman is one of the most disrespected women in our country.
This is a phrase I’ve heard kicked around lately. Some of you may beg to differ. I invite you to share your thoughts in the comments, so long as you keep things respectful both to the site and to each other.
What I’d like to delve more into is the why and how do we fix this as a nation?
In kindergarden, I was not a sociable child. I was very damaged, having just lost my father. I wasn’t friendly and everyone was unspeakably cruel to me for it. The only person that was kind and brave enough to approach me was a beautiful little girl with giant pink bows and braids, whose skin just so happened to be a dark chocolate brown.
“They tease me too, ya know. But I don’t let it get to me. I know there’s still nice people out there.”
I hugged her.
She knew I was hurting and she sensed it on me. Her friendship was like a warm blanket after being left in the cold.
She told me stories of how they made fun of her hair, called her horrible names, and sometimes even threw things at her.
Even though we went to a diverse school, it didn’t matter. She still got picked on for being the darker-skinned girl.
Her story from back then breaks my heart to this day. (But I’ll have you know that beautiful little girl grew on to be an award-winning gymnast, graduating at the top of her class.)
Why is it that we as humans feel the need to categorize and label so much? Even those of us that don’t do it much are still guilty of it some of the time. If we’re all humans, then what is the need?
My fear is its something deeply-rooted in the blood that’s been spilled in this country, and many others. The blood that later, nations were built on top of.
I’m not sure where or how or why the first racist(s) began. Too much has been buried, written over, and smudged out.
We need to help end this kind of irrational fear and prejudice right now. If we sit idly by and pretend everything is dandy, there will be more women like Sandra Bland.
The black women I grew up knowing we’re not the horrible stereotypes you see portrayed on television. They were strong, nurturing, caring, powerful women that I admire.
One of those women took me in and tried to legally adopt me when she found out I was being beaten mercilessly at home. (Long story for another day.)
Another is a well-known musician that is part of this site’s success story. She still reads here to this day.
One is a grandmother. Someone who I consider family. She has been a mother figure to me since my own passed.
I could keep going.
Now do any of these sound like an “angry black woman” or “ghetto bird” to you?! Or any of the other disgusting terms I’ve seen thrown around so lightly on the internet recently?
I didn’t think so.
Now, can we start uplifting these women instead?