This week while scrolling through Facebook I landed on an article from Ebony Magazine, titled “The Pressure of Being a “Strong Black Woman” Often Leads to Depression.
My visceral reaction was FINALLY.
Finally, the world is starting to recognize that the idea that black woman can and should endure ANYTHING and keep pushing is asinine.
We’re expected to turn the cheek to sexism, racism, struggling through motherhood, horrible relationships, toxic work environments…
All without batting an eye. Because, after all, we are “Strong Black Women.”
Anyone else who goes through as much is, strong, yes. But they are encouraged and allowed the space to work through their trauma.
And now, we are TAKING THE SPACE to do that for ourselves.
You can get therapy and have religion.
You can leave that work environment, that relationship.
You can take that vacation all by yourself and leave the kids home.
You can call out racism, demand to be paid the same as Chad.
You can forgive but not forget and protect yourself from their issue.
I’ll never forget while being in labor with my son and feeling like something was wrong, all while the nurse kept telling me everything was just fine and I was “So Strong.”
That scared the hell out of me. Black women die while giving birth all the time because people don’t listen to us, and they have bought into the lie that we (black people) have high pain tolerance.
Being strong doesn’t mean that you have to ignore signs of trauma. It doesn’t mean you have to keep putting yourself last.
Being strong is doing what’s best for you. Every single time.