The Angry Black Woman

1318 WordsNov 25, 20126 Pages
I am deeply interested in why Black women are received and portrayed as both “angry” and “strong” Black Women. It may seem inexplicable that a respected black woman educator would stamp her foot, jab her finger in someone’s face and scream while trying to make a point on national television, thereby reconfirming the notation that black women are irrationally angry. When confronted about race and gender, as a black woman I stand in a crooked room. I have to figure out which way is up. Bombarded with warping images of humanity, I sometimes tilt and bend to fit the distortion. From the single mother who complains about child support to the first lady of the United States, it seems like Black women of all ages and classes have been…show more content…
When black women respond to racism they are responding with anger; the anger of exclusion, of unquestioned privilege of racial distortions, of silence ill-use, stereotyping, defensiveness, misnaming, and of betrayal. Black women may have a well-stocked arsenal of anger potentially useful against those oppressions, personal and institutional, which brought that anger into being. Focused with precision it can become a powerful source of energy serving progress and change. —Audre Lorde, "The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism" (1981). The emotion which accompanies the first steps toward liberation is, for most women, anger. Through the exercise strength may be gained. As a black woman I envisioned a new America in the 1990’s, anger may have been a vital political tool. I was provided new perspectives, new understandings of oppressive conditions that had previously remained unquestioned. I was introduced to my anger through relationships, through individual and collective political consciousness; because the angry black women had been theorized. Attention seemed to have been drawn to the anger of black women; it exposed knowledge that had been buried and speech that had been silenced. Anger was a link to previous suppressed histories, and a revolutionary coalition. I couldn't believe—still can't—how angry I can become, from deep down and way back, it sometimes
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