Last Sunday my Facebook timeline began to fill with comments and images from the MTV music video awards show. I’m not a big fan of award shows and had no intentions of watching it, but a snippet of Nicki Minaj’s acceptance speech, along with comments from friends piqued my interest. I’m not a fan of the female rapper and don’t think shaking her ass and dancing provocatively with other women is something that she should be celebrated for, but I digress.
I allowed my curiosity to get the better of me and watched the video, in which right after thanking God for the award, Minaj decided to publicly address her social media “beef” with Miley Cyrus in a not so Christianly manner. Within in seconds, Minaj turned into the angry black woman that Miley Cyrus accused her of being in an interview, where she claimed that Minaj was not a very polite person. Instead of combating a stereotype that I have noticed is being displayed in the media more often and which I am sad to say is even encouraged and applauded by my peers, Minaj seems to enjoy playing the role all to well.
We have gone from being phenomenal women, to bad bitches. We have adopted this mean girl mentality, which goes against the very essence of who we are as women. Minaj’s crude words and harsh demeanor made me cringe as she continued to perpetuate this image of negativity that has been assigned to my fellow sisters.
Now, please don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that black women don’t have the right to get angry, especially when someone attacks our character. However, the way that we react says more about us than our attacker. Minaj could have easily taken the high road but instead she played the part that the media and society has designated for black women who publicly display any emotion other than happiness. And Minaj is only a small part of the problem. For instance, the women of the popular reality television shows such as Housewives of Atlanta and Love and Hip Hop, where grown women try to find new ways to tear one another down on a weekly basis, also adds fuel to the fire. Yet black women, tune in every week in support of this nonsense, and saids it’s just entertainment. But is it really?
Are we not our sisters keeper? The women on the shows share real life experiences with viewers, as though people around the world are not watching and learning from the ratchetness and assuming that this is how ALL black women act. We say things like, this doesn’t apply to me, yet allow that negativity into our mind and hearts and wonder why it begins to manifest in our daily lives. The viewers then turn around and discuss the women’s pain on social media, as though this is normal. I can almost guarantee that you are shaking your head and saying these women make the decision to expose their imperfections so publicly but my response to that is, they wouldn’t agree to do the shows if they knew no one would watch them. Again, I ask, are we not our sisters keeper?
I can’t exactly pinpoint the day and time this shift from sisterhood, to each woman for themselves began. However, it is believed that the stereotypes that still plague us today of the black womann being aggressive, mean spirited and hypersexual, made their debut in minstrel shows around 1830. And in my opinion, Minaj enjoys allowing herself to be portrayed as all those things without any regard to how it impacts the world’s view of black women. Being in control of your body and sexuality should extend beyond using them to sell records. If you’re truly talented, you should want to be seen as more than just a bad bitch.
I recently watched another video entitled, “It Is Rumored We Were Soft,” that shows images of black women set to a poem about how graceful and respectable we once were. As well as how hard we’ve allowed ourselves to become over time after fighting against social injustices and our rights to be treated like human beings for hundreds of years. We had the black power and civil rights movements to promote unity and restore what was stolen from us. But over the past few decades, something has seemed to have broken within us. We’ve forgotten how to let go of things or maybe we never learned how to let go, but only to endure our past hurts. EThat pain we’ve passed down from generation to generation has finally began to take its toll. We no longer know how to nurture and care for one another like we did in the past, and I for one am determined to put an end to that generational curse.
In the second part series of this series, I will share my most recent experience with members of the Angry Black Woman Coalition and how I handled the situation. I am my sisters keeper and I am here to show you that there is a better way to deal with lifes injustices, heartbreaks and disappointments. That you do not have to allow anger and bitterness to consume you.
It is my goal as a woman and a writer, to help women return to the essence of who God created us to be and not who man says that we are. It is time to put an end to the miseducation of the angry black woman and remind the world why black girls rock.
As always, this is from my heart to yours,