When you look at successful black women like Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Ava DuVernay, all you think of are women who stood, fought, and conquered against all odds to be successful. They paved the way for the younger generation to repeat the cycle, I mean nothing could stop them especially not the colour of their skin.
Talking about racism is one thing, experiencing it is another, but it won’t change the fact that as Black women, we have our fair share of racism or in some cases colourism.
What is Racism?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as the belief that race is a fundamental determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.
For most Black women, racism sounds like
- being passed over in your dream job, role or career because you are a skin tone darker than your white competitors, OR
- not receiving your rightful benefits such as good and adequate healthcare, mortgage, and social equity because you are considered black, making you an inferior being.
For Black women, the struggle with racism has been quite burdensome but at the same time strengthening as we have to struggle to be seen, heard, celebrated but most of all accepted. What do you do when all odds are against you? When the whole world tries to put you down because you are a black woman trying to make a change in this world, just like Oprah, Ava, and Michelle or any other successful black woman you know, didn’t go without a fight and unwavering faith that no matter the obstacle. For these amazing black women, racial inequality doesn’t stop them from going after what they want.
Although the fight for racial equality has been on the rise since the traumatic killing of George Floyd, a Black man at the hands of a white police officer, since then Blacks all over the world have been fighting for what they term ‘freedom to Live’ which in all honesty is truly inspiring.
Still, the truth is how can this become the norm, when a certain race can’t tolerate your skin colour, associating it with slavery, suffering, inferiority, and instability as it’s widely depicted in numerous movies and TV shows? Despite all this societal stigma, Black women are expected to be strong and tolerant, but for how long?
Thankfully, a lot of conversations and efforts have been geared toward inclusion and diversity, a bold step in changing the disturbing narrative of racial inferiority. One such effort includes the casting of Actress and Musician Halle Bailey for the notable Disney role of Ariel in the anticipated upcoming live-action movie The Little Mermaid.
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It is the first time a Black woman and actress would portray the role, it was quite a remarkable moment when thousands of Black women and young girls were delighted to see a black actress portraying the role of Ariel when the first trailer recently debuted online, but of course, as expected it didn’t come without backlash as some racists folks weren’t too pleased about the casting, talk more of the trailer, even went as far as alternating Halle’s face, replacing it with a white woman.
🎶”Wish I could be part of that AI”🎶 pic.twitter.com/C1V8xogBgq
— Seraphim Rising (@OccupyWpg) September 12, 2022
Although Halle Bailey stood strong and is proud of the work she has done amidst the mundane backlash, it won’t erase the fact that racism is still prevalent and it affects black women a great deal. Dealing with it requires a formidable level of grace, strength and strong will to preserve, grace that is undaunted in the midst of trials.
Nowadays more black women are learning to embrace their blackness and identity no matter the culture, which is an inspiration to many forthcoming generations, these generations would realize and embrace the fact that no matter the weight of racism they encounter in their walks of life, our blackness is a source of strength, not weakness and never an obstacle to living our best life and securing our dreams.
We already love to see how proud the future generation is of their skin and how happy they are to see themselves represented everywhere they look. Check out this video from CNN to see what we mean
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Image Source: allure.com