It’s True Though…


“For those who hashtag Black lives matter, particularly when an atrocity happens, certainly don’t champion for black women’s rights. When black men and boys get gunned down or are the victims of racial discrimination, profiling, or violence, black women are at the forefront. When black women die at the hands of abusive spouses, by suicide, by rape, untreated mental health issues, or gunfire, it gets reduced to “she should have known better,” “what a stupid bitch,” “what a whore,” “she should have obeyed the law,” and “she should have made better choices.” A bulk of this coming from the mouths of black men.

I’m not interested in those who hashtag all lives matter at every little turn, because clearly, they’ve never read a history book. And it’s quite clear with those who utter “My son could be an Alton Sterling” followed by “I’m not worried about about my daughter” perpetuate that men have more value than women and that boys have more value than girls. No, your daughter might not be an Alton Sterling, but she could be a Rekia Boyd, a Sandra Bland, or an Aiyana Stanley-Jones. Because she’s somebody. She has value.

As black women in this country if we wear perms we’re self hating; if we marry or date nonblack men we black hate men; if we’re selective about sexual partners we’re prudes; if we’re loud about grievances about black womanhood, we can’t be too loud; if our men die we’re obligated to wear bullet proof vests and be active with social injustices; and if we die, more black women will band together, because black women have been taught early on to be their sister’s keeper.

Sweeping the issues under the carpet and tripping over the dirt keeps the ball of confusion, rage, and conflict going. And reducing someone’s life to a tombstone for outstanding traffic tickets, for having fun, walking in a neighborhood, or existing at the wrong place and time, it’s not just society’s problem. News flash, we are society! We are the problem, so we’re responsible, too.”

—Arika Elizenberry


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