By: Tonya Jackson
Sadly 2017 has become the year of taking foolishness to new heights and too often the street prophet has become the voice of reason. Talent, skill, and intellect are being replaced with alternatives that are the equivalent of sewage. This is the side of America that too many black people have always had to live and work with.
When Zora Neale Hurston stated, “De nigger woman is de mule uh de world so fur as Ah can see,” it seems she could see the past, present, and future at once. In the past education and hard work were encouraged as the successful path for blacks to gain respect and to show the fallacy of prejudice. The present is showing us this still rings false when you’re blessed with melanin skin. And unfortunately for women, when you are viewed as a beast of burden you are then only given the respect reserved for the best mules.
This wasn’t the last time sound and fury will be directed at a woman of color, but it should be. However, this is an opportunity to put those on notice who continue to demean us that we are not your mules, we are a force of nature. Some of what black women are is beauty, courage, creativity, kindness, intellect, grace, strength, and resilience. None of that stops because of the insults from the weak and petty.
When a black woman rises, she brings others with her. She uses her talent and intellect to create better environments despite the many obstacles she faces. Financial obstacles, such as statistics from 2016, which state the employed black woman is expected to turn 63¢ into a $1.00 don’t stop us. The obstacle of being prey as thousands of black children and adults go missing each year don’t stop us. The obstacles of food insecurity and poor living conditions in the land of plenty don’t stop us. We would go on, but you’re not listening. You’re still distracted by our hair.