Back in 2018 one thing became a well known fact: black women’s cries for help are ignored. Just days into 2019, we are still finding this fact to be true. With the craze of Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly, this realization is once again brought to the forefront. A Rolling Stone interview with Chance the Rapper recanting his support of the R&B superstar has everyone in a frenzy yet again.
The Grammy Award-winning rapper said, “Maybe I didn’t care because I didn’t value the accusers’ stories because they were black women.” So many people on Twitter are acting surprised, but this is something we’ve known for ages. Black women’s outrage is hardly ever taken seriously. We are often seen as dramatic, loud, and too strong. We carry so much at times that when we ask for help it is often overlooked or quickly brushed off. Black women are superheroes and only allowed to fill one space. We can’t be vulnerable and strong or angry and happy. It’s one or the other, so when we show the smallest amount of human qualities people don’t know how to react.
All a white woman has to do is scream rape and black athletes are stripped of their scholarships or fired from their jobs. We don’t get the space and opportunities to do the same and end up with the same results. When a black woman gets the strength to come out about some sort of discomfort people look at her sideways. It’s been the same tune since Emmett Till. Look at the #MeToo movement that was started by Tarana Burke, a black woman. That campaign gained more coverage and validity when a white face became attached to it. Often times sistahs can’t even catch a break when they’re sick. Some doctors have admitted to not taking black women’s pain seriously when they come into hospitals. The whole thing is sad.
Chance’s comments just show how universal this way of thinking really is. It’s very heart breaking, especially when you realize that Chance has a young daughter. But is it his fault? Society has groomed him and so many others to write-off the discomfort of sistahs of color.
To all my sistahs out there who are survives of any type of abuse, don’t let ANYTHING silence your voice. It can be very discouraging to know that if we make any type of a peep that we will get side-eyes, but I encourage you not to let it silence you. Speak your truth. Eventually our stories will be held to the same standard as our counterparts. For everyone else, the next time a black woman shares her truth, before you write her off, think of how you would feel if it was your sister, daughter, or mother making the claim. Maybe then you’ll react differently.
By Jordan Danae, Northern Illinois Alumni
IG & Twitter: jordaniaa_