Are You BLACK Or Are You WOMAN First?
In 2018 I discovered the world of podcast. I know I am late to party but I am here now so that is all that matters lol I began my podcast journey by subscribing to some of the shows recommended in xonecole.com blog post “12 Podcast For Women Trying To Glow Up This Year.” Admittedly, I am still trying to work my way through the list but that is because I became stuck on Black Girl Podcast! Black Girl Podcast is a sisterhood of five Black Women who became friends while working at popular New York radio station Hot 97 and each have continued to pursue careers within the media industry. While providing very opinionated perspectives on varying life topics these five Women will make you laugh, cry, think, motivate and inspire. If your experience listening is anything like mine then you will be hooked by the first episode and will not stop listening until you have reached the last episode. True story! I really did binge listen to every episode and loved every bit of it! I strongly recommend subscribing to the podcast!!
During the second half of episode 26, entitled “Grind,”cast member Scottie Beam proposes the question: Are you Black or are you Woman first? And the cast took turns delivering their response to the question. Hearing all the ladies speak about both their Blackness and Womanhood made me realize that I personally do not conceptualize the two entities as mutually exclusive but if I had to choose I would say that Womanhood comes first. In my mind, the essence of my being begins with the Womanhood inside my hips, reinforced by the oxygen that fuels my heart to beat and empowered by the intelligence of my soul. Therefore, my identity initially forms internally and then expands to my exterior.
When I was younger my Blackness was not a thing because I had friends from all different types of races, religion, cultures, etc. So in my mind proving that I was good enough for whatever was a challenge because because I am a Female, especially since I was a tomboy who hated wearing skirts and dresses but loved playing sports outside with my brothers. Then later in life the inequalities of race deepened the complexity of what I identify with as an individual. For instance, checking a box classifying my ethnicity was not a thing until late high school when I had to fill out paperwork for standardized testing. From the beginning Womanhood guarantees capabilities that others do not possess solely because they are not Woman. My first lesson of Womanhood began with puberty. As Queen Bey sings so accurately in her song “Who Runs The World,” “Strong enough to bare the children then get back to business!!” We as Women have an innate ability to nurture. As a Woman, when given a house I will transform it into a home. You give me a seed and I will produce life. WHAT IS MORE POWERFUL THAN THAT!?!?! My physical being literally creates and produces your existence!! All great men came from a Woman’s womb, let that sink for a minute before you continue to read……
Being Woman is a biological classification and being Black is a social identity given by society. But what I want you to remember by the end of this post is that being a BLACK WOMAN IS MAGICAL. Our biggest struggle is that we are a double minority. We are Black and we are Female. We are literally the bottom of the totem pole in American society. I remember when I was younger, my father gave me a speech about how powerful my intelligence is. He told me there are people in this world who will simply underestimate you as soon as you walk into a room for two reasons: because you are Black and because you are Female. And when it happens you give those people a reason to feel stupid about their prejudgments by showing them they cannot intimidate you because you embody the very thing that bothers them. I bring this up because statistically Black Women are the most educated demographic however we are the most disrespected and devalued. We are not protected the way “other” Woman are. See us Black Queens can only show you all what is real, unfortunately we cannot make you appreciate it though. And still in spite of this, Black Women are still dynamic creatures who transform struggle into resilience without even asking for a moment to process and cry if we need it. We have to be the motivators for our men, our children, for each other and ourselves. Can you imagine where you would be if all the Black Women in your life gave up on you!?!? Really think about it…. And the best thing of all about being a Black Woman is diversity. All our different shades, shapes and sizes make us abstract creations of art, embodying the essence of beauty.
Dear Black Woman, do not dim that beautiful light that is inside of your soul for anyone, ever!
Black Girl Podcast Social Media: @BlackGirlPod (IG & Twitter)
Scottie Beam @scottiebeam
Gia Peppers @giapeppers
Alysha P @alyshap