To my black queens, I love all of you. You inspire me to be better, do better, and to always aim higher. The amount of support I receive from my black queens is uplifting. I know that I can always count on them for words of encouragement and a smile. I have surrounded myself with hardworking black women and have many role models to look up too. Growing up as a black female has taught me a lot about how to take in knowledge from the school system, as well as at work, and in relationships. I’ve had to endure strength at times when I have felt extremely weak. I’ve had to fight for what I believed was right. I have also been able to always love the skin I am in. I had noticed that at a young age black women were often times overlooked; especially my darker skinned sisters and I am not sure why to be honest. I was always confident and proud of my skin so it didn’t occur to me when all the boys wanted the lighter skinned, white, and brown girls. It didn’t occur to me that I was overlooked because of my skin colour. I see beauty in all of my melanin queens; our different shades and cultural backgrounds have taught us and society, about the delicate work of art that is a black woman. When I asked my black sisters what it meant to them to be a black woman in today’s society the responses brought me to tears. My sisters are so confident, bold, strong, loving, caring, forgiving, and magical. They lift you up when you’re down. They give you words of encouragement when you falter. They listen when they’ve had enough. They forgive when they don’t have too and give second chances when they aren’t deserved. To be a black woman is to be confident enough to do as your heart desires. Yes, we seek advice, but we always go with what we feel is important. I love that! Heres what my melanin popping, magical, beautiful, intelligent sister had to say!

I am a woman.. I am a black woman.. but don’t ever get it twisted, I am not nor will I ever be defined solely based on the colour of my skin.. I’m more than that.. For me being a black woman in society today means being strong.. proving the stereotypes and the statistics wrong, finding ways to break free from the views and beliefs of others but also not dwelling on them… growing up watching shows and movies and watching how the world is you tend to get a view of what being black but also about what being a black woman means.. For me though I always felt different and I say different because according to “society” I’ve never really fit the “mold” of a ” typical black girl”.. I played lacrosse all through high school, played the clarinet for 5 years and did all the things considered “not black”.. I would always hear “you’re white washed” or “you don’t act like you’re black” or “your names really ghetto so I’m surprised you’re not” or my favourite was “you know, you’re actually not loud or ghetto at all”.. Having a boyfriend that’s white doesn’t really help my case much either because with that I usually hear or read stuff like  “you couldn’t find yourself a nice black man” or “you don’t love yourself” or whatever else.. nevertheless it never phased me and still doesn’t.. I am NOT and WILL NOT ever be defined by someone else’s views of me.. I dress how I want, I act how I want and do what I want and will continue to do so.. Independent, strong, loving, determined, persistent, proud.. My blackness is my glory, my beauty and my pride and I am blessed to be who I am.. that’s what being a black woman is all about.

As much as I love being a back woman, I don’t identify myself as only being black. It’s just one of my many aspects.

As a black professional woman, I feel that though we’ve come a long way in terms of equality, employment, and  financial situation. So often on a daily basis we’ve taken many steps backwards. Or get pushed back because of race, though we may feel comfortable in our skin society has a way of making you feel flawed. The end result is to never falter, keep believing in yourself, and always hold your head up high. Sophisticated professional black woman that’s me!!

It is hard to put an understanding of yourself into several hundred words when every day, every hour, every minute, every second  and every interaction engages and changes you in some way. With or without notice we are always in the process of changing. And with that being black, a woman and ultimately (as posed in the question) a black woman has been and continues to be a process of learning and unlearning. It is full of love, beauty, hate, dislike, hurt, pain, vulnerability, fear, faith, hope, passion, drive, loneliness, struggles, understanding, friendship, family, relationships, forgiveness, selflessness, experiences, laughter, happiness, joy. I am whole because of my fractions. 

Being a black woman takes an active attempt in learning who you are. And I don’t mean in the literal, philosophical sense. I mean learning through your experiences. The thing is no one knows you better than you, and no one does you better than you. It takes strength, courage knowledge, understanding and a willingness to grow. Being a black woman means accepting rejection, being fearless and being vulnerable. Being a black woman is timeless. Its deep-rooted. Its beautiful. Its unity with others and the earth. Being a black woman embodies all your beliefs, morals, values, and experiences and challenges you to define, love and understand who you are. Being a black woman is a never-ending cycle of learning and unlearning, self-love and self-praise. You must first be a student in order to be a teacher. 

I recognize that I am a black woman and I wholly identify as such. I am human. I suffer and feel great joy in the same way that each and every other being on this earth experiences sadness, joy and happiness. Not in the same way of course, but we all feel something in our own way.  My presence and greatness does not take away from the presence and greatness of others nor does the light  of someone else take away from mine. Being a black woman asks us to look beyond ourselves at times in order to improve our understanding of the self and of others. Being a black woman means so much more than these words will ever inscribe. It is an acceptance of the self and an understanding of the other in relation to the self. There is very little room to know who you are if you don’t take the time to truly make an effort to understand others. Not because you have but because you should. Seek acceptance for others in the same way you seek acceptance for yourself.

Being black in today’s society definitely has its challenges. I feel like I have to try my best to excel in a world whose system is designed to work against me. I’ve experienced workplace racism, I’ve been judged and misunderstood and I’ve had to work ten times harder than another race and still my efforts were unnoticed. It’s a constant struggle. Now that I am mother of two young children, life has presented a whole new set of challenges for me. I’m always going to be overprotective because I know what it feels like to be treated unfairly based on my skin colour.  A six-year-old black child was put in handcuffs for “acting violently” at school. Even though this child had no weapons on her, the authorities thought that handcuffed her hands and feet was the appropriate thing to do. It’s sad and devastating to know that these are the realities of being black. It doesn’t matter what gender or how old you are. I’m going to explain this to my children one day and have to teach them about the stereotypes in today’s society and how to overcome them. I just want my children to always love themselves despite what others think.

What does it mean to be a black woman in today’s society.

I am not sure… It means that I have to work that much harder to obtain success career wise, I have to fight not to be the stereotypical black woman. Single mother, loud, working so hard to make ends meet that I don’t have time to see their games or come to their show.  It means I need to work hard at educating my kids so that they know we (black people) are capable of great things and not to settle for mediocrity, which is what the white people think we are capable of.  It means I got to teach them how to recognize racism without falling prey to it. Thinking about people and working hard to treat them the way you want them to treat you without succumbing  to what they  feel about you. It was staying g true to the culture.. but what does that mean lol… Ahhhhhhhjjhhhhhhh the ramblings of a black woman.

To be a black woman in today’s society means everything! We as black women promote strength and independence simply by existing. Their stature is strong like oak wood, deep rooted within the soils of history. Their courage is attained through power and ambition. Literal images of some of the bravest black women like Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman, remind us that backing down is never an option. It means that when we put our focus on building up ourselves and our communities we are able to reach for the galaxy, because we are already made out of stars…and as a black women in today’s society, I am a star that exists as everything! 

What it means to be a black woman to me… being a black woman and coming from where I came from I take pride in raising my kids to be strong, independent, successful, people not to take value in materialistic things of this world. To value people over material things. To love people to treat others how they you want to be treated. Being a black woman means I am empowering a whole other generation to be GREAT!