Lots of people didn’t like my previous blog post on race. Whatever….
Wow. I got a lot of “unsubscribes” after posting my previous article about the Black Woman and the challenges we have as wives, sisters, friends and other stuff. Oh well.
Race issues are uncomfortable for many people, so I understand. Not really, I’m just trying to sound nice and tolerant. Actually, I think lots of non-Black people (especially Christians) are often more comfortable with their perceptions of us than the realities of who we really are.
Anyway: this is part two of my series about how Black women likely are interpreted in the world (and maybe how they interpret the world themselves) and why.
Historically …I mean for generations, our men have been abused to “program” them to believe they were weak and useless beings.
As I mentioned in my podcast, this dates back to the slavery days. The slave master knew he had to keep the black man in a state of submission, insecurity and perpetual self-doubt, so he brainwashed him through mental and physical manipulation.
Only then, could he actually conquer him and master him. Never could he allow him the most primal of rights or dignities. An enslaved man couldn’t be the “father-figure” to his children. After all, they could be sold off at the “master’s” bidding. He could not ever be in true holy union with a wife. He could have nothing, be nothing, own nothing.
The trickle “forward” effect…
The result was irreparably broken families and nonexistent love relationships with black women during the slavery period.
For example, how could an enslaved man claim a wife to be his when at any time a white slave “master” could come degrade and violate her at any given time?
This abuse of someone he loved had to play a role in how he viewed his woman. I don’t see how it could not.
Think of it. Even though he loved her, I’ll bet he, in some ways, likewise hated her because she could never be completely his. Never.
Maybe, in an effort to guard his heart, he withdrew from her emotionally; he prevented himself from loving her totally. No, it was safer to keep her emotionally distant and maybe even physically. Or worse, maybe he saw her as a “thing” …a type of property as modeled by his “master”. Think of how the children viewed this dynamic. Do you think they mimicked it? Then passed their version of it to, yet, another generation?
This put the enslaved woman in a position of stark survival…having to press on…to hold things down” for her children, for herself and for her family…all alone.
She had to keep going.
She didn’t have the luxury of falling apart or giving in to the pain and shame of her life. She had to be resilient, even if it cost something invaluable…her vulnerability, innocence and optimism.
Even if it meant she’d teach her daughter the same type of survival.
Even if it means for generations people would label her angry, bitter or mean. When, in fact, she’s not “mean”, she’s wounded.
Anyway, I believe this emotional “weakness” is deep-rooted in our DNA as Black people. The remnants of it keep resurfacing, re-morphing and re-occurring.
We have work to do as women and as a culture.
It is our current reality, as African-Americans, to figure out how to become whole.
I think that’s why we have experienced generation after generation after generation of weakness and frailness…especially in areas of family and relationships.
It’s because our hearts are fragmented…many of us.
The role models we saw as children were broken…yet, we perpetuate their personas into future generations. We often become what we hate. It’s like Romans 7.
Some people, in their lack of compassion, say “Get over it! It happened millions of years ago!”
I feel like this statement is the worst kind of ignorance.
It’s like telling someone who’s leg has been in a cast for two months to simply “get over it and just start walking” in spite of muscular atrophy and weakened tissue.
Similarly, our history has emotionally and spiritually crippled us in ways from which [I think] we don’t know how to recover. Where do we start? The result of all this might very well be the slums, violence and abuse the news outlets love to portray.
It is all a symptom of being critically wounded…not being an angry Black Woman or a hopeless Black man. We have a hope. We have treatment for not only for the symptoms, but, also the disease.
It’s a reaction, not a diagnosis.
In summation, our spirits are wounded from our age-old injuries as well as dysfunctions which have been passed down for years and years.
This has made so many of us (especially women) hard-hearted, distrustful and bitter. Unfortunately, we teach the same to our girls.
Hope …We all have hope!!!!
But, all this isn’t our destiny.
Yet, it’s just a part of it. The pain of it made us resilient and beautifully strong beyond our wildest imagination. But it’s not our final point. No more than Rahab’s final point was a prostitute, Joseph’s a slave or Naomi’s as bitter.
Again, our past is only part of our past that likely formed some of the dysfunctions we must re-evaluate, re-define and recover from. We can do it. With God. All things are possible.
He can restore us and replace a once wounded and hardened heart with a heart of flesh.
Then, our hearts will be tender and we all can behave like our truest selves in Christ.
I have one final installment that I’ll post soon. I hope you’ll come back and check it out. Be sure to subscribe. Also, please comment! I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Oh yeah, we will see if I have any more unsubscribes before I post again. Hehehehe
I’m designing Christian t-shirts for women!!!!
As I wrote this blog post, I created this shirt.