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At the risk of sounding like another scorned black woman, I want to issue a cautionary tale to my beloved sisters.

Popular media outlets are filled with stories about the troubled relationship between African American men and women. As a result, African American women have become pigeonholed as a group of angry women.

Whenever I hear this phrase I  smirk because this is so far from the truth as I know it. In my experience black women are the backbone of the African American community. We offer the gift of laughter, praise, and strength. We offer so much strength in the face of adversity that this has without a doubt added to our stereotyping of the myth of the “Strong Black Woman”.

Heaven knows we have our weaknesses. One weakness is our everlasting support of black men.

We often support the dreams of African American men much to the neglect of our own. Of this I confess that I am guilty as sin whether it is trying to motivate my brother to realize his dreams or that of opportunistic men that have unfortunately crossed my path.

I can’t count the number of times that I have been ready at the quick to loan money to a “friend” or write a paper to help him get the degree that would eventually lead him to success.

Where has that gotten me? I am depressed and mad as hell.

I know that some of you readers-especially my sisters- will blame me for putting myself in these predicaments.

I just want to say that most black women-or most women for that matter- are blessed with a generous nature and giving spirit. We take pride and pleasure in helping our men to succeed. We feel that their success will be enough to sustain us.

This belief is unfortunate however. Once they attain some measure of success, you become expendable to them. When you are no longer necessary to them in achieving their goals, they are going to move on without a second thought.

Yes, I am speaking from experience. As each day goes by, I try to deal with my bitterness in a constructive manner. One victory for me is that I still believe that we should support our men but just not to the detriment of my own dreams.

Ladies, please realize that we can support our black men. However, we must support our dreams first and foremost. If we don’t give support to our dreams and aspirations- then who will?

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