The Myth of the 'Angry Black Woman'

The Myth of the 'Angry Black Woman'

The Myth of the 'Angry Black Woman'

Angry Black Woman. You’d best believe, I’ve been called one before. Or as I overheard a classmate of mine say recently, “I don’t date black girls because they’re crazy. They’re always mad. Always yelling and fighting.” You see, when an opinionated black woman decides to voice her thoughts, society labels her as an “angry black woman”. Not only is this a ignorant comment, it’s rooted in sexism and racism that has been perpetuated for decades.

It’s origins lie in the 1930’s radio Amos ‘n Andy and flourished through the 1900’s, hand in hand with negative stereotypes of the black woman such as the Mammy and Jezebel stereotypes. Relying on the nagging, sassy, and assertive stereotype, it’s been perpetuated as a defining trait of what it means to be a black women. The sassy sidekick. The divalicious girlfriend. The nagging wife. This goes deeper than just the sassy sidekick. It hits the nerve of the demeaning thought that black women are lesser beings. That our double minority status doubles down on oppression. That we deserve to be a side thought with sassy quips, and none of that is true. Black women are humans. Not sidekicks. Not angry. Not crazy.

But if I chose to be angry about the centuries long dehumanization and hypersexualization of black women, it shall not be invalidated by the idea that it is the only emotion that I posses the ability to convey. The color of my skin does not correlate to the content of my character nor does it reduce my emotion to a singular negative characteristic. The assertive tone I choose to have when communicating my  opinion should not define my community as a whole.     

The negative outlook on black women is frankly outdated in 2015. In an era of revitalized feminism, we are often left out of the conversation of equality. As women, we should be able to voice our concerns, thoughts, and opinions as equal humans. Not as after thoughts. Not as unimportant. Not as angry. But as intelligent individuals who deserve to have their narrative heard on the same platform as our white counterparts.


I am not angry. I am not crazy. I am not mad. I have a voice. I have an opinion. I have a perspective and I intend to use it to its full capabilities. Speak up, raise your voice, and if they tell you to hush, speak louder and refuse to be silenced.


Brianna Powell is a sophomore at Metea Valley High School in wonderful world of Chicagoland. She is a writing enthusiast with a passion for the pen. She's also a features journalist for her school paper, The Stampede and a High School Ambassador for Her Campus. 


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