Black History Month is wrapping up and as a black person, let alone a black woman, there are a plethora of stereotypes that are made against us. Some of these stereotypes can be dated back to slavery and make it hard to just live in spaces like everyone else with how we’re treated.
With so many stereotypes, I’ve chosen and will be discussing 10 of those stereotypes while breaking down my thoughts on each one as well as debunking/giving reasons as to why these stereotypes are not true and should end.
1. Black Women Are Loud.
These are not in order, but if they were, black women being loud would still make it to the #1 spot. This stereotype is nothing new, yet still gets frustrating more and more each time it’s made. One thing that people love to do is go with the narrative that black women are loud. It’s so bad that when we’re the ones being pushed to our limits, we feel as if we can’t even react the way anyone else would because then that just makes the stereotype seem true despite the situation prior. Black women are not loud anymore than any other race or gender in this world. If a black woman naturally talks louder than you, it’s not because she’s black…it’s because that’s just the way she speaks. Some people have soft, quiet voices. Some people have voices that are louder and stronger. This statement has nothing to do with black women being loud and everything to do with the issue of black women simply existing and not staying silent.
2. Black Women Don’t Support Or Love Black Men.
Unfortunately, there are some stereotypes that come from within the black community itself and this is one of them. I’ve seen a lot of black men make statements that black women don’t support or date within our race. As a black woman who has only ever dated black men, I can absolutely tell you this is untrue and a very ignorant statement. This mostly comes from black men who can’t handle seeing when a black woman is dating outside of her race. The ironic thing about this stereotype is, when it’s made by the men who expect women to date and marry them, that immediately makes a black woman no longer desire them (them meaning the men making the statements and not black men as a whole). Black women not only love their black men, but continue to fight for them (including the ones who in turn end up not supporting us). Being with someone who’s not black doesn’t equal dislike of black men…it just means they connected with someone who isn’t black.
3. It’s A Black Woman’s Job To Take Care Of And Educate The World.
It’s absolutely and without a doubt not a black woman’s job to educate anyone about blackness or anything of the sort. It is also not our job to take care of everyone and coddle them as if we’re their mother. I believe that this stereotype originated from when household slaves had to take care of the white household, including being nannies for their children. We have always been looked at as the caretakers and nurturers, which is ironic if those same people who see us this way, also see us as loud. We are not here to educate the world or carry it on our backs. We are no one’s mother besides of the children that we birth and claim as our own.
4. Modern Black Women Are Ghetto.
This is a real comment that I’ve seen someone say word for word online by an older black man on a video that was maybe one to two minutes. It’s so sad that, not only a short video can have someone make such a comment, but that there are plenty others who believe this stereotype. Making the statement that black women are ghetto is not only wrong, but building into the stereotype that states how we are also violent and loud. It states that we “don’t know how to act” nor have the sense to know how all because of where we were raised…and furthermore…because we’re black women. Modern black women are not ghetto, but we are willing to open our mouths and speak up when being mistreated. We are also allowing ourselves to live and do what we want because we’re going to get judged anyway based on stereotypes that have existed since the beginning of time.
5. All Black Women Do Is Shake Our Asses.
This one kind of goes along with the last sentence in the previous statement. As black women, we are going to get judged no matter what we do…so why not live? If you want to stereotype a black woman because she’s having fun and shaking her ass, then that’s your problem and not ours. Black women were once put on display like animals because of our features (insert Sarah Baartman). So, if we enjoy and take pride enough in our features to be out in the open and have fun on our terms, then we will. Lastly, the same people who spread the stereotype that we always shake our asses, will probably never attempt to look up the history of twerking or any other form of dancing.
6. Black Women Are Angry And Bitter.
The “bitter black woman” stereotype. We know it…we hear it constantly…and we hate it. This, again, can tie in with the ghetto or loud stereotype. We are looked at as bitter and angry. This is the image that we are given. An image that is completely untrue. The second we step into our jobs, schools, stores, there is already a pre-judgment of what to expect. People are being racist towards us, we’re looked at as experiments and seen as lower than yet expected to smile and wave. The sweetest soul is instantly turned into a creature because of her skin. She’s expected to bow down to a Karen, otherwise, she’s the one who will be escorted out. This stereotype wasn’t created because all black women are just angry at the world (even though it gives us a lot of ammo to be that way), it was created because people have chosen to fear and misunderstand us.
7. Black Women Have Bad/Nappy Hair.
This stereotype has caused insecurities for black women dated all the way back to just being little black girls. I remember specifically being in middle school and having kids tell me that I had white people’s hair because it was long and was kept straight. The sad part is…I would get annoyed because I wished that I did have their hair. This has caused many to have their hair permed, not out of pure preference, but because the thought of their curls being beautiful enough to be shown and taken care of was simply a dream. Black women’s curls are extremely beautiful in any form. There is no such thing as “bad hair”. Our afros and curls are not nappy or unkempt. They are beautiful the way they are and should be accepted and respected.
8. Black Women Can’t Grow Their Hair.
This is another one that’s been embedded in the minds of little black girls since the beginning of time. People think that we can’t grow our hair or assume if our hair is long then it must be a weave or considered “white people’s hair” as stated previously. Jokes have even been made within the black community. This stereotype matches perfectly with the one previously because, the reason why hair might not have grown for some the way that it could’ve wasn’t that we can’t grow our hair, it was from the damage of our hair being turned into something it’s not. It’s proven more and more as we have become women who take care of our own hair that, if we want to grow our hair…we can and we will.
9. All Black Women Have Big Features (Butts, Lips, Noses, Etc).
As beautiful as the features black people have, it should not be stereotyped that black women all have the same features…because we’re black. Not all black women have big lips, butts, or anything of that nature. Also, just because a woman doesn’t have some of those features, or even any of them, it doesn’t make them any less beautiful. Furthermore, the fetishizing of those features needs to stop as well. Our bodies are not to be fetishized as if we’re not human beings. We are beautiful black women who are human and deserve respect.
10. Black Women Are/Come Off As Masculine.
Lastly, this goes along with the group where people are stereotyping us with different narratives about our personalities. Us being seen as masculine goes along with how people think we’re loud, aggressive, angry…etc. Isn’t it amazing how all of those factors still coexist with the stereotype that we’re supposed to nurture the world!? Black women don’t come off as masculine because we look masculine, sound masculine, or have “masculine” personalities. We come off as masculine to those who only choose to see us as such through the racist, stereotyping lenses that those people choose to wear.
These stereotypes are not only annoying to deal with as a black woman, but they’re harmful and can impact how one goes through life. As a black woman, I hope to continue to uplift other black women who may have become a victim of these stereotypes. We are beautiful and intelligent women who deserve to be treated as such.
Are there any stereotypes about black women that you’ve heard or fallen victim to? I’d love for you to share it in the comments! What do you think about the ones that I’ve shared?