I just finished another semester of grad school. My last professor was a Caribbean man. In my class there were five women. 2 Black (1 was me), 1 white and 2 Africans. Almost immediately I noticed his “preference” for the women from Africa. This didn’t bother me because I know I work hard and teachers always have favorites. But during class discussions and even presentations, I noticed his short and sometimes sarcastic remarks towards me and the other Black woman. With our online discussions he sometimes seemed surprised that my responses were as intelligent as they were. And that’s saying something because I really didn’t try that hard, so just imagine if I actually put work into it lol It bothered me, I was taking it personal. I thought it was an attack against me as a person. But my other classmate summed it up for me the last day of class. She said “It’s because we’re regular black, we’re from this country so we’re dumb to him”.
It all made sense.
“The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.”
This was spoken by Malcolm X in 1962. Sadly it is still relevant. For a while now when I hear white women discuss women’s issues I got the feeling we (black women) weren’t included in that protest.
And then I heard Patricia Arquette’s speech at the Oscars and got that same feeling. But only when I saw her interview backstage did I know for sure her speech wasn’t intended for women of color. “It’s time for all the women in America and all the men that love women, and all the gay people, and all the people of color that we’ve all fought for to fight for us now.”
Now I don’t think she meant any harm. She just wasn’t thinking about black women or lesbians for that matter either. But that’s just the problem! We are NEVER thought about or considered within this feminist movement.
The fact that she believes that WOC can just put their “little race problems” to the side and pick up the women’s equality issue is just sad. As a person of color AND woman, we are carrying double the load.
The struggle of the Black Woman in America just cannot be compared. Maybe I’m bias because I know this struggle first hand.