Why is it so hard to be a Black woman?

It’s a dreary Sunday. I’m listening to my “In My Feelings” playlist on repeat. It’s a thought that I’ve had often over the last week. Why is it so hard to be a Black woman? Why do I feel as if I have to work 10 times harder than non-POCs, even though I’m better than them? Why doesn’t anyone care about Black women?

Every day that I’m alive, I am constantly reminded that I’m different from everyone else. The more I live, the more I realize that it doesn’t matter how well off my family is, how qualified I am, or how many white friends I have… I’ll never have a fair chance.

As a Black woman, I have been overlooked for jobs because of being overqualified. I’ve seen jobs that I applied for be given to people with no experience. I’ve seen people get promoted faster than me, when I’m the one who taught them everything they know. I deal with this every single day. Then, I have to come home and raise Black children. Children who are afraid of being approached by a police officer, because they are afraid that they will be killed.

As a Black woman, I’ve seen my people get disrespected by law enforcement more times than I’d like to admit. I’ve watched multiple times as their lifeless bodies are left on display in the streets. I’ve spent many nights wondering why no one cares about the thousands of missing Black girls in this country, but can find the body and killer of a white woman [and present a bill in her name] within 48 hours. The only thought that comes to mind is why is no one bothering to protect us? Black women are constantly on the forefront of standing up for our people, but no one stands up for us.

I’m tired. It’s sad that Malcolm X’s words still ring true decades later.

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.

– Malcolm X

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10 comments

  1. Girl don’t even get me started on this! I related to this post so so much! You just don’t know. I a black woman just found out I was hired on at my company Junior level when i have had multiple experience working at design jobs and freelancing, but a person no color was hired on mid level with no experience working at design jobs at all only a few freelance projects. Baby, when i tell you was pissed/hurt i couldn’t wrap my mind around it. And when i turned to family and friends for advice, the only response was “that’s the world we live in” that’s how it is. Smh so disappointing. since we are women we have to worker harder since we are black women we have to work as twice as hard. It’s so sad. I am SO happy i stumbled upon your blog. You just don’t know, i was feeling like i was the only one going through this. bookmarking your blog now 🙂 im sitting at work and i just had HAD to respond to this.

    1. It’s so hard out here in these streets! It makes me so happy to know that I’m not alone, in my feelings. I am so tired of hearing that statement, “This is the world that we live in.” Shouldn’t we be teaching each other to want more out of life? To not accept the scraps that are being given to us?

  2. Right on time. Prior to my trip to California, I was telling a colleague of mine that I’m having my troubles in my black woman experience. The DARK skin women experience. Has me over the edge. To confirm this reality, I was denied a job because I walked into the interview and they didn’t expect to see a “black” Amanda. I’m trying to pick myself up but what I’ve learned is that one day, this shall pass. I have to be strong in my faith and who I am as a black woman first. You’ll be alright girl, we here.

    1. Amanda, I can relate. I can’t tell you how many times I walked into a job interview and when they seen I was a black woman, you should have seen their faces. They looked so confused, i’ve also heard stories of it happening to my friends too.

    2. Amanda, we are ALL here, and I refuse to leave. And yes, that DARK skin woman experience is something serious. It’s frustrating to see colorism has affected and separated us as a people.

      There are so many times that I walk into interviews and you can just feel how uncomfortable they are. We will find our place, though. One thing that I always say, is that I respect people more when they show their true colors upfront.

  3. I TRULY understand this… and as much as I hate to say it, sometimes I feel like our own community don’t even protect us. We are horribly stereotyped and very often left out of conversations we should be included in. I’m tired, too.

    1. This is so true! Black women are not protected by the Black community. It feels like a lot of Black men hate us, and other Black women are threatened by us.

  4. When I’m not anemic, people mistake me for Latinx or just “someone who should go back to their own country”, which is unfortunate irony because I’m 1/16-1/24 indigenous. It’s not until 2012 that my anemia/anorexia resulted in this pigmentation thing (my skin turned yellow, and then translucent…) that I began to experience white-passing privilege.

    It really weirds me out, and I don’t always know where I fit in, but on some levels I relate to you. If not on the color/race level, I emphasize with not being taken seriously in interviews. My baby face makes people not take me as seriously, so regardless of how qualified I am, it’s like…I won’t get the job because I look too young (or, like, I stim too much as an autistic, etc.).

    I hope things get better for you! I enjoyed reading this post, as I seldom see many posts discussing so personally the perspective of a black person living in this world.

    1. Jane,

      It’s so good to meet someone who can admit that white privilege exists. There are so many of us that are born into these ways of life and it just seems normal. For me, I grew up in a little town full of Christians. My normal was having sex before marriage is wrong. Being gay is wrong. I should try my hardest to avoid natural hair, slang, and anything else that would make me “too Black”. It wasn’t until I moved away, that I realized that I was in a bubble.

      In regards to you not being taken seriously in interviews. I have found that so many people do not understand autism. There are also so many people who attribute looking young with being immature. I just wish companies would hire more people that could truly leave their bias at the door.

  5. As a Black man, there is some shared experience, but I will let you ladies have your spotlight. The subject is your experience, not mine. I mostly just wanted to say that I see y’all. Maybe this can be the start of a larger network. It’s important for you guys to build the support you need. Only other professional Black women can completely understand what other professional Black women are going through. Private Slack group? Telegram?

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