On Tuesday we told you about Raheem’s new video for his single “Black Ice Cream”. The video is dope, but it speaks volumes because it’s a rare example of Black men riding for Black women and all that she is, in the mainstream. It seems like we don’t see enough of Black men celebrating Black women despite the fact that we’re always riding for Black men.
Take for example the Black Lives Matter movement, which has taken on a vibrant life of it’s own, challenging the unwarranted deaths of Black people (mostly Black men) and calling for a change in the value placed on Black Lives. At the forefront of the movement? Two Black women. Two Black women who ride hard for the protection of little Black boys and grown Black men who have been targeted and victimized by society.
See, Black women are expected to protect Black men because we birth them, we raise them, they’re a part of us; but somehow something was lost in translation for Black women. No one rides harder for Black men than Black women, but no one rides harder for Black women than Black women, and that’s a problem.
Black women should not have had to create #SayHerName just to get some support for the loss of their lives in a movement Black women created.
Society in general doesn’t really ride for Black women, but it’s disturbing to recognize Black men as our counterparts are often counted in that mass.
On top of everything else, there is an internal rape culture in Black society that contributes to Black men’s lack of support for Black women.
Damon Waynes made headlines recently with his comments regarding Bill Cosby’s rape victims on “The Breakfast Club” morning show. Among the barrage of sexist comments were gems such as, the women were really “un-rapeable”, that they essentially all wanted to sleep with him and when he got too old to perform, decided they could profit from everything by calling rape.
The problem with his statements are really a list that could cross the Brooklyn bridge twice, but what stands out is the underlying implication no one said anything before. Of course women said things, it was a known mumbling Cosby was a misogynist and handsy, but for at least Black women there is an unwritten rule on the wall that says protect Black men at all costs.
Just like Black society sacrificed Michel’le and Dee Barnes for the sake of uplifting Dr. Dre. America may have been built on the backs of Black people, but Black men are built on the backs of Black women. Black men are built on our sacrifices and our silence.
Yet as much as we would do for Black men we’re still told we’re not enough. Black men will claim to love us and then dissect our perceived faults for the world to see. Society will tell us to calm down because we’re angry, lose weight because the Black form is undesirable on the Black woman, and Black men will sit there and nod their heads right along with them.
There are the Black men who claim to love Black women, but really they love the socially designed Black woman. The woman with a non existent waist, 3a curly hair, bronzed skin, and hips and ass that wouldn’t fit in a standard airplane seat. They love the product.
Then Hotep Black men sit on the other side and spit respectability politics at you. Telling you that you need to “act like a queen to get a king”, when in their eyes being a queen means sit down, shut up, and conform to ‘how I like my Black woman.’
No matter how you spin it, there is a very clear inequality in the support Black men provide Black women compared to what Black women give Black men. That’s not to say there aren’t Black men who absolutely support, love, and uplift the Black woman just as she is, they’re just few and far in between. Black women have made it this far by supporting ourselves and encouraging each other and we will continue to grow.
We just wonder, why it seems Black men just don’t love us like we do?