The Black women in America is said to be a lot of things. Whether its angry, superhuman, emotional, rebellious, and so forth. However just recently, in this weird era of today, we can add protected to that list. Webster dictionary defines protection as an action to cover or shield from exposure, injury, damage, or destruction. Within the media prior to COVID-19, Black women were ridiculed for the way they speak to their choice of clothing. Yet as we battle a pandemic, we also battle a world plague of racism.
This timeless historical issue has somehow transpired into false protection. For example, Breonna Taylor a Black woman who was fatally shot six times by police while sleeping in her home. After her murder, protest fused the United States, and platforms spoke up. Taylor has received magazine covers, a law, world empathy yet no significant amount of justice. It’s even said to say that the Louisville police department strategically utilized the reputation and collected negative information after the shooting in hopes to defend their actions.
Moreover, countless amounts of times Black women have had to protect one another. The Say Her Name campaign is a testimony to this. This campaign was founded by Black women to bring awareness to those Black women in America harmed from racist police brutality. Too often these same women are the masterminds behind protests–consistently on the frontlines. These are the same women who dedicate time to stand for what they believe, but still had to return home to mother their children, and work their jobs. However, the world sees Black Women as superhuman and forget, we hurt too. As Megan Thee Stallion stated in a powerful video by The New York Times, being a Black woman means, “not being able to express her traumas because she can’t show no weakness.”
Since slavery, Black women have been prescribed a code of silence. Patricia Broussard in her FAMU spring 2013 publication labels this as the post-slavery silence syndrome. In short, this syndrome was when a slave owner would mentally, physically, and sexually abuse a slave even to the point where they would carry their child. However, these women had no one to tell, no abortion to receive. While even after slavery as everyone came out with their novels and short stories; Black women were threatened to be lynched or burned alive if they “snitched”.
In return for pain, Black women get fabricated news and twitter debates on #Blacklivesmatter. However, the reality is those same Black men that are dying, they are our sons, brothers, and husbands. And as we stand up to fight for them and protect them we’re dying at the same cost. Black women experience some of the highest rates of homicide among all women ages 18 and over, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nevertheless, society does not need to explicate this false form of protection while Black women are already in defense. The world just needs to care.
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Edited 10/13 to Add video