Let’s face it…..the idea or the perception out in the world about black women is clear. We are Strong, mouthy, angry, and loud. We are difficult to get along with and many Black men have turned their backs on us as their choices for a girlfriend or wife. Do I AGREE with that notion of us? HELL NO!!
It’s shallow to assume any type of woman is easily categorized with the same attributes. Other than the majority of us being discriminated against because of the color of our skin, we are very different. CAN I be loud? Yes. AM I LOUD 24/7? No. CAN I be angry? Yes. AM I ANGRY 24/7? No. You see where I’m going with this. Any woman can be angry, loud, mouthy as well as difficult but somehow we’ve been labeled with these negative qualities. As if Black women don’t have enough to deal with!
It’s almost like being caught between a rock and a hard place. Perfect example:
Quite a few years ago, me and two girlfriends were out having dinner in a popular restaurant in New Orleans. I was in school and waiting tables at the time so I knew how a waitress was supposed to treat us. I was also aware that a table full of black women was labeled a ‘cold’ table.
That just meant we don’t tip. Yea, that pissed me off when I first heard it as well. You’d be surprised how many restaurant workers believe that shit.
The waitress was awful! I mean awful! She forgot about us, never refilled our glasses without us tracking her down and she wasn’t friendly. On the other hand, she couldn’t give enough attention to a white guy sitting a couple of tables down from us so she wasn’t too busy to serve us. She just didn’t care to serve us! I was livid.
My girlfriends wanted to leave nothing as a tip to show her how bad she was, but that’s where the rock and a hard place comes in. She would assume it was our ignorance for the bad tip and not her actual service. What did I do? I wrote down on a napkin all the things she did wrong and what she was supposed to do and left a friggin penny. I also found the manager and explained what I did and why so he could also know. Man, I felt so good after that!
That was an ideal example but doesn’t happen that often. In the real world of work people are much more subtle with their treatment of black women and if you call them on it they are quick to assume you are sensitive, explosive, angry, and not a team player. Oh yea…..that shit is real. So when you add Natural hair to the mix…are we asking for MORE negativity? Me getting angry at a valid issue any different with permed hair then with Natural hair? If so, how would I truly know? Like I said…it can be subtle.
The couple of times I have worn my natural hair straight to work a co-worker made a point to comment on how wonderful my hair looked. She even went so far as to say it was more ‘professional’. WTF??? Yea, she said that with a straight face. Yes, that person is in a supervisory position.
So, I pose this question to you Naturals. Does Natural hair intimidate some people? Do you think it makes them uncomfortable? I”d love your take on this since this has been rattling in my brain for a while now. Does my lack to assimilate offend or scare some people? What do you think?
It’s only a question so don’t feel like you gotta take up for anybody. I’m just seriously curious if I’m the only one wondering.
Happy thinking Naturals,
Originally posted in 2011