Written by Nomsa Motale
Beautiful, bold, she knows how to carry the world on her shoulders. She walks without hesitation, mending everything that is broken. This woman has fought invisible battles and smiles at the world, whilst her scars are still healing. Even when everything inside of her wants to crumble, she holds herself together because she needs to remain “strong”.
We have seen our mothers, grandmothers hold up an entire family without complaining. We have seen them create magic out of nothing, we have seen how these women have caught the tears of so many, but I often wonder who catches their tears when they feel like drowning?
I have heard people often describe black women as strong people. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with being associated with strength. But there is something wrong when thats the only thing the world expects you to be. When they expect you to keep quiet, crumble inside and be strong!
I always wonder why black women are always expected to be strong. When they face abuse, rape, injustice, they somehow expected to be “strong”. It’s as though if a black woman is not strong, then there is something wrong. Society has placed this word on most black women and I must say it’s a heavy thing.
Having to live up to expectations of always being strong is exactly what has created some problems. When a woman enters into a marriage, she is taught to be strong and no matter what her husband does she should stand and be strong. When a young woman is raped, she thinks its her responsibility to appear strong. When a woman is abused, she covers her bruises with make-up, and acts strong so nobody will see the turmoil that is going on.
For many years black women have dealt with so much and I guess because they never spoke up but focussed on their families and making sure everybody else is well taken care of, without her doing the same for herself. Being strong is something we have had to deal with because we learned how stuff our emotions into little bags. We stuff these bags until oneday they explode, when they explode we are seen as though we don’t have our lives together.
Can we stop expecting and thinking being “strong” is the only thing black women aspire to. We break, we crumble, we shed tears, we are in pain everyday, fighting all sorts of things, yet we are “strong”. This is the only thing we have held onto because we have seen it through others.
We are human. We are in a re-birth cycle everyday. We are not always strong. Can society stop thinking that they can mistreat black women and all we should do is remain quiet andd carry on being strong.
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