Once upon a time, I was an Angry Black Chick.
I know, some of you are saying “You’re an ABC right the fuck now”, but hold your horses, I’m telling this story.
I did a segment on a friend’s podcast where I affected a ‘ghetto accent’ and ranted about whatever was on my mind. It was fun back then.
I look back on it now and realized I was doing a weird version of Chill Black Girl, performing for my white friends. I’ve since dropped that, gained more friends, lost a few and am now at times Angry, at times Disappointed, at times Disgusted, and at time Mocking.
I tire of the stereotype of the Angry Black Woman, constantly militant and on edge, ready to yell “racist” at the slightest hint of wrongdoing. For starters, it’s an off shoot of that other pernicious stereotype, the Strong Black Woman, constantly wearing the problems on the world on her back without complaint.
Fuck, if you had to carry that much shit, wouldn’t you be just a little pissed?
Also, it tells people that we have only have a few emotions, angry being the most prominent one. It dehumanizes us, turns us into caricatures that can be dismissed.
And now I’m gonna talk about Nicki Minaj. Nice swerve, yeah?
I’m so-so about her music. “Anaconda” makes me wanna dance (if you haven’t seen someone twerk with a cane, you’ve not lived), and her verses on “Monster” and “My Chick Bad” make me feel like the eldricth creature I secretly am (shhhhh, don’t tell my partner. His sanity is too delicious). “Looking Ass Niggas” is amazing and the video is too. I’m meh with her other songs.
I appreciate her weird style, her not-so-weird style, her insistence to young girls to finish school and don’t depend on no man, her insistence on doing shit her own way. Love her or hate her, you gotta respect that from an artist.
I also didn’t watch MTV’s VMAs last night. That requires cable, which we don’t have and watching TV, which I don’t do. Don’t worry, I’m not one of those snobs, I just can’t deal with the medium in a way that I still can’t explain, so our lovely smart TV is used by my partner when he wants to watch Netflix and me when I want to run the Pandora app or play YouTube bird videos for the cats in the office.
But, like most TV moments I want to stay informed on, I watched the hell out of my Twitter feed, and oh boy oh boy did it light up when Miss Minaj called out human joke Miley Cyrus upon receiving her award. Don’t get me wrong, Miley’s done good stuff with homeless teens and all that stuff, but her bullshit on Twitter is straight up White Feminism (TM).
And Nicki was awesome for calling her out on live TV. That captured video is just magnificent.
But of course, before the show even ended, keyboards were going with the thinkpieces. About how Nicki savaged Miley, about how Nicki was “throwing shade” (wrong terminology, if you must use it, that was a straight up call out). Once again, for defending herself, Nicki gets thrown into the same box we all get thrown into when we act even a little “out of line”: The Angry Black Woman.
For defending herself, let me say that again.
When is this shit going to stop? I know that answer. As long as that term is used to silence us, to make us the bad guy, to make us worth not listening to (like we’re children having tantrums “not until you straighten up that attitude”), that box will always be there.
No matter what message we’re trying to convey, people, usually white people and sometimes black men, will fear our anger so much that it’s not worth listening to the message. And that’s bullshit.
So much bullshit.