Who Will Revere The Black Woman? (September 1966) By Abbey Lincoln


Mark Twain said, in effect, that when a country enslaves a people, the first necessary job is to make the world feel that the people to be enslaved are sub-human. The next job is to make his fellow-countrymen believe that man is inferior and then, the unkindest cut of all is to make that man believe himself inferior.

A good job has been done in this country, as far as convincing them of their inferiority is concerned. The general white community has told us in a million different ways and in no uncertain terms that “God” and “nature” made a mistake when it came to fashioning us and ours….

[S]trange as it is, I’ve heard it echoed by too many Black full-grown males that Black womanhood is the downfall of the Black man in that she (the Black woman) is “evil,” “hard to get along with,” “domineering,” “suspicious,” and “narrow-minded.” In short, a black, ugly, evil you-know-what.

As time progresses, I’ve learned that this description of my mothers, sisters, and partners in crime is used as the basis and excuse for the further shoving, by the Black man, of his own head into the sand of oblivion. Hence, the black mother, housewife, and all-round girl Thursday is called upon to suffer both physically and emotionally every humiliation a woman can suffer and still function.

Her head is more regularly beaten than any other woman’s, and by her own man; she’s the scapegoat for Mr. Charlie; she is forced to stark realism and chided if caught dreaming; her aspirations for her and hers are, for sanity’s sake, stunted; her physical image has been criminally maligned, assaulted, and negated; she’s the first to be called ugly and never yet beautiful….

Raped and denied the right to cry out in her pain, she has been named the culprit and called “loose,” “hot-blooded,” “wanton,” “sultry,” and “amoral.” She has been used as the white man’s sexual outhouse, and shamefully encouraged by her own ego-less man to persist in this function. Wanting, too, to be carried away by her “Prince Charming,” she must, in all honesty, admit that he has been robbed of his crown by the very assaulter and assassin who has raped her. Still, she looks upon her man as God’s gift to Black womanhood and is further diminished and humiliated and outraged when the feeling is not mutual….

At best we are made to feel that we are poor imitations and excuses for white women.

Evil? Evil, you say. The black woman is hurt, confused, frustrated, angry, resentful, frightened and evil! Who in the hell dares suggest that she should be otherwise? These attitudes only point up her perception of the situation and her healthy rejection of same.

Maybe if our women get evil enough and angry enough, they’ll be moved to some action that will bring our men to their senses. There is one unalterable fact that too many of our men cannot seem to face. And that is, we “black, evil, ugly” women are a perfect and accurate reflection of you “black, evil, ugly” men. Play hide and seek as long as you can and will, but your every rejection and abandonment of us is only sorry testament of how thoroughly and carefully you have been blinded and brainwashed. And let it further understood that when we refer to you we mean, ultimately, us. For you are us, and vice versa.

We are the women who were kidnapped and brought to his continent as slaves. We are the women who were raped, are still being raped, and our bastard children snatched from our breasts and scattered to the winds to be lynched, castrated, de-egoed, robbed, burned, and deceived.

We are the women who dwell in the hell-hole ghettos all over the land. We are the women whose bodies are sacrificed, as living cadavers, to experimental surgery in the white man’s hospitals for the sake of white medicine. We are the women who are invisible on the television and movie screens, on the Broadway stage. We are the women who are lusted after, sneered at, leered at, hissed at, yelled at, grabbed at, tracked down by white degenerates in our own pitiable, poverty-stricken and prideless neighborhoods.

We are the women whose hair is compulsively fried, whose skin is bleached, whose is “too big,” whose mouth is “too big and loud,” whose behind is “too big and broad,” whose feet are “too big and flat,” whose face is “too black and shiny,* and whose suffering and patience is too long and enduring to be believed.

Who are just too damned much for everybody….

We are the women whose husbands and fathers and brothers and sons have been plagiarized, imitated, denied, and robbed of the fruits of their genius, and who consequently we see as emasculated, jailed, lynched, driven mad, deprived, enraged and made suicidal. We are the women who nobody, seemingly, cares about, who are made to feel inadequate, stupid and backward, and who inevitably have the most colossal inferiority complexes to be found.

And who is spreading the propaganda that “the only free people in the country are the white man and the black woman”? If this be freedom, then Heaven is hell, right is wrong, and cold is hot.

Who will revere the black woman? Who will keep our neighborhoods safe for black innocent womanhood? Black womanhood is outraged and humiliated. Black womanhood cries for dignity and restitution and salvation. Black womanhood wants and needs protection, and keeping, and holding. Who will assuage her indignation? Who will keep her precious and pure? Who will glorify and proclaim her beautiful image? To whom will she cry rape?

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38 thoughts on “Who Will Revere The Black Woman? (September 1966) By Abbey Lincoln

    1. @Omay
      A lotta of sistas are still afraid to tell the truth about how we are feeling regarding racism and misogynoir (anti-black misogyny) from within and outside the bc cause we don’t want to upset a lotta black men, but if we are to heal we must stop lying to ourselves about what is going on with the black male/female collective relationship. I don’t know whether I wanna say cursed, but we are sure in a horrible position. *I’m giving you a digital kleenex and a hug*

      Like

  1. This is a beautiful article. I feel guilty in a major way. I’m 29, black, right outside NYC. I use to say ignorant things about my women at times.

    “Oh she is pretty for a black chick.”

    “Wow you have very nice hair. Is that yours? Are you mixed?”

    Smdh.

    My parents have been together for 42 years, married for 39.

    My parents had 4 boys. 23,29,35,38. Guess who’s the light one? Me! I look like my mother and I have her complexion. Both of them, especially my father have instilled my father. People (including myself) are so obsessed with having mixed children, light skin kids.

    We have been brainwashed in subtle ways. I never had a black girlfriend. Never loved a black woman. I don’t have kids. But when I do, she will be black. Many of us have been taught to hate ourselves. There was a woman on Facebook recently that was banned for a month. Why? For promoting black love( one man, one woman).

    As much as black women been through, the vast majority of them still want/crave a black men. They are the only women who still refer to their men as Kings and Gods. Light skin, brown skin, or dark skin, their still beautiful and have the best bodies, most feminine features. The black woman who is the original woman, has no competition.

    Some Facebook pages that have great insight about modern day black people and black history.

    The temple of Amen Ra.

    Black Knowledge

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @lejubon

      It is good to know that you have first acknowledged and then made the efforts to correct and or reverse the whitewashed programming that we all as black people have been subjected to living under the system of racism white supremacy. Just ditch the guilt and keep working on becoming your best possible black self. Hopefully, other black males who are still caught up in the matrix will see you as inspiration for change.

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  2. I’ve had this conversation with so many Black men and women and for the most part Black men are lost. They will break their necks for anything that ain’t Black and yet Black women stand strong with us. Black women are the least likely to date outside the race and for this loyalty we give them – not nearly enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @hunglikejesus

      I agree 1000%. And a lotta of Black Women/Girls still stand strong behind these ungrateful Negros. It’s really mind boggling! A good number of black women are getting tired of this support without reciprocation and speaking out about it.

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  3. This says it all, thank you for expressing what we all fear and have in our hearts, but are too afraid to say and/or don’t know how to put into words. I often times feel as if I am not allowed to be mad. The part about being experiments for science is so true. Sorry to get too deep, but I have had to say goodbye to many (my own Mother was one) because of it. I’m in tears right now, but they are tears of some sort of weird relief. Thank you for this read. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Girlfriend Goddess

      Don’t let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t get angry, especially justifiable anger toward what is happening to black women and black people on this planet. Many people will throw that “angry black woman” bs to keep us silent. Black Women are humans not inanimate objects. We get angry, sad, depressed, happy, excited, etc. It looks like a (good) number of black women are standing up and saying enough is enough and we will stand up and be heard whether anyone likes it or not.

      Black Women’s bodies have ( and are still being used) as costumes and scientific experiments to this day. It pisses me the phuck off. White women appropriating black womanhood, with the theft and harvesting of black women (and peoples) organs, and other racist and anti-black misogynist atrocities. This goes right back to what I was saying above about black women being treated as inanimate objects like we have no feelings and emotions. IMO, Animals aren’t treated this bad.

      I’m sorry about what happened to your mother. * I’m giving you a digital hug and Kleenex* May the beasts that did this to her (and other sistas) burn in hell forever and ever. I’ve created this safe support space for sistas not only to learn, but to vent, cry, and express anger and frustrations. We need each other’s support more now than ever. I am here for you; feel free to stop by anytime.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is very powerful and heartfelt. I always tell my circle, we all have to be responsible in our quest to bring each other up. Thanks for this post. And just to answer your question of who….well if we are start with ourselves (meaning me) we can teach the world how to appreciate our mothers, sisters, and lovers again.

    Liked by 1 person

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